Introduction to the verb chanceler
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The English translation of the French verb chanceler is “to hesitate” or “to waver.” The infinitive form, chanceler, is pronounced “shahn-suh-leh.”
The word chanceler comes from the Old French word “chancel” meaning “lattice” or “grill.” In everyday French, it is most often used in the Conditionnel Présent tense, which expresses a possible action or situation in the present or future. This tense is formed by using the conditional stem of the verb (in this case, “chancel-“) and adding the endings “-ais,” “-ais,” “-ait,” “-ions,” “-iez,” or “-aient.”
Three simple examples of chanceler in the Conditionnel Présent tense are:
Si j’avais plus d’argent, je chancellerais peut-être avant de faire ce voyage. (If I had more money, I might hesitate before taking this trip.)
Tu chancelerais devant cette décision difficile. (You would hesitate before making this difficult decision.)
Ils chancelleraient s’ils savaient que tu les aimes. (They would hesitate if they knew you loved them.)
If I had more time, I would hesitate before making a decision.
You would waver if you were in my position.
They would hesitate if they knew the truth.
Table of the Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of chanceler
||Je chancerais en marchant.
||I would stumble while walking.
||Tu chancerais en courant.
||You would stagger while running.
||Il chancellerait dans le vent.
||He would sway in the wind.
||Elle chancellerait sous l’effet de l’alcool.
||She would wobble under the influence of alcohol.
||On chancellerait sur le pont.
||One would waver on the bridge.
||Nous chancellerions en essayant d’équilibrer les livres.
||We would falter while trying to balance the books.
||Vous chancelleriez en dansant.
||You would totter while dancing.
||Ils chancelleraient sur la glace.
||They would stumble on the ice.
||Elles chancelleraient en portant des talons hauts.
||They would stagger while wearing high heels.
Other Conjugations for Chanceler.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb chanceler
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chanceler
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chanceler
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chanceler
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chanceler
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chanceler
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chanceler
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chanceler
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chanceler
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chanceler
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chanceler
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chanceler
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chanceler
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chanceler (this article)
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chanceler
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chanceler
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chanceler
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Chanceler – About the French Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense
The French “Conditionnel Présent” tense, often called the present conditional tense in English, is used to express actions or events that are considered hypothetical, possible, or uncertain in the present or future. It’s the equivalent of “would” or “could” in English.
To form the Conditionnel Présent tense for regular verbs, you take the infinitive form of the verb and add the appropriate endings. For example, using the verb “parler” (to speak):
Je parlerais (I would speak)
Tu parlerais (You would speak)
Il/elle/on parlerait (He/she/one would speak)
Nous parlerions (We would speak)
Vous parleriez (You would speak)
Ils/elles parleraient (They would speak)
Note – For irregular verbs, the stem might change, so you need to memorize the conjugation.
Common Everyday Usage Patterns
Expressing Polite Requests
The Conditionnel Présent is often used to make polite requests or suggestions. Instead of using the imperative, which can be more direct, the conditional is softer and more courteous. For example: “Je voudrais un café, s’il vous plaît” (I would like a coffee, please).
Expressing Hypothetical Situations
It’s used to talk about hypothetical or unreal situations. For instance, “Si j’avais de l’argent, j’achèterais une nouvelle voiture” (If I had money, I would buy a new car).
Expressing Doubt or Uncertainty
The conditional can convey doubt or uncertainty about something in the present or future. “Il serait peut-être en retard” (He might be late).
Interactions with Other Tenses
The Conditionnel Présent is often used with the present tense to express hypothetical or conditional statements. For example, “Si tu viens demain, nous irons au cinéma” (If you come tomorrow, we will go to the movies).
The Conditionnel Présent can also be used with past tenses like the imparfait to indicate a past hypothetical action. For instance, “J’aurais aimé être là hier” (I would have liked to be there yesterday).
The Conditionnel Présent can be combined with the future tense to indicate future actions that are dependent on certain conditions. For example, “Il viendrait si tu l’invitais” (He would come if you invited him).
If you want to express a hypothetical action in the past that didn’t happen, you can use the Conditionnel Présent with the past participle to form the conditional perfect. For example, “Il aurait fini son travail s’il n’était pas tombé malade” (He would have finished his work if he hadn’t gotten sick).
The Conditionnel Présent is a versatile tense in French, allowing speakers to discuss possibilities, hypothetical scenarios, and make polite requests. It’s essential to understand its usage patterns and how it interacts with other tenses to communicate effectively in various situations.
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