Introduction to the verb donner
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The English translation of the French verb donner is “to give.” It is pronounced as “do-nay.”
Donner comes from the Latin word “donare,” which means “to give as a gift.” It is a regular -er verb in French and is commonly used in everyday language.
In the Conditionnel Présent tense, donner is typically used to express an action that is conditional or hypothetical. It is often used to make a polite request or offer, express a desire or intention, or speculate about a possible outcome.
Here are three simple examples of donner in the Conditionnel Présent tense with their English translations:
Si j’avais plus de temps, je te donnerais un coup de main. (If I had more time, I would give you a hand.)
Je voudrais te donner un conseil : prends des vacances ! (I would like to give you a piece of advice: take a vacation!)
Si je gagnais à la loterie, je donnerais de l’argent à ma famille. (If I won the lottery, I would give money to my family.)
Table of the Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of donner
||Je donnerais un cadeau.
||I would give a gift.
||Tu donnerais ton avis.
||You would give your opinion.
||Il donnerait son temps.
||He would give his time.
||Elle donnerait un conseil.
||She would give advice.
||On donnerait de l’argent.
||One would give money.
||Nous donnerions une leçon.
||We would give a lesson.
||Vous donneriez de l’amour.
||You would give love.
||Ils donneraient des instructions.
||They would give instructions.
||Elles donneraient leur opinion.
||They would give their opinion.
Other Conjugations for Donner.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb donner
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb donner
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb donner
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb donner
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb donner
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb donner
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb donner
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb donner
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb donner
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb donner
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb donner
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb donner
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb donner
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb donner (this article)
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb donner
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb donner
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb donner
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Donner – 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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