Conditional – conditionnel

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Let's Define It!

What's the *conditional*?

The conditional is a verb mode and tense used to express various things.

As a verb form employed as mode, the conditional is mainly used to consider something as hypothetical or imaginary.

For example, in the sentence

"Si Luc avait plus d'économies, il passerait ses vacances sur la Côte d'Azur" [If Luc had more savings, he would spend his vacation on the Cote d'Azur]

the verb in the main clause "il passerait ses vacances sur la Côte d'Azur" is in the conditional.

As a tense, the conditional can be used to express the future in the past:

"J'ai déjà annoncé que je ne viendrais pas à la fête ce soir" [I have already announced that I would not come to the party tonight].

To express a wish or a polite request, the conditionnel can also be used:

"Auriez-vous un stylo par hasard?" Would you happen to have a pen by any chance.

"J'aimerais six grammes de jambon." I would like six grammes of ham. 

 

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Let's Pronounce It!

What does it sound like in French?

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Let's Have an Example or Two!

Can a little reinforcement do the trick?

Here are a few examples of verbs in the conditional:

  • Il parlerait bien l'anglais à présent s'il l'apprenait. /He would speak English by now if he studied it.
  • Si vous saviez la vérité, me la diriez-vous? / If you knew the truth, would you tell me it?
  • Pourriez-vous m'aider, s'il vous-plaît? / Could you help me please?

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