Introduction to the verb conspirer
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The English translation of the French verb conspirer is “to conspire.” It is pronounced as “kohn-spee-ray.”
The word conspirer comes from the Latin word “conspirare,” meaning “to plot or breathe together.” It entered the French language in the 12th century.
In everyday French, the verb conspirer is most often used in the Conditionnel Passé tense, which expresses actions or events that would have happened in the past under certain conditions. It is formed by using the auxiliary verb “avoir” or “être” in the Conditionnel Présent tense, followed by the past participle of the main verb.
Here are three examples of its usage in the Conditionnel Passé tense, with their respective English translations:
Si j’avais su qu’il allait trahir nos secrets, j’aurais conspiré contre lui. (If I had known he would betray our secrets, I would have conspired against him.)
Elle aurait conspiré avec ses ennemis pour prendre le pouvoir. (She would have conspired with her enemies to seize power.)
S’ils avaient réussi leur complot, ils se seraient enfuis à l’étranger. (If they had succeeded in their plot, they would have fled abroad.)
Table of the Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of conspirer
||Si j’avais eu des doutes, j’aurais conspiré.
||If I had had doubts, I would have conspired.
||Tu aurais conspiré avec eux.
||You would have conspired with them.
||Il aurait conspiré contre le gouvernement.
||He would have conspired against the government.
||Elle aurait conspiré pour son propre intérêt.
||She would have conspired for her own interest.
||On aurait conspiré en secret.
||One would have conspired in secret.
||Nous aurions conspiré pour une bonne cause.
||We would have conspired for a good cause.
||Vous auriez conspiré ensemble.
||You would have conspired together.
||Ils auraient conspiré pour gagner plus d’influence.
||They would have conspired to gain more influence.
||Elles auraient conspiré pour se venger.
||They (female) would have conspired for revenge.
Other Conjugations for Conspirer.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb conspirer
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conspirer
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conspirer
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conspirer
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conspirer
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conspirer
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conspirer
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conspirer
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conspirer
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conspirer
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conspirer
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conspirer
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conspirer
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conspirer
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conspirer (this article)
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conspirer
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb conspirer
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Conspirer – 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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