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FRENCH GRAMMAR


 
 

LE CONDITIONNEL / CONDITIONAL

 

LE CONDITIONNEL PRÉSENT / PRESENT CONDITIONAL

  1. English equivalent:If you were ugly, you would be unhappy. I'd like a cracker. Your father would disagree. He said that he would come.

  2. Construction: infinitive + endings for the Imparfait

 
Person   -er   -ir   -re
 

je

 

aimer-ais

 

finir-ais

 

vendrais

 

tu

 

aimer-ais

 

finir-ais

 

vendrais

 

il/elle

 

aimer-ait

 

finir-ait

 

vendrait

 

nous

 

aimer-ions

 

finir-ions

 

vendrions

 

vous

 

aimer-iez

 

finir-iez

 

vendriez

 

ils/elles

 

aimer-aient

 

finir-aient

 

vendraient



  1. Use:

    1. In present if... then sentences (see below).

    2. In opinions and estimations: Je dirais qu'il est assez beau(I would say he's rather handsome.)

    3. To be polite: Sauriez-vous où....? (Would you happen to know where...?)

    4. To express a future moment within a past context: Il a dit qu'il viendrait.(He said he'd come.)

    5. The conditional forms of devoir, pouvoir,and vouloirhave special meanings: je devrais(I should, ought); vous pourriez(you could); elles voudraient(theywould like).

Note:would can be used colloquially in English to indicate a past habit: when I lived In France, I would eat cheese all the time. French uses the imperfect: ( Quand j'habitais en France, je mangeais du tromage tout le temps.)

 
 

LE CONDITIONNEL PASSE / PAST CONDITIONAL

  1. English equivalent:If I had married Jeanne, I wouldhave been happy.

  2. Construction:conditional of avoiror etre + past participle

 
Person   -er   -ir   -re
 

Je

 

auraisaime

 

auraisfini

 

auraisvendu

 

tu

 

auraisaime

 

auraisfini

 

auraisvendu

 

il/elle

 

auraitaimé

 

auraitfini

 

auraitvendu

 

nous

 

aurionsaimé

 

aurionsfini

 

aurionsvendu

 

vous

 

auriezaimé

 

auriezfini

 

auriezvendu

 

ils/elles

 

auraientaimé

 

auraientfini

 

auraientvendu



  1. Use:To express an action that didn't take place but would have under different circumstances. The circumstances may be expressed (If... then" sentence; see below) or implied: Mot je l'aurais engueulé!(Me, I would have yelled at him!)

 
 

"IF...THEN" SENTENCES

  1. Cause and effect:If I get good grades, I will be happy. If you see her, you are an Idiot. If you go to the store, call me.

    Si... present

    +

    present, future, or imperative

    Si je reçois de bonnes notes, je serai content.

    (If I get good grades, I will be happy.)

  2. Improbability:

    Si... imperfect

    +

    conditional present

    Si je recevais de bonnes notes, je serais content.

    (If I got good grades, I would be happy [but I probably won't]).

  3. Contrary to fact:

    Si... plus-que-parfait

    +

    conditional past

    Si j'avais reçu de bonnes notes, j'aurais été content.

    [If I had received good grades, I would have been happy. [but I didn't, so I wasn't])