I got curious and so scanned ahead a little in Essential French (EF), since we hadn’t come to the present subjunctive yet. And what is really interesting to me is that while Alpha Teach Yourself French in 24 Hours (ATYF) treats the subject with an entire chapter (so far) within the first fourth of the book, EF leaves it for lesson 19 (the last chapter presenting new material), and only gives it one and a half pages! Not to mention that the treatment is negligent on a number of levels, in comparison. That’s a huge difference in opinion between these two authors/books on what a beginning student of French needs to know!
So anyone who actually knows French…how important do you think the present subjunctive is?