Conditional (Conditionnel)

The conditional is a mood, which means that it serves to express the attitude or impression of the speaker. The present conditional is used in three main contexts:

1) With certain verbs to indicate politeness:

Je voudrais la carte, s'il vous plaît. (I would like the menu, please.)
Auriez-vous deux minutes? (Would you have a couple of minutes?)
2) To express "the future of the past." Compare the regular future (as used in direct discourse) with the future of the past (used in indirect discourse):
Direct discourse: Elle a dit, "je viendrai à la fête." (She said, "I will come to the party.")
Indirect discourse: Elle a dit qu'elle viendrait à la fête. (She said she would come to the party.)
3) In si constructions expressing possible or hypothetical situations. These sentences follow a relatively inflexible pattern entailing a "si-clause" and a "result clause":
"Si + imperfect" followed by "present conditional"
Si j'avais le temps, je ferais mes devoirs. (If I had the time, I would do my homework.)


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