Are there verbs that don't follow the structured outline noted here - 'stem' from future simple conjugation, 'endings' from past imperfect conjugation? I think that I have not yet (early days) come across a verb that does not conjugate in the conditional in accordance with these simple 'rules' and having this clarified could/should/would make it much easier to remember. Even for irregular verbs it seems to me that if you know the imparfait and the future simple (both of which are also pretty consistent with 'endings' but not the stems) you have all you need to know the conditional.
I am not sure I fully understand your query Maarten, but most irregular verbs , avoir, être, aller, faire, savoir, pouvoir , venir, mettre etc. will be irregular in most tenses and moods.
The important thing about learning how to form the conditional is to remember how to form the future and as it is very similar in that it starts with the stem taken from the infinitive (that is why you have so many -r sounds) in both tenses and just add the relevant endings.
You have to learn the irregular verbs separately.
Also remember -
Would = any verb in the conditional -------> j'achèterais , je prendrais, je serais, j'aurais, etc..
Should = Devoir in the conditional ----> Je devrais
Could = Pouvoir in the conditional ----> je pourrais
Hope this helps!
Did you really believe that there wouldn't be exceptions to this rule in French? Well, one can dream :)
There are, of course, irregular verbs that behave, well, irregularly in the subjunctive:
(Infinitive) -- (Subjunctive) -- (Imparfait) -- (Futur simple)pouvoir -- je puisse -- je pouvais -- je pourraisavoir -- je sache -- je savais -- je sauraifaire -- je fasse -- je faisais -- je ferais
.... and many more.
As far as I know, there are no exceptions. (@Chris - the conditional, not the subjunctive.)
Thanks for the reply Chris. The joys of subjunctives are yet to confront me. I am referring only to the conditional present, as the lesson covers. My main query is why the lesson heading is for regular verbs, but then 'aller' is introduced? That aside, after checking the examples you gave, I still see only 2 rules for conjugating the conditional present - regular verbs use infinitive + imparfait form endings, while irregular verbs use the irregular stem from future, with the imparfait endings. If that is correct, knowing the present conditional conjugations is easier, as it relies on previous knowledge, rather than being a new set of verbs 'to learn'.
The point is that having learnt the future tense of the irregular verbs, you already know how to form the conditional, because they are irregular in the same way. The conditional can always be formed from the future stem, whether it is regular or not.
Thanks everyone. As Alan notes, the point that while they are irregular, they are still predictable means that the learning of imparfait/future/conditional forms is not the learning of 3 sets of verbs with fully separate rules, but rather they are overlapping, and that makes it easier to learn. If I got to conditional, and read that I already knew how to conjugate this because I had previously learnt imparfait and future, and here is the simple pattern all follow (at least it still seems true to me, and Alan(?)), my spirits would definitely rise. (Of course, it works once you know any 2 of the three, but the order here is the way the lessons took me through them).
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