Introduction to the verb coloniser
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The English translation of the French verb coloniser is “to colonize.” The infinitive form of the verb is pronounced “koh-loh-nee-zay.”
The word “coloniser” comes from the Latin word “colonus,” meaning “settler,” and the suffix “-iser,” which is used to form verbs from nouns. It is most often used in everyday French in the Conditionnel Passé tense, which is equivalent to the English “would have + past participle.”
Example 1: Si nous avions colonisé cette île, nous aurions apporté notre culture et notre langue. (If we had colonized this island, we would have brought our culture and language.)
Example 2: Tu aurais sûrement été un bon colonisateur avec ton esprit d’aventure. (You would have surely been a good colonizer with your adventurous spirit.)
Example 3: Ils auraient dû coloniser ces terres plus tôt pour éviter les conflits avec les autochtones. (They should have colonized these lands earlier to avoid conflicts with the indigenous people.)
In everyday French, “coloniser” can also be used in the present tense to describe the act of colonizing, or in the past tense to talk about past actions of colonizing. However, in the Conditionnel Passé tense, it is used to talk about a hypothetical or unrealized action in the past.
Table of the Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of coloniser
||Si j’avais eu l’opportunité, j’aurais colonisé la Lune.
||If I had the opportunity, I would have colonized the Moon.
||Tu aurais colonisé cette île si tu en avais eu les moyens.
||You would have colonized this island if you had had the means.
||Il aurait colonisé ces terres pour étendre son empire.
||He would have colonized these lands to expand his empire.
||Elle aurait colonisé ce pays pour y établir une communauté.
||She would have colonized this country to establish a community.
||On aurait colonisé cette planète avant de la détruire.
||One would have colonized this planet before destroying it.
||Nous aurions colonisé l’Afrique si nous avions eu les ressources nécessaires.
||We would have colonized Africa if we had had the necessary resources.
||Vous auriez colonisé ces terres pour y faire pousser des cultures.
||You would have colonized these lands to grow crops.
||Ils auraient colonisé ce continent pour y chercher de l’or.
||They would have colonized this continent to search for gold.
||Elles auraient colonisé toutes les îles de l’océan Pacifique.
||They (female) would have colonized all the islands of the Pacific Ocean.
Other Conjugations for Coloniser.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb coloniser
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coloniser
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coloniser
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coloniser
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coloniser
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coloniser
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coloniser
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coloniser
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coloniser
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coloniser
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coloniser
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coloniser
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coloniser
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coloniser
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coloniser (this article)
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coloniser
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coloniser
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Coloniser – 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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