French conditional tense

How to form the conditional tense in French.

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How to form the conditional tense

The conditional tense corresponds with the use of 'would' in English. Instead of putting an extra word in front of the verb, endings are used.

E.g. je jouerais - I would play

       je mangerais - I would eat

1. Take the infinitive of the verb, if it's an -re verb, knock off the E.

e.g. boire becomes  boir 

2. Add the imperfect tense endings:

je   -ais                    nous       -ions

tu   -ais                    vous       -iez

il/elle/on   -ait           ils/elles -aient

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Irregular verb stems

There are irregular verbs that use different stem to regular verbs but they still use the same endings! Just learn these stems: note that these are the same as the future stems

aller -ir (to go)  

avoir -aur (to have)

etre -ser (to be)

faire -fer (to do)

falloir -faud (to need)

pouvoir -pourr (to be able to)

savoir -saur (to know)

voir -verr (to see)

vouloir -voudr (to want)

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Sentence examples


J'aimerais aller en Australie -I would like to go to Australia.


Je voudrais être docteur- I would like to be a doctor.

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