The Conditional in French: Formation du Conditionnel

Le conditionnel is the conditional tense in French. Read along to learn more about the tense as well as how and when to use it. Practice what you've learned with our free printable worksheets!
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The Conditional in French: What is le conditionnel?

What would you do if you could do anything you wanted? The world is full of possibilities! To share your craziest dreams, you need the conditional. The conditional in French is known as “le conditionnel”

When to use le conditionnel?

The conditional in French is used when wanting to explain things or events that could happen. Le conditionnel is used when:

1)Making polite requests:

Me passerais-tu le sel, s’il-vous-plaît? (Would you pass me the salt, please?)

 

2)Talking about possibilities or events of uncertainty:

Je pourrais être en retard. (I might be late.)

 

3) Giving advice:

Tu devrais regarder avant de traverser la rue. (You should look before crossing the road.)

 

4) Talking about an imaginary situation:

Je serais heureuse en vivant sur une île. (I would be happy living on an island.)

 

5) Expressing a wish:

Je voudrais une tasse de thé. (I would like a cup of tea.)

How to use the conditional: Formation du Conditionnel

The conditional in French for regular verbs is formed by the: the stem of the futur simple of the verb + l’imparfait ending of the verb.

Conditionnel Conjugation Tip: Most of the verbs ending in -er, will follow the verb AIMER. Many verbs ending in -ir, will follow the verb FINIR.

pronouns

Verb to love (aimer)

Verb to finish (finir)

(I) Je

aime-rais

fini-rais

(you) tu

aime-rais

fini-rais

(he) il / (she) elle/ (we) on

aime-rait

fini-rait

(we) nous

aime-rions

fini-rions

(you) vous

aime-riez

fini-riez

They ils/elles

aime-raient

fini-raient

Le Conditionnel: Irregular Verbs

Some verbs are irregular because their radical changes. Here are 5 of these verbs.

1) Aller (to go)

Je irais
tu irais
il / elle/ on irait
nous irions
vous iriez
ils/elles iraient

2) Faire (to do)

Je ferais
tu ferais
il / elle/ on ferait
nous ferions
vous feriez
ils/elles feraient

3) Avoir (to have)

Je aurais
tu aurais
il / elle/ on aurait
nous aurions
vous auriez
ils/elles auraient

 

4) Être (to be)

Je serais
tu serais
il / elle/ on serait
nous serions
vous seriez
ils/elles seraient

 

5) Savoir (to know)

Je saurais
tu saurais
il / elle/ on saurait
nous saurions
vous sauriez
ils/elles sauraient

pronouns

1) aller

To go

2) faire

To do

3) avoir

To have

4) être

To be

5) savoir

To know

(I) Je

irais

ferais

aurais

serais

saurais

(you) tu

irais

ferais

aurais

serais

saurais

(he) il / (she) elle/ (we) on

irait

ferait

aurait

serait

saurait

(we) nous

irions

ferions

aurions

serions

saurions

(you) vous

iriez

feriez

auriez

seriez

sauriez

They ils/elles

iraient

feraient

auraient

seraient

sauraient

 

Need Practice? Printable Worksheets to Improve your French

Don’t forget! You should practice the conditional using the extra activity sheets if you want to become a French expert.

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