French Conditional (Present & Past)

French Conditional (Present & Past)

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Added by December 1, 2017

LE CONDITIONNEL (PRÉSENT/PASSÉ)

Learn French Conditional (Present & Past)

Let’s learn how to conjugate the conditional, both present and past !

 

When to use the Conditional

  • First, do you know what it corresponds to in English and when to use it ? The conditional is used to express a possibility, something that would or could happen if… In English, you guys use WOULD or sometimes also COULD to conjugate a verb in the conditional. Examples :
LAVENDER FRANCE

Source: Pixabay

 

I would like to visit France. = J’AIMERAIS VISITER LA FRANCE.

I could visit France, but I want to go to Spain first. = JE POURRAIS VISITER LA FRANCE, MAIS JE VEUX D’ABORD ALLER EN ESPAGNE.

 

 

  • The conditional is also use to be extra polite as in :

Could you pass me the wine, please ? = POURRIEZ-VOUS ME PASSER LE VIN, S’IL VOUS PLAÎT ?

French wines

Source: Pixabay 

How to form the French Present Conditional

If you already know how to conjugate French verbs in the simple future, then you’re going to have an easy time learning the conditional present. If you don’t know the simple future yet, maybe check out the Ohlalafrench lesson now : LE FUTUR !

Ok, now we’re all on the same page, we’re ready to learn the French conditional present. Basically, the stem is the same as for LE FUTUR SIMPLE. You keep the infinitive of the verb, and you add the conditional endings which are actually the same as those use in the imperfect, L’IMPARFAIT.

Here are the endings again :

-AIS, -AIS, -AIT, -IONS, -IEZ, -AIENT

Let’s have a look at a specific example. I’ve chosen an -ER ending verb I like : INSPIRER (to inspire)

French Verb INSPIRER in the conditional

Source: Pixabay

INSPIRER

J’inspirerAIS

Tu inspirerAIS

Il/elle/on inspirerAIT

Nous inspirerIONS

Vous inspirerIEZ

Ils/elles inspirerAIENT

 

Of course, as usual, you have irregular verbs. Those are going to be the same as for the future. Here are the rebels again :

ALLER (to go): IR-                                                                       

APERCEVOIR (to have a quick look at): APERCEVR-        

AVOIR (to have): AUR-      

CUEILLIR (to pick): CUEILLER-         

COURIR (to run): COURR-         

DEVOIR (to have to): DEVR-       

ENVOYER (to send): ENVERR-     

ÊTRE (to be): SER-       

FAIRE (to do): FER-

FALLOIR (one has to): IL FAUDRAIT

MOURIR (to die): MOURR-

POUVOIR (to be able to): POURR-

PLEUVOIR (to rain): IL PLEUVRAIT

RECEVOIR (to receive): RECEVR-

S’ASSEOIR (to sit down): S’ASSIÉR-  or S’ASSOIR-                   

SAVOIR (to know): SAUR-

TENIR (to hold): TIENDR-

VALOIR (to be worth): VAUDR-

VENIR (to come): DEVIENDR-

VOIR (to see): VERR-

How to form the French Past Conditional

Now, we can move on to learning the past conditional, LE CONDITIONNEL PASSÉ. Basically, the logic is kind of similar to that used with the PASSÉ COMPOSÉ. We’re going to take the verb AVOIR, put it in the present of the conditional, and add the past participle of the verb.

AVOIR in the Conditional Present + Past Participle

 

French verb "Adorer" in the conditional

Source: Pixabay

ADORER

J’AURAIS adoré

Tu AURAIS adoré

Il/elle/on AURAIT adoré

Nous AURIONS adoré

Vous AURIEZ adoré

Ils/elles AURAIENT adoré

Got it ? Now, the verbs conjugated with ÊTRE in the PASSÉ COMPOSÉ, are also going to be conjugated with ÊTRE in the past conditional. Example :

 

PARTIR

Je SERAIS parti(e)

Tu SERAIS parti(e)

Il/Elle/On SERAIT parti(e)

Nous SERIONS parti(es)

Vous SERIEZ parti(es)

Ils/Elles SERAIENT parti(es)

And as you can notice here, the past participle agrees in gender and number with the subject it relates to. Just as in the Passé Composé !

Any questions ? Just comment on this post and I’ll do my best to reply to your queries.

Soraya Garré French actress

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