I have serious issues with the passé simple and the passé du conditionnel amongst others, but the one that gets me every time is the subjunctive (le subjonctif). I don’t even get why it exist! What’s more, the rules behind using it are so complicated! How in the world do the French ever get this one down?
Working as a tour guide in Paris, I get asked a lot of the same questions on each tour. When I get asked "Where are you from?", "How long have you lived in Paris?", or "Is John-Paul your real name? (Yes, it is)", my answer is automatic... However, when I am asked "Why do you still live in France?" or "What keeps you here?” I am never sure how to respond, regardless of how many times I am asked these questions. Perhaps the following story can give you an idea why.