Conditional Tense

We use the conditional tense when we want to say what would happen. You have already used the

conditional tense of vouloir in the form je voudrais (I would like). 
To form the conditional tense, you use the same form of the verb as the future tense (usually the

infinitive) and then add exactly the same endings as the imperfect tense. Here is a regular verb in the conditional tense – the verb jouer in the infinitive form with the imperfect endings:

Je jouerais  - I would play

Tu jouerais  - You would play

Il / Elle jouerait  - He / She would play

Nous jouerions  - We would play

Vous joueriez  - You would play

Ils / Elles joueraient  - They would play


Now here is an irregular verb. The verb faire uses the form fer– in the future, so the conditional

form of the verb is as follows:

Je ferais  - I would do, would make

Tu ferais  - You would do, would make

Il / Elle ferait  - He / She would do, would make

Nous ferions  - We would do, would make

Vous feriez  - You would do, would make

Ils / Elles feraient  - They would do, would make 


To impress examiners you can use the conditional tense in structures using the word si (if). Si

changes to s’ before il. Immediately after si, you use the imperfect tense, but then you need to use

the conditional tense in the main clause:

Si j’étais riche, j’irais en Australie. - If I was rich, I would go to Australia.

Si on faisait des efforts, on réduirait la pollution. - If we made the effort (imperfect), we would reduce pollution (conditional).

Si le gouvernment interdisait les voitures au centre-ville, il y aurait moins de pollution. - If the government banned cars in the town centre, there would be less pollution.

Si on faisait plus d’efforts, on supprimerait les sacs en plastique. - If we made more effort, we would abolish plastic bags.

Si les transports en commun étaient meilleurs, on ne construirait pas de nouvelles routes. - If public transport was better, we wouldn’t build new roads. 

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