Introduction to the verb casser
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The English translation of the French verb casser is “to break” or “to smash”. The infinitive form of casser is pronounced “kah-say”.
The verb casser comes from the Latin word “quassare”, meaning “to shake” or “to shatter”. In everyday French, casser is most often used in the Conditionnel Passé tense, which is used to express an action that would have happened in the past if certain conditions had been met.
Three simple examples of casser in the Conditionnel Passé tense are:
Si j’avais eu un marteau, j’aurais cassé la fenêtre. (If I had had a hammer, I would have broken the window.)
Nous serions arrivés à temps si notre voiture ne s’était pas cassée en route. (We would have arrived on time if our car hadn’t broken down on the way.)
Elle aurait été très triste si tu lui avais cassé le coeur. (She would have been very sad if you had broken her heart.)
Table of the Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of casser
||Si j’avais su, je t’aurais cassé un oeuf.
||I would have broken an egg.
||Tu aurais cassé la fenêtre.
||You would have broken the window.
||Il aurait cassé sa voiture.
||He would have broken his car.
||Elle aurait cassé son stylo.
||She would have broken her pen.
||On aurait cassé la porte.
||One would have broken the door.
||Nous aurions cassé les règles.
||We would have broken the rules.
||Vous auriez cassé les assiettes.
||You would have broken the plates.
||Ils auraient cassé le vase.
||They would have broken the vase.
||Elles auraient cassé ses lunettes.
||They (female) would have broken her glasses.
Other Conjugations for Casser.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb casser
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb casser
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb casser
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb casser
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb casser
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb casser
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb casser
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb casser
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb casser
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb casser
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb casser
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb casser
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb casser
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb casser
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb casser (this article)
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb casser
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb casser
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Casser – 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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