French Grammar Explained /

Conditional I

What would you do if you were rich?
I would buy a house in the south of France!
Excellente idée, but you would need to speak French first.
I could hire a personal interpreter...
In any case, I think we should study le conditionnel !
Je voudrais un café.
I would like a coffee.
Here the verb vouloir is used in the conditional to express a wish or a desire.
Voudrais-tu une part de gâteau ?
Would you like a piece of cake?
And when it is formulated into a question, it conveys a polite request.
Watch out, vouloir is an irregular verb:
vouloir → je voudrais
So far so good!
Génial ! Let's keep moving, continuons :
The conjugation of le conditionel présent is fairly easy. You need:
  1. The infinitive of the verb.
  2. The conjugation of l'imparfait.
j' + acheter + ais
tu + acheter + ais
tu achèterais
il/elle/on + acheter + ait
il/elle/on achèterait
nous + acheter + ions
nous achèterions
vous + acheter + iez
vous achèteriez
ils/elles + acheter + aient
ils/elles achèteraient
Note that the verb acheter takes an accent grave on the first e when conjugated in the conditionel or futur simple !
The conditional can also suggest a hypothetical situation:
Si j'étais riche j'achèterais une maison à Paris.
If I were rich, I would buy a house in Paris.
Mais on en reparlera plus tard - more about that later.
Phew! This is a lot to take in...
You'll get the hang of it with practice!