How to use Conditional in French


The conditional is used to express a possibility.

To make assumptions (usually in constructions with “if”)


Si tu n’avais pas téléphoné je ne serais pas venue.

To give unconfirmed information


L’accident aurait fait 15 morts

To express a desire or a wish


Je voudrais devenir bilingue en français.

or in the past tense to express regrets or missed opportunities


J’aurais voulu être un artiste.

The conditional tense can be used to express politeness or to order something in a café:


Je voudrais 2 pains aux chocolat, s’il vous plaît.

Formation of conditional in French

In the present tense: the present conditional is formed by using the future tense base (the radical) and the imperfect tense endings.

Verb (future tense) + imperfect endings

Manger (je) – Manger + ais – Je mangerais
Vouloir (je) – Voudr + ais – Je voudrais

Past conditional in French

Past tense: the past conditional is a compound tense that is formed with “to be” or “to have” in the conditional and the past participle.

To be/have (present conditional) + past participle

Manger (je) – J‘aurais mangé du gâteau si je n’étais pas au régime.
Venir (je) – Je serais venu si tu m’avais appelé.

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