Introduction to the verb cogiter
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The English translation of the French verb cogiter is “to think deeply” or “to ponder.” It is pronounced as “koh-zhee-teh.”
Cogiter comes from the Latin verb “cogitare,” which means “to think” or “to consider.” It entered the French language in the 16th century. In everyday French, cogiter is often used in the Conditionnel Passé tense to express an action that would have been thought about or pondered in the past. It is also used to express a hypothetical situation or a future possibility.
Here are three examples of cogiter used in the Conditionnel Passé tense:
- Si j’avais su, j’aurais cogité sur cette décision plus longtemps. (If I had known, I would have thought deeply about this decision for longer.)
- Nous aurions pu éviter cette erreur si nous avions cogité plus tôt. (We could have avoided this mistake if we had thought deeply about it earlier.)
- Si tu avais accepté mon conseil, tu n’aurais pas eu à cogiter autant. (If you had taken my advice, you wouldn’t have had to think so much.)
Table of the Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of cogiter
||Si j’avais su, j’aurais cogité.
||I would have thought about it.
||Tu aurais cogité plus tôt.
||You would have thought about it earlier.
||Il aurait bien cogité.
||He would have thought about it well.
||Elle aurait cogité toute la nuit.
||She would have thought about it all night.
||On aurait cogité à cette idée.
||One would have thought about that idea.
||Nous aurions cogité avant d’agir.
||We would have thought before acting.
||Vous auriez cogité ensemble.
||You would have thought together.
||Ils auraient cogité un bon moment.
||They would have thought for a while.
||Elles auraient cogité en silence.
||They (female) would have thought in silence.
Other Conjugations for Cogiter.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb cogiter
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cogiter
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cogiter
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cogiter
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cogiter
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cogiter
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cogiter
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cogiter
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cogiter
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cogiter
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cogiter
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cogiter
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cogiter
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cogiter
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cogiter (this article)
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cogiter
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cogiter
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Cogiter – 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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