Present French Conditional: Could, Should, Would

👉 Watch my video lesson on this French grammar topic at the bottom of this post 👈

Present French Conditional

The present French conditional is used to express COULD – SHOULD – WOULD .  Just like in English, using the conditional tense means that something is only going to happen if a certain condition is met.  

WOULD do somethingUse the MAIN VERB in the conditional
Si j’étais en France, J’APPRENDRAIS le français.
If I were in France, I would learn French.
COULD do somethingUse the verb POUVOIR in the conditional + infinitive
Si j’étais en France, JE POURRAIS apprendre le français.
If I were in France, I could learn French.
SHOULD do somethingUse the verb DEVOIR in the conditional + infinitive
JE DEVRAIS apprendre le français. I should learn French.

To form the conditional of regular verbs, use the infinitive of the verb as your stem, and add the IMPERFECT endings.  There are some irregular conditional stems you’ll need to learn.  They’re exactly the same as the irregular stems for the FUTUR SIMPLE tense (see chart below).

je + stem + aisnous + stem + ions
tu + stem + aisvous + stem + iez
il / elle / on + stem + aitils / elles + stem + aient

Common verbs with irregular conditional stems

Quizlet:  Practice forming the conditional

Quizlet:  Practice and master these irregular stems

allerirj’iraisI would go
avoiraur-j’auraisI would have
courircourr-je courraisI would run
devoirdevr-je devraisI should
envoyerenverr-j’enverraisI would send
êtreser-je seraisI would be
fairefer-je feraisI would do / I would make
falloirfaudr-il faudraitIt would be necessary
mourirmourr-je mourraisI would die
obtenirobtiendr-j’obtiendraisI would obtain
pleuvoirpleuvr-il pleuvraitIt would rain
pouvoirpourr-je pourraisI would be able to
recevoirrecevr-je recevraisI would receive
savoirsaur-je sauraisI would know
tenirtiendr-je tiendraisI would hold
venirviendr-je viendraisI would come
voirverr-je verraisI would see
vouloirvoudr-je voudraisI would want

B1 Level – French present conditional tense – SHOULD, COULD, WOULD

  • How do you form the present conditional tense?
  • Which verbs do you use to say should, could, and would?

Follow this lesson step by step:

STEP 1👉 Download your cours and be ready to fill in the blanks and take your own notes as you listen to my explanations and examples.

STEP 2 👉 Watch my 17 minute lesson on the French present conditional and specifically how to say should, could, and would.

STEP 3 👉 Download your study guide to accompany the video lesson with bonus information not included in written form during the video lesson. Keep it handy as you complete the bonus material to help you practice and master your new skill.

STEP 4 👉 Download a one page printable that you can fold into a booklet and use as a handy reference guide. The booklet includes a list of common verbs with irregular stems in the conditional plus twelve additional examples not given in the video or study guide.

STEP 5 👉 Take a multiple choice online quiz including 12 questions.

STEP 6 👉 Take a multiple choice online test including 12 challenge questions.

STEP 7 👉 Download and complete a written exercise to test yourself. You will appreciate my 33 minute audio recording as I walk you through this exercise. Not only will I read the sentences and help you find the correct answers, but I will explain a lot of the upper level grammar included in the sentences. You’re going to learn so much!

STEP 8 👉 Download your set of practice cards. This is the final step to help you master could, should, and would. An answer key is provided.

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