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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

Sample sentences TranslationsUse

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 absentsIf ever we wouldn't be here. expressions which set a condition 

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  

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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)

Je travaillerais

(I would work)

Je dormirais

(I would sleep)

Je prendrais 

(I would take) 

Tu travailleraisTu dormiraisTu prendrais
Il/elle/on travailleraitIl/elle/on dormiraitIl/elle/on prendrait
Nous travaillerionsNous dormirionsNous prendrions
Vous travailleriezVous dormiriezVous prendriez
Ils/elles travailleraientIls/elles dormiraientIls/elles prendraient 

enlightenedNote 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)
Je seraisJ'aurais
Tu serais Tu aurais
Il/elle/on seraitIl/elle/on aurait
Nous serionsNous aurions
Vous seriezVous auriez
Ils/elles seraientIls/elles auraient

Present conditional of 3rd group verbs

aller (to go)voir (to see) faire (to do) 
J' iraisJe verraisJe ferais
Tu iraisTu verraisTu ferais
Il/elle/on iraitIl/elle/on verraitIl/elle/on ferait
Nous irionsNous verrionsNous ferions
Vous iriezVous verriezVous feriez
Ils/elles iraientIls/elles verraient Ils/elles feraient 

Present conditional of 3rd group that take a 'd'

venir (to come)tenir (to hold)valoir (to worth)
Je viendraisJe tiendraisJe vaudrais
Tu viendraisTu tiendraisTu vaudrais
Il/elle/on viendraitIl/elle/on tiendraitIl/elle/on vaudrait
Nous viendrionsNous tiendrionsNous vaudrions
Vous viendriezVous tiendriezVous vaudriez
Ils/elles viendraientIls/elles tiendraientIls/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)

enlightenedYou can memorize the irregular verb forms of le conditionnel présent, because they will most certainly meet you more frequently. 


  1. French conditional exercises I
  2. French conditional exercises II
  3. French present conditional exercise III
  4. Question set exercise about the present conditional in French

French conditional exercises I

French conditional exercises II

French present conditional exercise III

Question set exercise about the present conditional in French

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