Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser

Introduction to the verb abaisser

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The English translation of the French verb “abaisser” is “to lower” or “to bring down.” The infinitive form, “abaisser,” is pronounced as “ah-be-seh.”

The origin of the verb “abaisser” comes from the Old French word “abaissier,” which is derived from the Latin word “bassus,” meaning “low.” In everyday French, the verb “abaisser” is commonly used in the Subjonctif Imparfait tense to express possibilities, doubts, or hypothetical situations.

Here are three simple examples of its usage in the Subjonctif Imparfait tense, along with their English translations:

  1. Il fallait que tu abaisseras cette fenêtre. (It was necessary that you lower this window.)
  2. J’aimerais qu’ils abaisserent leur voix. (I would like them to lower their voices.)
  3. Il était possible que nous abaisserions les prix. (It was possible that we would lower the prices.)

In these examples, the Subjonctif Imparfait tense is used to convey actions that were uncertain, hypothetical, or desired in the past.

Table of the Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of abaisser

Pronoun Conjugation Example Usage English Translation
je abaissasse Je voudrais que je m’abaissasse pour passer par la porte. I would like to bend down to pass through the door.
tu abaissasses Il serait préférable que tu abaissasses la musique pendant que je travaille. It would be better if you lowered the music while I work.
il abaissât Il ne serait pas content que tu abaissât la qualité du travail. He would not be happy if you lowered the quality of the work.
elle abaissât Elle aurait peur que le niveau de confiance abaissât. She would be afraid that the level of trust would decrease.
on abaissât Il faudrait qu’on abaissât les impôts pour stimuler l’économie. We would need to lower taxes to stimulate the economy.
nous abaissassions Si nous abaissassions nos attentes, nous ne serions pas déçus. If we lowered our expectations, we would not be disappointed.
vous abaissassiez Il est préférable que vous abaissassiez le volume pour ne pas déranger les autres. It is better if you lower the volume to not disturb others.
ils abaissassent Il faudrait qu’ils abaissassent leurs revendications pour parvenir à un accord. They would need to lower their demands to reach an agreement.
elles abaissassent Il serait mieux qu’elles abaissassent leurs voix dans la bibliothèque. It would be better if they lowered their voices in the library.

Other Conjugations for Abaisser.

Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser

Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser

Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser

Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser

Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser 

Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser

Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser 

Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser 

Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser

Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser

Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser 

Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser (this article)

Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser

Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser

Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser

Conditionnel Passé II (Conditional Past II) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser

L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser

L’impératif Passé (Imperative Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser

L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser

L’infinitif Passé (Infinitive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser

Le Participe Présent (Present Participle) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser

Le Participe Passé (Past Participle) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb abaisser

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Abaisser – About the French Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense

The French Subjonctif Imparfait, also known as the imperfect subjunctive, is a verb tense used to express actions, states, or conditions that are uncertain, subjective, or hypothetical in the past. It is used in a variety of situations, including wishes, doubts, emotions, and polite requests, and often occurs in dependent clauses following certain expressions and conjunctions.

NOTE: To take a deep dive into all the French tenses then see my article on Mastering French Tense Conjugation.

Formation

To form the Subjonctif Imparfait, you typically start with the third person plural (ils/elles) form of the verb in the imparfait (imperfect) tense. Then, you remove the -ent ending and add the appropriate endings:

– For regular -er verbs: je -sse, tu -sses, il/elle/on -t, nous -ssions, vous -ssiez, ils/elles -ssent.
– For regular -ir and -re verbs: je -sse, tu -sses, il/elle/on -t, nous -ssions, vous -ssiez, ils/elles -ssent.

Common Everyday Usage Patterns

1. Expressing Doubt or Uncertainty: The Subjonctif Imparfait is used to express doubt or uncertainty about something that happened in the past.

Example: Il doutait qu’elle vînt à la fête. (He doubted that she came to the party.)

2. Wishes and Desires: It is used to express wishes or desires in the past.

Example: J’aurais aimé que tu fusses là. (I would have liked you to be there.)

3. Hypothetical Scenarios: The Subjonctif Imparfait is employed in hypothetical situations in the past.

Example: Si j’eusse su, j’aurais agi différemment. (If I had known, I would have acted differently.)
4. Polite Requests and Suggestions: It is used to make polite requests and suggestions in a formal or polite tone.

Example: Il souhaitait que vous vinssiez lui rendre visite. (He wished that you would come to visit him.)

Interactions with Other Tenses

Subjonctif Présent

The Subjonctif Imparfait is often used in dependent clauses with the Subjonctif Présent in the main clause, especially in complex sentences.

Example: Il faut que tu manges bien pour que tu aies de l’énergie. (You need to eat well so that you have energy.)

Indicatif Passé Composé

The Subjonctif Imparfait can be used alongside the Indicatif Passé Composé to indicate a contrast between a factual event and a hypothetical one.

Example: Il est parti avant que tu ne fusses arrivé. (He left before you arrived.)

Conditional

The Subjonctif Imparfait is often used with the Conditional to express unreal or hypothetical situations in the past.

Example: J’aurais pu le faire si j’eusse eu plus de temps. (I could have done it if I had had more time.)

Conditional Perfect

It can also be used with the Conditional Perfect to express unreal or hypothetical past events that would have occurred before other past events.

Example: J’aurais su s’il eût partagé l’information. (I would have known if he had shared the information.)

Summary

The Subjonctif Imparfait is a relatively complex tense, and its usage depends on the context and the verbs involved. It is essential to practice and become familiar with common expressions and contexts where this tense is appropriate to use it effectively in everyday French communication.

I hope you enjoyed this article on the verb abaisser. Still in a learning mood? Check out another TOTALLY random French verb conjugation!

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