French Verbs Are Accessible

Conditional Tense-

Part 1: Regular Verbs-

We will now learn the conditional tense, which will allow us to tell in French what we would do in hypothetical situations.

Consider the following example. In the sentence, S'il pleuvait, je resterais chez moi, the conditional tense is used in the result clause when the imperfect is used in the if clause. The conditional tense is formed by using the same infinitive or irregular stem used to conjugate verbs in the future plus the imperfect tense endings. Thus, all verbs that are irregular in the future tense are also irregular in the conditional. Keep in mind that most verbs, including those that are irregular in other tenses, are completely regular in the conditional.

We will begin with regular verbs. Then, in a separate module we will study those that are irregular.

When conjugating most verbs in the conditional tense, add the endings to the whole infinitive. A few verbs are irregular in that the endings are added to an irregular stem root instead of the infinitive. The endings are the same as those used for the imperfect tense: a i s, a i s, a i t, i o n s, i e z, a i e n t.

When conjugating a regular verb whose infinitive ends in r e, drop the e from the r e before adding the endings. This r sound will help you distinguish between the conditional and imperfect tenses. Here are a few examples: j'étudierais (I would study), vous finiriez (you would finish), and il répondrait (he would answer).

Now, listen to these same verbs in the imparfait: j'étudiais, vous finissiez, and il répondait.

Here is the verb parler conjugated in the conditional tense:

Parler- English Translation-
Je parlerais- I would, should speak-
Tu parlerais- You -- familiar form -- would speak-
Il, elle, on parlerait- He, she, one would speak-
Nous parlerions- We would, should speak-
Vous parleriez- You would speak-
Ils, elles parleraient- They would speak-

Here is the conjugation of the verb finir (to finish):

Subject Pronoun- Verb Form-
Je- finirais-
Tu- finirais-
Il, elle, on- finirait-
Nous- finirions-
Vous- finiriez-
Ils- finiraient-

Now, let's look at the conjugation of vendre (to sell):

Subject Pronoun- Verb Form-
Je- vendrais-
Tu- vendrais-
Il, elle, on- vendrait-
Nous- vendrions-
Vous- vendriez-
Ils- vendraient-