Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Subjunctive/Indicative Sentence Puzzles

I am currently wrapping up the subjunctive unit with my French 3s, which resolves with being able to know when to use subjunctive vs indicative and how to form said sentences.  About half of my kids get it but the other half still don't understand one part or another.  Some will use the subjunctive even in the trigger phrases (je sois content que tu fasses les devoirs) or don't even get that they have to conjugate those trigger phrases (nous adorer que tu fasses les devoirs).  Others still don't know when to use subjunctive or indicative after the "que" despite having some very clear note sheets on which phrases are subjunctive triggers and which are indicative.

I decided to do an activity with the entire class this morning that really seemed to help it click for the students who were still on the fence.  What I did was I typed up 15 different trigger phrases and 15 different sentence endings.  I cut up the slips and put them in two separate envelopes.  I then wrote SUBJUNCTIVE on one side of the board and INDICATIVE on the other and split it with a line.  Each student picked a slip from each envelope and had to put the sentence together.  Depending on the two subjects or the specific trigger phrase, they had to figure out if it was a subjunctive or indicative sentence and form it accordingly.  Then, once they were done, they wrote their sentence on the board in the correct category.  Once everyone wrote their sentence, we went over them as a class and corrected any errors together.  We were only able to do a couple rounds (it took my 12 person class about 7-8 minutes per round) but it was great to be able to put this stuff together for them.

This was a really fun activity, especially because the possible combinations could potentially be really silly.  The kids really enjoyed it and it definitely helped those who were struggling.

If you would like a free copy of the sentence pieces, CLICK HERE.  It is also part of a bigger subjunctive unit bundle I have on TPT... CLICK HERE to access it.


  1. Thank you so much! I am in the middle of subjunctive right now.

  2. What do you do if a student draws the same subject (Ils sont désolés que / Ils être intelligents). Do you have them redraw or have you taught them how to express those things w/o the subjonctif when the subjects are the same? I do love this idea!

    1. It boils down to, then, that they use the indicative rather than the subjunctive. Some of the triggers are indicative anyway, so a large part of this activity is subjunctive vs indicative, not just formation. A few times it did come down to two of the same subject (I was always glad when it did!) and we were able to discuss WHY it should be in the indicative column despite it being a subjunctive trigger.