The Conditional - Le Conditionnel

Usage

1. The conditional frequently corresponds to the English verb phrase 'would + infinitive'.

Je voudrais une chambre avec salle de bains.      I would like a room with bath.

Pourriez-vous commencer demain?     Would you be able to start tomorrow?


2. It can also be used to make polite requests.

Auriez-vous la gentillesse de m'aider?      Would you be so kind as to help me?


3. The conditional is also used in reporting style, such as newspaper articles, to indicate that the information is still uncertain.

Selon les dernières nouvelles météorologiques, nous devrions avoir un beau week-end. 
According to the latest weather forecast, we should have a nice weekend.


4. A frequent and automatic use of the conditional is in sentences introduced by 'si', when we want to express a possibility contrary to fact.
Si     +     verb in the imperfect     +     verb in the conditional

S'il faisait beau, nous sortirions.     If the weather were nice, we would go out.


Formation

The conditional for most verbs is formed by taking the infinitive of the verb and adding the appropriate endings (which are listed below). However, for verbs ending in '-re', remove the final 'e' from the infinitive before adding the conditional endings. There are some irregular verbs that use a different stem. These irregular stems are the same irregular stems used for the future tense.
*Notice that the endings for the conditional are the same endings as the imperfect.

singular plural
1st-person -ais -ions
2nd-person  -ais -iez
3rd-person -ait -aient


Example Conjugations

parler finir vendre
je parlerais
tu parlerais
il parlerait
nous parlerions
vous parleriez
ils parleraient
je finirais
tu finirais
il finirait
nous finirions
vous finiriez
ils finiraient
je vendrais
tu vendrais
il vendrait
nous vendrions
vous vendriez
ils vendraient


Irregular Verbs in the Conditional

The verbs listed below will use an irregular stem for the conditional instead of their infinitive form.

Infinitive Irregular Stem
aller
avoir
devoir
envoyer
être
faire
falloir
mourir
pleuvoir
pouvoir
recevoir
savoir
venir
voir
vouloir
ir-
aur-
devr-
enverr-
ser-
fer-
faudr-
mourr-
pleuvr-
pourr-
recevr-
saur-
viendr-
verr-
voudr-

être vouloir
je serais
tu serais
il serait
nous serions
vous seriez
ils seraient
je voudrais
tu voudrais
il voudrait
nous voudrions
vous voudriez
ils voudaient



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