Conjugate pouvoir in Le Conditionnel Présent = could (conditional mood)

The verb pouvoir is used in Conditionnel Présent to express could.
It uses the same irregular stem as in Futur Simplepourr-
Have a look at these sentences:
 

Je pourrais certainement obtenir un rendez-vous.
I could certainly get an appointment.

Pourrais-tu me passer le sel?
Could you pass me the salt?

Il pourrait aller à l'université s'il le voulait.
He could go to university if he wanted to.

Nous pourrions manger chinois pour changer.
We could eat Chinese for a change.

Pourriez-vous l'épeler pour moi, s'il-vous-plaît?
Could you spell it for me, please?

Ils pourraient gagner cette année.
They could win this year.

Here's how to form the Conditionnel Présent  of pouvoir:
 
pourr- + endings of Imparfait-ais, -ais, -ait, -ions, -iez, -aient 
The je form has the same pronunciation as in Futur Simple. Look for the context : I will have to vs I could!

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Nous pourrions manger chinois pour changer.
We could eat Chinese for a change.


Il pourrait aller à l'université s'il le voulait.
He could go to university if he wanted to.



Pourrais-tu me passer le sel?
Could you pass me the salt?


Ils pourraient gagner cette année.
They could win this year.


Je pourrais certainement obtenir un rendez-vous.
I could certainly get an appointment.


Pourriez-vous l'épeler pour moi, s'il-vous-plaît?
Could you spell it for me, please?


Q&A

Damien

Kwiziq community member

3 October 2018

1 reply

Futur simple Vs conditionnel present

The tip says to decide between je form  for future simple and conditionnel present for pouvoir by comparing  'i will have to' with 'i could'. I thought 'i will have to' is 'je devrais' and future simple for pouvoir would translate to 'i will be able to'

Chris

Kwiziq community member

3 October 2018

3/10/18

You are correct, Damien:

Je devrai ranger ma chambre. -- I will have to clean up my room.
Je pourrai ranger ma chambre. -- I will be able to clean up my room.

Je devrais ranger ma chambre. -- I should clean up my room.
Je pourrais ranger ma chambre. -- I would be able to clean up my room.

P.S.: Note the addidional "-s" in the conditional.

Graham

Kwiziq community member

25 September 2018

2 replies

Is it correct that if you use pouvoir in the conditional present, the following verb is always in the infinitive?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

25 September 2018

25/09/18

All modal verbs like, pouvoir or devoir require the infinitive, no matter which tense or mode they are in. 

Je peux t'appeler. / Je pourrais t'appeler. 

Graham

Kwiziq community member

25 September 2018

25/09/18

Thank you 

Kevin

Kwiziq community member

10 January 2017

2 replies

Is the point of this lesson that the conditional of pouvoir is used to express possibility?

Is the point of this lesson that the conditional of pouvoir is used to express possibility? I don't grasp the difference between "pouvez-vous m'aider" and "pourriez-vous m'aider", or would you just not say the first one?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

13 January 2017

13/01/17

Bonjour Kevin ! "Pouvez-vous m'aider ?" means "Can you help me?", whereas "Pourriez-vous m'aider ?" means "Could you help me?" Just like in English, both forms are correct, but the second one is more polite, as the use of the conditional makes it a bit less direct. I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

Kevin

Kwiziq community member

13 January 2017

13/01/17

Ah, thank you--very helpful!

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