How to say ‘would’ in French?

How to say ‘would’ in French

Would - Could - Should
1. Lesson 1: Would in French
2. Lesson 2: Could in French
3. Lesson 3: Should in French

1. Would conditional

He would come if you were nice with him: il viendrait si tu étais sympa avec lui

In French too, we use the conditional mood.

Would you like some coffee? Voudriez-vous du café ?

After “if” conditional, French and English are similar:

If I had come (if I’d come)… Si j’étais venu.
We don’t use the conditional.

2. Would in the past:

Willingness: She would not help me: elle ne voulait pas m’aider or elle ne m’aurait pas aidé!

For a repeated action: he would always watch tv before dinner: il regardait toujours la télé avant le diner.

Here, we use the Imparfait.

To express the future in the past:
This morning Paul said he will be going shopping tomorrow“.
Ce matin, Paul a dit qu’il ira faire des courses demain.
Last tuesday Paul said he would be going shopping the following day“.
Mardi dernier, Paul a dit qu’il irait faire des course le lendemain.
As in English we use the conditional to express the future in the past.

3.  Would: Past Conditional

If I had gone to that party, I would have had a good time.
Si j’étais allé à cette fête, Je me serais bien amusé
Here we use to be conditional + past participle (s’amuser needs to be as an auxiliary verb)

If I had heard the weather report, I would have taken an umbrella.
Si j’avais entendu la météo, j’aurais pris un parapluie.

As you can see, we use the conditional of the auxiliary verb + the past participle of the following verb, like in English, just be careful with the second auxiliary in French, être.

 

 

Pascal Dherve

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Pascal Dherve

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