Introduction to the verb ailler
Get the Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) tense conjugation of ailler. Includes a FREE downloadable reference sheet (no email required). Alternatively if you have a lot of text to check then use our free French Grammar Checker – no registration required!
The English translation of the French verb ailler is “to go.” The infinitive form is pronounced as “ah-yay.”
The word ailler comes from the Old French word “aler,” meaning “to go,” which comes from the Latin word “ambulare.” It is a very common verb in everyday French and is used in various tenses and moods, including the Subjonctif Imparfait.
In the Subjonctif Imparfait tense, ailler is used to express a hypothetical or uncertain action in the past. It is often used after certain conjunctions, such as “si” (if) or “bien que” (although). Here are three simple examples of its usage in this tense, with their respective English translations:
- Si j’allais à Paris, je visiterais la Tour Eiffel. (If I were to go to Paris, I would visit the Eiffel Tower.)
- Bien qu’il aillât à l’école tous les jours, il détestait y aller. (Although he went to school every day, he hated going there.)
- Elle aurait aimé qu’ils aillent au cinéma ensemble. (She would have liked for them to go to the cinema together.)
Table of the Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of ailler
|Si j’avais le temps, je allasses voir le film.
|If I had the time, I would go see the movie.
|Si tu voulais, tu allasses au cinéma avec moi.
|If you wanted, you would go to the cinema with me.
|Il serait fou s’il allassât seul en vacances.
|He would be crazy if he went on vacation alone.
|Si elle allassât avec lui, ils auraient plus de plaisir.
|If she went with him, they would have more fun.
|Si on allassât au restaurant, on ferait une réservation.
|If one went to the restaurant, one would make a reservation.
|Si nous allassions en voyage, nous ferions beaucoup de photos.
|If we went on a trip, we would take a lot of photos.
|Si vous allassiez plus souvent au musée, vous auriez plus de culture.
|If you went to the museum more often, you would have more culture.
|S’ils allassent au concert, ils verraient leur groupe préféré.
|If they went to the concert, they would see their favorite band.
|Si elles allassent à la plage, elles feraient du surf.
|If they went to the beach, they would go surfing.
Other Conjugations for Ailler.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb ailler
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb ailler
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb ailler
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb ailler
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb ailler
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb ailler
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb ailler
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb ailler
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb ailler
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb ailler
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb ailler
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb ailler (this article)
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb ailler
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb ailler
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb ailler
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb ailler
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb ailler
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Ailler – 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.
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
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.)
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.)
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.)
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.
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