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Conjugate regular verbs in Le Conditionnel Présent (conditional mood)

The present conditional tense, Le Conditionnel Présent, is used to express hypothetical situations, wishes and desires.

E.g. If I were rich, I would travel


Look at these examples of Conditionnel Présent in French:
 

Je danserais toute la nuit!
I would dance all night!

Tu lui parlerais pour moi?
Would you speak to him for me?

Il le mangerait s'il avait encore faim.
He would eat it if he was still hungry.

Nous aimerions manger.
We would like to eat.

Vous finiriez votre travail si vous n'étiez pas paresseux.
You would finish your work if you weren't lazy.

Ils iraient en Mordor si besoin.
They would go to Mordor if needed.


Note: aller is irregular in Le Futur (e.g. il ira), so it is irregular in Le Conditionnel Présent
 
 
To form Le Conditionnel in French, you need the same basis as in Le Futur (infinitive or irregular roots), followed by the Imparfait endings: -ais, -ais, -ait, -ions, -iez, -aient.
 
E.g.      aimer -> j'aimerai (future) -> j'aimerais (conditional)
           to like -> I will like -> I would like
 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Il le mangerait s'il avait encore faim.
He would eat it if he was still hungry.


Tu lui parlerais pour moi?
Would you speak to him for me?



Nous aimerions manger.
We would like to eat.


Ils iraient en Mordor si besoin.
They would go to Mordor if needed.


Je danserais toute la nuit!
I would dance all night!


Vous finiriez votre travail si vous n'étiez pas paresseux.
You would finish your work if you weren't lazy.


Q&A

Gio

Kwiziq community member

17 April 2018

1 reply

In the test one of the questions is Je ________ si j'avais une voiture.

The answer to the question is Je partirais si j'avais une voiture.

However, my question is about "j'avais une voiture."  Why is it j'avais (imparfait) and not j'ai une voiture, considering that its in the present?  Is this related to the subjunctif? Cause I have a feeling this has to do with the subjunctif :D

Chris

Kwiziq community member

17 April 2018

17/04/18

HI Gio,


even though the subjunctive rears its head in many unsuspected places, he is not to blame for this one.


The example you quote is a "si"-sentence introducing a possibility. It dictates the use of very specific times and modi: the conditional in the main clause and the imperfect in the si-clause.


Je partirais si j'avais une voiture. -- I would leave if I had a car.


You see the same kind of construction in the English translation: a conditional (would leave) in the main clause and the imperfect (had) in the main clause. The use of the imperfect has nothing to do with the action being set in the past. It is used here -- in conjunction with the conditional -- to express a possibility.


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Ha

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?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

11 October 2016

11/10/16

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!

Ha

Kwiziq community member

12 October 2016

12/10/16

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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