Which to use? the conditional or the imperfect of pouvoir.

KarenC1Kwiziq community member

Which to use? the conditional or the imperfect of pouvoir.

Hello

So on the writing challenge test,( If I could start all over...).  I translated the last sentence "I could even get a dog." using "pouvais" meaning "able to" but the correct translation was using "pourrais" the conditional form. Please clarify!,Thank you, Karen 

Asked 1 month ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Hi Karen, I don't know the context of the sentence, but the English word "could" has two meanings: either the imperfect tense or the conditional mood of "can". With this in mind, I suspect that the sentence under question may also be phrased as: "I might even get a dog," which would be the conditional. Only if it was intended to mean "I was even able to get a dog" would you use the imperfect.

CélineKwiziq team member

Bonjour Karen, 

Chris has given you a very good explanation here. Could you add a link to the question it relates to please?

Bonne journée!

Which to use? the conditional or the imperfect of pouvoir.

Hello

So on the writing challenge test,( If I could start all over...).  I translated the last sentence "I could even get a dog." using "pouvais" meaning "able to" but the correct translation was using "pourrais" the conditional form. Please clarify!,Thank you, Karen 

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your French level for FREE

Test your French to the CEFR standard

Find your French level
Getting that for you now.