Introduction to the verb cocher
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The English translation of the French verb cocher is “to tick/check off.” The infinitive form, cocher, is pronounced as “koh-shay.”
The word cocher comes from the Old French word “coche,” meaning “a mark/tick,” and ultimately from the Latin word “coccum,” meaning “a kernel/seed.” In everyday French, cocher is most often used in the Conditionnel Passé tense, which expresses a hypothetical or possible action that would have taken place in the past.
Three examples of cocher in the Conditionnel Passé tense are:
Si j’avais suivi tes conseils, j’aurais coché toutes les cases de la liste.
Translation: If I had followed your advice, I would have checked off all the boxes on the list.
Nous aurions coché notre présence à la réunion, mais nous étions malades.
Translation: We would have marked our attendance at the meeting, but we were sick.
Tu aurais dû cocher la case “oui” pour confirmer ta réservation.
Translation: You should have ticked the “yes” box to confirm your reservation.
Table of the Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of cocher
||Si j’avais su, je t’aurais coché.
||I would have checked you off.
||Tu aurais coché la bonne réponse.
||You would have marked the correct answer.
||Il aurait coché la case.
||He would have ticked the box.
||Elle aurait coché son nom.
||She would have checked her name.
||On aurait coché les éléments.
||One would have checked the items.
||Nous aurions coché les cases.
||We would have checked the boxes.
||Vous auriez coché la date.
||You would have marked the date.
||Ils auraient coché les réponses.
||They would have checked the answers.
||Elles auraient coché les cases.
||They (female) would have checked the boxes.
Other Conjugations for Cocher.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb cocher
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cocher
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cocher
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cocher
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cocher
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cocher
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cocher
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cocher
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cocher
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cocher
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cocher
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cocher
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cocher
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cocher
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cocher (this article)
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cocher
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cocher
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Cocher – 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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