Present conditional in French
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The present conditional (French: le conditionnel présent) is generally used to express:
- The future of the past (events that, viewed from the past, take place at a later time)
- A polite request or a wish
- A possibility or assumption (with caution)
After the imperfect in a 'si' clause, the conditional is used in the main clause and with these following expressions, which set a condition: au cas où, dans le cas où, pour le cas où, dans l'hypothèse où.
Je ferais bien une tarte.
|I would probably make a pie.||Assumption|
|Je comprendrais ta décision.||I would understand your decision.||Possibility|
|J'ai attendu qu'ils auraient le plus grand chien.||I heard that they would have the biggest dog.||Future of the past|
|Si je gagnais au loto, je ferais un voyage.||If I won the jackpot, I would do a journey.||'si' clause|
|J'aimerais que tu ailles à la boutique.||I would like you to go to the shop.||wish, polite request|
|Au cas où nous serions absents||If ever we wouldn't be here.||expressions which set a condition|
- 1.Formation of the present conditional in French
- 2.Regular forms of the present conditional
- 3.Irregular forms of the present conditional
- 3.1.Present conditional of être and avoir
- 3.2.Present conditional of 3rd group verbs
- 3.3.Present conditional of 3rd group that take a 'd'
- 4.Other irregular forms of the present conditional
Formation of the present conditional in French
The tense forms of the regular and irregular verbs are made up of:
- the infinitive form
- the imperfect endings: ais - ais - ait - ions - iez - iaient
Regular forms of the present conditional
The present conditional for regular forms are the same for all verbs groups. They are composed of an -r- and the endings of the imperfect tense.
|Travailler (to work)||Dormir (to sleep)||Prendre (to take)|
(I would work)
(I would sleep)
(I would take)
|Tu travaillerais||Tu dormirais||Tu prendrais|
|Il/elle/on travaillerait||Il/elle/on dormirait||Il/elle/on prendrait|
|Nous travaillerions||Nous dormirions||Nous prendrions|
|Vous travailleriez||Vous dormiriez||Vous prendriez|
|Ils/elles travailleraient||Ils/elles dormiraient||Ils/elles prendraient|
Note that the regular verb that have 'y' changes to 'i'.
- Essuyer: J'essuierais, tu essuierais, il essuierait...
- Payer: je paierais, tu paierais, il paierait...
- Nettoyer: je nettoierais, tu nettoierais, il nettoierait...
Irregular forms of the present conditional
They are many verbs that make the conditional irregular: the auxiliary verbs 'être' and 'avoir' and verbs of the 3rd group. They differ from the remaining irregular verbs by their stem, and some take a 'd' before the endings.
Present conditional of être and avoir
être (to be)
|avoir (to have)|
|Tu serais||Tu aurais|
|Il/elle/on serait||Il/elle/on aurait|
|Nous serions||Nous aurions|
|Vous seriez||Vous auriez|
|Ils/elles seraient||Ils/elles auraient|
Present conditional of 3rd group verbs
|aller (to go)||voir (to see)||faire (to do)|
|J' irais||Je verrais||Je ferais|
|Tu irais||Tu verrais||Tu ferais|
|Il/elle/on irait||Il/elle/on verrait||Il/elle/on ferait|
|Nous irions||Nous verrions||Nous ferions|
|Vous iriez||Vous verriez||Vous feriez|
|Ils/elles iraient||Ils/elles verraient||Ils/elles feraient|
Present conditional of 3rd group that take a 'd'
|venir (to come)||tenir (to hold)||valoir (to worth)|
|Je viendrais||Je tiendrais||Je vaudrais|
|Tu viendrais||Tu tiendrais||Tu vaudrais|
|Il/elle/on viendrait||Il/elle/on tiendrait||Il/elle/on vaudrait|
|Nous viendrions||Nous tiendrions||Nous vaudrions|
|Vous viendriez||Vous tiendriez||Vous vaudriez|
|Ils/elles viendraient||Ils/elles tiendraient||Ils/elles vaudraient|
Other irregular forms of the present conditional
- Courrir: - elles courraient (they would run)
- Devoir - je devrais (I would have to)
- Envoyer - tu enverrais (you would send)
- Mourir - vous mourriez (you would die)
- Pouvoir - ils pourraient (they could)
- Recevoir - je recevrais (I would receive)
- Savoir - tu saurais (you would know)
- Vouloir - je voudrais (I would)
- Falloir - il faudrait (it would)
- Pleuvoir - il pleuvrait (it would rain)
You can memorize the irregular verb forms of le conditionnel présent, because they will most certainly meet you more frequently.
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