Expressing necessity with the infinitive or the subjunctive

French Grammar tips with Frantastique.
Learn French online and test Frantastique for free.

Expressing necessity with the infinitive or the subjunctive

Expressions such as il faut, il est nécessaire, important, essentiel or avoir besoin are used to express necessity. There are two possible constructions: with the infinitive or the subjunctive.
Il faut que tu viennes (subjunctive)
Il faut venir (infinitive)
•  After de or il faut, the verb stays in the infinitive:
Il est important d’écouter les conseils de Victor It’s important to listen to Victor’s advice.
Muriel a besoin de se mettre au travail Muriel needs to get down to work.
Il faut rentrer avant la pluie You need to come back before it rains.
•  After que, we use the present form of the subjunctive:
Il faut que vous rentriez avant la pluie. rentrer, subjonctif présent You need to come back before it rains.
Il est important que nous écoutions les conseils de Victor. écouter, subjonctif présent It’s important that we listen to Victor’s advice.
Muriel a besoin que Victor se mette au travail. mettre, subjonctif présent Muriel needs Victor to get down to work.

Go deeper...

Learn more about French grammar with us. Still having difficulties with 'Expressing necessity with the infinitive or the subjunctive'? Want to improve your French? Test our online French lessons and receive a free level assessment!

Tips for learning 'Expressing necessity with the infinitive or the subjunctive'? Share them with us!

Looking to improve French for beginners? Frantastique provides effective and fun training!