Forming the Past Conditional Tense

The similarities between the conditional and future tenses extend to the past, too. Like the construction of the future perfect, the past conditional tense uses the present conditional conjugation of the auxiliary verb, whether it is avoir or être. The appropriate past participle is then added, and any necessary agreements are made. For more information on the agreement of past participles, refer to Chapter 12.


Remember that past participles used with avoir must agree in gender and number with any preceding direct object pronouns. Refer to Chapter 12 for more information.

Table 15-6

Conditionnel Conjugation of Avoir




nous aurions

tu aurais

vous auriez

il/elle aurait

ils/elles auraient


Remember that past participles used with être must agree with the preceding subject pronoun; object pronouns do not modify the past participle when used with être as the auxiliary verb.

Table 15-7

Conditionnel Conjugation of Être



je serais

nous serions

tu serais

vous seriez

il/elle serait

ils/elles seraient

Here are some examples. Listen to the CD for their pronunciation:


<tgroup cols="2"> <colspec colname="col1" colnum="1" colwidth="60%" colsep="0" rowsep="0" align="left"/> <colspec colname="col2" colnum="2" colwidth="40%" colsep="0" rowsep="0" align="left"/> <tbody> <tr> <td><p><emphasis>Tu serais venu</emphasis>.</p></td> <td><p>You would have come.</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p><emphasis>Elle serait allée</emphasis>.</p></td> <td><p>She would have gone.</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td><p><emphasis>Ils seraient nés</emphasis>.</p></td> <td><p>They would have already been born.</p></td> </tr> </tbody> </tgroup> </table> <!--/gc--> <div id="pagination"><ul><li class="prev"><a href="" title="The Past Conditional Tense">The Past Conditional Tense</a></li><li class="next"><a href="" title="The Verb Devoir in the Conditional Tense">The Verb Devoir in the Conditional Tense</a> </li></ul></div></div> <div id="coda"> <div id="rel"><div class="n5">Related Articles</div><ul> <li><a href="" zT="18/1YL/Zn"> Forming the Past Conditional Tense - French </a></li> <li><a href="" zT="18/1YL/Zn"> Le Futur Antérieur - French </a></li> <li><a href="" zT="18/1YL/Zn"> The Past Conditional Tense - French </a></li> <li><a href="" zT="18/1YL/Zn"> Let's Talk Tenses - Grammar and Style </a></li> <li><a href="" zT="18/1YL/Zn"> tense - definition and examples of tense </a></li> </ul></div> <div id="sec"><div class="n5">Read More Forming the Conditional Tense</div><ul><ul class="col1"><li ><a href="">Uses of the Conditional Tense</a></li> <li ><a href="">Using the Conditional Tense to Be Polite</a></li> <li ><a href="">Forming the Conditional Tense</a></li> <li ><a href="">The Past Conditional Tense</a></li> </ul><ul class="col2"><li class="btO">Forming the Past Conditional Tense</li> <li ><a href="">The Verb Devoir in the Conditional Tense</a></li> <li ><a href="">Activité 15</a></li> </ul></ul></div> </div> <script>if(zSbL<1)zSbL=3;zSB(2);zSbL=0</script> </div> <div id="widgets"><script type="text/javascript">if(z336>0){w('<div id="adB">'+ap[0]+at[4]+as[0]);adunit('','','',ch,gs,300,250,'1','bb',3);w('</div>')}if(z155>0){w('<div id="adP">'+ap[0]+at[4]+as[0]);adunit('','','',ch,gs,336,155,'1','ps',4);w('</div>')}</script> <div id="pg" class="pane"><div class="n3">Shopping</div><div class="cntnr"><a href=""><img src=""></a><h4><a href="">THE EVERYTHING LEARNING FRENCH BOOK</a></h4><p><a href="">By Bruce Sallee and David Hebert</a></p><div id="fp"><a href="">Buy This Book</a></div></div></div> <div id="toc" class="pane"><div class="n3">French Sections</div><ul><li><a href="">Pronouncing and Writing French</a></li> <li><a href="">Using Everyday Expressions</a></li> <li><a href="">Developing a Basic Vocabulary</a></li> <li><a href="">Understanding Articles</a></li> <li><a href="">Using Nouns</a></li> <li><a href="">Subject Pronouns and Forming Present Tense Verbs</a></li> <li><a href="">Asking Questions and Giving Orders</a></li> <li><a href="">Negating Words and Phrases</a></li> <li><a href="">Objects, Prepositions, and Pronouns</a></li> <li><a href="">Using Adjectives</a></li> <li><a href="">Understanding Adverbs</a></li> <li><a href="">Forming Past-Tense Verbs</a></li> <li><a href="">Using Reflexive Verbs</a></li> <li><a href="">Forming the Future Tense</a></li> <li><a href="">Forming the Conditional Tense</a></li> <li><a href="">Understanding the Subjunctive Mood</a></li> <li><a href="">Traveling in French-Speaking Countries</a></li> <li><a href="">Studying and Working in French-Speaking Countries</a></li> <li><a href="">Family, Friends, and You</a></li> <li><a href="">Your House or Apartment</a></li> <li><a href="">Answer Key</a></li> <li><a href="">French-to-English Glossary</a></li> <li><a href="">English-to-French Glossary</a></li> <li><a href="">Verb Conjugation Tables</a></li> </ul></div></div> <script type="text/javascript">zCi();validateForms();</script> <div id="abf" style="padding-right:0"><ol class="crumbtrail"><li class="home"><a href="">Home</a></li><li><a href="">French</a></li><li><a href="">Forming the Conditional Tense</a></li><li>Forming the Past Conditional Tense</li></ol></div> <div id="aboutinfo" class="hlist"><div id="morefrom"><h6>Visit other sites:</h6><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow">Calorie Count</a></li><li class="last"><a href="" rel="nofollow"></a></li></ul></div> <ul id="siteinfo"><li><a href="">SiteMap</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow">Help</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow">Privacy Policy</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow">Your Ad Choices</a></li><li class="last"><a href="" rel="nofollow">Contact Us</a></li></ul> <ul id="companyinfo"><li class="last"><a href=" " rel="nofollow">Buy Books</a></li></ul><div id="disclaimer"> </div></div></div> <script type="text/javascript"><!-- zPxA[zPxC]=new Image();zPxA[zPxC++].src=""; 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