Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb adresser

Introduction to the verb adresser

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The English translation of the French verb adresser is “to address” or “to send.” It is pronounced “ah-dreh-seh.”

The language origin of adresser comes from the Old French word “adresser,” which was derived from the Latin word “directus,” meaning “direct” or “straight.”

In everyday French, the verb “adresser” is most often used in the Conditionnel Passé tense, which is used to express a hypothetical or unreal action in the past. This tense is formed by using the conditional auxiliary verb “aurais” or “serais” followed by the past participle of the verb.

Here are 3 simple examples of adresser in the Conditionnel Passé tense, with their respective English translations:

  1. J’aurais adressé une lettre à mon ami si j’avais eu son adresse.
    Translation: I would have sent a letter to my friend if I had had his address.

  2. Tu serais allé à la poste si je t’avais adressé le colis.
    Translation: You would have gone to the post office if I had sent you the package.

  3. Ils se seraient adressés à un avocat avant de signer le contrat.
    Translation: They would have consulted a lawyer before signing the contract.

Table of the Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of adresser

Pronoun Conjugation Example Usage English Translation
je aurais adressé Si j’avais su, je t’aurais adressé. I would have addressed you.
tu aurais adressé Tu aurais adressé plus tôt. You would have addressed earlier.
il aurait adressé Il aurait adressé une lettre. He would have addressed a letter.
elle aurait adressé Elle aurait adressé une question. She would have addressed a question.
on aurait adressé On aurait adressé le problème. One would have addressed the problem.
nous aurions adressé Nous aurions adressé des invitations. We would have addressed invitations.
vous auriez adressé Vous auriez adressé vos préoccupations. You would have addressed your concerns.
ils auraient adressé Ils auraient adressé leurs doléances. They would have addressed their grievances.
elles auraient adressé Elles auraient adressé leurs demandes. They (female) would have addressed their requests.

Other Conjugations for Adresser.

    

    Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb adresser
     

    Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb adresser
     

    Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb adresser
     

    Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb adresser
     

    Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb adresser
     

    Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb adresser
     

    Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb adresser
     

    Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb adresser

    Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb adresser

    Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb adresser

    Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb adresser
     

    Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb adresser

    Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb adresser
     

    Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb adresser
     

    Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb adresser  (this article)

    L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb adresser

    L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb adresser


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Adresser – About the French Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense

The French “Conditionnel Passé” is a compound tense used to express hypothetical or unreal actions in the past. It is formed by combining the conditional of the auxiliary verb “avoir” or “être” and the past participle of the main verb.

NOTE: To take a deep dive into all the French tenses then see my article on Mastering French Tense Conjugation.

Formation

Start with the conditional of the auxiliary verb: For most verbs, use “aurais” (for “avoir”) or “serais” (for “être”) as the conditional form. 

With “avoir”: j’aurais, tu aurais, il/elle/on aurait, nous aurions, vous auriez, ils/elles auraient. 
With “être”: je serais, tu serais, il/elle/on serait, nous serions, vous seriez, ils/elles seraient. 

Add the past participle of the main verb to this conditional form. 
For example, if you want to say “I would have done,” you would use “j’aurais fait.” If you want to say “She would have gone,” you would use “elle serait allée.”

Common Everyday Usage Patterns

Expressing Unreal Past Scenarios

The Conditionnel Passé is often used to talk about actions that did not happen in the past, but you are speculating about what would have occurred if they had. It’s a way to discuss hypothetical situations in the past. 

Si j’avais su, je t’aurais aidé. (If I had known, I would have helped you.)
Il serait venu s’il avait eu le temps. (He would have come if he had had the time.) 

Polite Requests or Suggestions

It can be used to make polite requests or suggestions in the past. 

Pourriez-vous m’aider, s’il vous plaît ? (Could you have helped me, please?) 

Expressing Doubt or Uncertainty

It can convey doubt or uncertainty regarding past events.

Il aurait peut-être oublié notre rendez-vous. (He might have forgotten our appointment.)

Interactions with Other Tenses

Conditional Present

You can use the Conditionnel Passé in combination with the conditional present to describe past actions that were hypothetical at the time they were spoken about. J’aurais aimé que tu m’appelles hier. (I would have liked you to call me yesterday.) 

Indicative Past Tenses

You might use the Conditionnel Passé alongside indicative past tenses like the passé composé to contrast hypothetical and real past events. Il est venu hier, mais s’il avait pu, il serait venu la semaine dernière. (He came yesterday, but if he could have, he would have come last week.) 

Conditional Future

In some cases, you can use the Conditionnel Passé in combination with the conditional future to discuss unreal past events that could have consequences in the future. Si j’avais réussi mon examen, j’aurais un meilleur travail. (If I had passed my exam, I would have a better job.)

Summary

In summary, the Conditionnel Passé is used to express hypothetical or unreal actions in the past. It is often used in conjunction with other tenses to convey various nuances in French, allowing speakers to discuss imaginary past scenarios, make polite requests, or express doubt about past events.

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