Introduction to the verb conserver
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The English translation of the French verb conserver is “to conserve” or “to preserve.” It is pronounced as [kɔ̃.sɛʁ.ve].
The word conserver comes from the Latin verb “conservare” meaning “to keep, preserve, maintain.” In everyday French, it is most often used to talk about keeping or preserving something, such as food, objects, or traditions.
In the Conditionnel Passé tense, conserver is used to express actions that would have been conserved or preserved in the past under certain conditions. It is formed by using the auxiliary verb “avoir” in its conditional form, followed by the past participle of conserver (conservé).
Here are 3 simple examples of its usage in this tense with their respective English translations:
- Si j’avais su, j’aurais conservé cette vieille photo. (If I had known, I would have preserved this old photo.)
- Nous aurions conservé cette tradition familiale si nous étions restés dans notre pays d’origine. (We would have kept this family tradition if we had stayed in our home country.)
- Vous auriez conservé votre emploi si vous aviez travaillé plus dur. (You would have preserved your job if you had worked harder.)
Table of the Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of conserver
||Si j’avais su, je l’aurais conservé.
||If I had known, I would have kept it.
||Tu aurais conservé tes affaires.
||You would have kept your belongings.
||Il aurait conservé son poste.
||He would have kept his job.
||Elle aurait conservé son calme.
||She would have kept her calm.
||On aurait conservé la tradition.
||One would have kept the tradition.
||Nous aurions conservé nos valeurs.
||We would have kept our values.
||Vous auriez conservé le secret.
||You would have kept the secret.
||Ils auraient conservé leur argent.
||They would have kept their money.
||Elles auraient conservé leur indépendance.
||They (female) would have kept their independence.
Other Conjugations for Conserver.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb conserver
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conserver
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conserver
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conserver
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conserver
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conserver
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conserver
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conserver
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conserver
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conserver
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conserver
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conserver
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conserver
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conserver
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conserver (this article)
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conserver
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conserver
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Conserver – 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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