French Grammar Explained /

Subjunctive after "pour que"

Why do you study le français ?
So that I can go to Paris and eat lots of croissants !
J'étudie le français pour aller à Paris manger des croissants.
I study French to go to Paris to eat croissants.
Et pourquoi do we study French together?
So that... I can go to Paris and eat beaucoup de croissants ?!?
Nous étudions le français ensemble pour que tu ailles à Paris manger des croissants.
We study French together so that you can go to Paris to eat croissants.
Do you recognize anything particular in one of those examples?
Mmmh, I want to say le subjonctif is in here somewhere. J'ai raison - Am I right?
Absolument ! Tu ailles is conjugated in the subjunctive. Do you know why?
Pas du tout !
Both of our examples have the preposition pour in them.
In the first example, you'll notice the subject is the same for both actions:
  • Je → to study French.
  • Je → to go to Paris.
But in our second example, there are two different subjects:
  • Nous → to study French.
  • Tu → to go to Paris.
This triggers the use of que that you can find after pour in the second example and, also, the subjunctive.
Basically you're saying that when there is a pour que in my sentence, I need to conjugate the verb in the subjunctive after?
Parfaitement ! And how would you know if you need pour or pour que?
Pour is when there is only one person involved, pour que is when several people are involved.
Très bien ! Maintenant, pratiquons - let's practice!