Introduction to the verb cesser
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The English translation of the French verb cesser is “to cease” or “to stop.” It comes from the Latin word “cessare,” which means “to come to a standstill” or “to leave off.” In everyday French, cesser is most often used in the Conditionnel Passé tense, which is the conditional perfect tense.
The infinitive form of cesser is pronounced “seh-seh.”
In everyday French, cesser in the Conditionnel Passé tense expresses the idea of something that would have stopped or ceased in the past if something else had happened. It is often used in hypothetical or imaginary situations.
Here are three simple examples of cesser in the Conditionnel Passé tense:
- Si j’avais su, j’aurais cessé de fumer il y a longtemps. (If I had known, I would have stopped smoking a long time ago.)
- Il aurait cessé de pleuvoir juste à temps pour notre pique-nique. (It would have stopped raining just in time for our picnic.)
- Ils auraient cessé de se disputer si leur mère était intervenue. (They would have stopped arguing if their mother had intervened.)
In these examples, cesser is used in the Conditionnel Passé tense to express something that would have ceased or stopped in the past if a certain condition had been met. In English, this tense is often translated as “would have + past participle.”
Table of the Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of cesser
||Si j’avais su, j’aurais cessé.
||I would have stopped.
||Tu aurais cessé de fumer.
||You would have stopped smoking.
||Il aurait cessé de pleuvoir.
||It would have stopped raining.
||Elle aurait cessé de se plaindre.
||She would have stopped complaining.
||On aurait cessé de parler.
||One would have stopped talking.
||Nous aurions cessé de travailler.
||We would have stopped working.
||Vous auriez cessé de chanter.
||You would have stopped singing.
||Ils auraient cessé de danser.
||They would have stopped dancing.
||Elles auraient cessé de manger.
||They (female) would have stopped eating.
Other Conjugations for Cesser.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser (this article)
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
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Cesser – 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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