Passé Simple + Conditionnel Présent


Kwiziq community member

10 October 2016

2 replies

Passé Simple + Conditionnel Présent

In the Writing Challenge 26 level C1, the sentence "... Pompidou décida de faire construire ... un centre ... qui PERMETTRAIT ..." uses Conditionnel Présent in the subordinate clause even though the decision was made in the past (Passé Simple). Is it incorrect to use Conditionnel Passé?

This question relates to:
French lesson "Conjugate regular verbs in Le Conditionnel Présent (conditional mood)"


Kwiziq language super star

11 October 2016


Bonjour Ha ! What an interesting question! In this case, Le Conditionnel Présent is used as "the past of the future", to express an action in the past, BUT that occurred AFTER the action expressed in Le Passé Simple (décida). Here Pompidou decided to build the centre BEFORE this centre would allow to combine all these other departments. Le Conditionnel Passé here would make it an unrealised hypothesis ("qui aurait permis" = which would have allowed...), so it couldn't work here. I hope that's helpful!


Kwiziq community member

12 October 2016


Aurélie, thanks for responding to my question. So in general, could we use the present conditional conjugation of a verb to express a wish in the past for a future that actually did become a reality later on?

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