Introduction to the verb douer
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The English translation of the French verb douer is “to endow” or “to gift”. The infinitive form is pronounced “doo-ay”.
The origin of the word douer can be traced back to the Old French word “douer” which meant “to give, grant or endow”. It comes from the Latin word “dotare” meaning “to give a dowry”.
In everyday French, the verb douer is most often used in the Conditionnel Présent tense to express a hypothetical or future action, usually with the conditional “would” in English.
Here are three simple examples of its usage in the Conditionnel Présent tense with their respective English translations:
- Si j’avais plus de temps, je te douerais volontiers de mes connaissances en informatique. (If I had more time, I would gladly endow you with my computer knowledge.)
- Tu te demandes souvent ce que tu ferais si tu gagnais à la loterie. Tu te douerais sûrement d’une grande maison et d’une voiture de luxe. (You often wonder what you would do if you won the lottery. You would probably gift yourself a big house and a luxury car.)
- Ils doueraient leur équipe de nouveaux équipements s’ils avaient plus de budget. (They would endow their team with new equipment if they had a bigger budget.)
Table of the Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of douer
||Je douterais de mes choix.
||I would doubt my choices.
||Tu douterais de ta décision.
||You would doubt your decision.
||Il douterait de ses capacités.
||He would doubt his abilities.
||Elle douterait de son intelligence.
||She would doubt her intelligence.
||On douterait de la véracité.
||One would doubt the truth.
||Nous douterions de tout.
||We would doubt everything.
||Vous douteriez de la situation.
||You would doubt the situation.
||Ils douteraient de l’avenir.
||They would doubt the future.
||Elles douteraient de leurs compétences.
||They would doubt their skills.
Other Conjugations for Douer.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb douer
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb douer
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb douer
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb douer
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb douer
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb douer
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb douer
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb douer
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb douer
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb douer
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb douer
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb douer
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb douer
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb douer (this article)
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb douer
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb douer
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb douer
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Douer – 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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