Introduction to the verb bâillonner
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The English translation of the French verb bâillonner is “to gag” or “to silence.” It is pronounced as “bah-yo-nay.”
The language origin of bâillonner can be traced back to the Old French word “bailon,” meaning “gag,” which comes from the Latin word “bulla,” meaning “bubble, stud.” In everyday French, bâillonner is most often used in the Conditionnel Passé tense, also known as the Conditional Perfect tense, to express a hypothetical action or situation in the past.
Here are three simple examples of bâillonner used in the Conditionnel Passé tense with their English translations:
- Si j’avais pu, je t’aurais bâillonné pour que tu ne dises pas la vérité. (If I could have, I would have gagged you so you wouldn’t tell the truth.)
- Elle aurait dû bâillonner ses enfants pendant le film. (She should have silenced her children during the movie.)
- Nous aurions bâillonné les manifestants afin de maintenir l’ordre public. (We would have silenced the protesters in order to maintain public order.)
Table of the Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of bâillonner
|J’aurais bâillonné les témoins.
|I would have gagged the witnesses.
|Tu aurais bâillonné la victime.
|You would have gagged the victim.
|Il aurait bâillonné les opposants.
|He would have silenced the opponents.
|Elle aurait bâillonné ses ennemis.
|She would have silenced her enemies.
|On aurait bâillonné les médias.
|One would have silenced the media.
|Nous aurions bâillonné les manifestants.
|We would have silenced the protestors.
|Vous auriez bâillonné les criminels.
|You would have silenced the criminals.
|Ils auraient bâillonné les témoins.
|They would have gagged the witnesses.
|Elles auraient bâillonné les victimes.
|They (female) would have gagged the victims.
Other Conjugations for Bâillonner.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb bâillonner
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb bâillonner
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb bâillonner
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb bâillonner
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb bâillonner
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb bâillonner
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb bâillonner
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb bâillonner
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb bâillonner
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb bâillonner
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb bâillonner
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb bâillonner
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb bâillonner
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb bâillonner
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb bâillonner (this article)
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb bâillonner
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb bâillonner
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Bâillonner – 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.
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
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.)
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.)
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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