Introduction to the verb clouer
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The English translation of the French verb clouer is “to nail.” The infinitive form is pronounced “kloo-ay.”
The word clouer comes from the Old French word “clou,” meaning “nail.” It is derived from the Latin word “clavus,” which also means “nail.” Clouer is most often used in everyday French in the Conditionnel Passé tense, which expresses a hypothetical or unreal action that would have taken place in the past.
Examples of clouer in the Conditionnel Passé tense:
Si j’avais eu les clous, j’aurais cloué le tableau au mur. (If I had had the nails, I would have nailed the painting to the wall.)
Nous aurions cloué les planches ensemble si nous avions eu plus de temps. (We would have nailed the planks together if we had had more time.)
Il aurait cloué la fenêtre si elle était restée ouverte. (He would have nailed the window shut if it had remained open.)
Table of the Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of clouer
||Si j’avais su, je t’aurais cloué.
||I would have nailed you.
||Tu aurais cloué la porte.
||You would have nailed the door.
||Il aurait cloué le tableau.
||He would have nailed the painting.
||Elle aurait cloué ses chaussures.
||She would have nailed her shoes.
||On aurait cloué le plancher.
||One would have nailed the floor.
||Nous aurions cloué les planches.
||We would have nailed the boards.
||Vous auriez cloué les photos.
||You would have nailed the photos.
||Ils auraient cloué le cadre.
||They would have nailed the frame.
||Elles auraient cloué le tableau.
||They (female) would have nailed the painting.
Other Conjugations for Clouer.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer (this article)
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
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Clouer – 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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