After all this time learning French l decide today to develop an English/French go-to chart for translation purposes.
All of a sudden, the conditional tense sitting in the indicative mood in my little Bescherelle conjugaison book looks out of place. Why is it there, in a mood that expresses facts and certainties, things that definitely happened?
A little research in Bescherelle, on the web and here surface the fact that the Conditional in French is often classified as a mood unto itself (as in Lawless French) due to it's hypothetical expressions; and that more often, today, "pour des raisons de forme et de sens"(Bescherelle p.140), as a tense under the imperative. An example given for the latter is that "aurait" , conditional present, equates the future present transposed into the past. So interesting! I had not seen this before.
I wonder, what went into Lawless French's decision to classify the Conditional as a mood apart instead of as under the Indicative mood? Either works , l am just curious.
Bonjour Scout - thanks for the great question.
In my mind, it's very simple. Tenses describe when something happens: past, recent past, present, etc.
The indicative mood talks about factual actions.
The conditional describes if something happens, hypothetical actions. I just don't see how that can possibly be considered part of the indicative.
I can't speak for Laura and her site, but I, too, think of it as a mood. In particular, since the conditional comes in a present and past tense version.
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