Introduction to the verb cafarder
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The English translation of the French verb cafarder is “to spy” or “to tell on someone.” It is pronounced as “ka-far-dey” in its infinitive form.
Cafarder comes from the noun “cafard,” which means “cockroach” and is derived from the Latin word “cucurbita,” meaning “gourd.” In everyday French, cafarder is primarily used in the Subjonctif Imparfait tense to express the idea of reporting or denouncing someone’s actions.
J’aurais préféré qu’il ne cafardât pas mes erreurs au chef de service. (I would have preferred him not to have reported my mistakes to the boss.)
Si tu ne veux pas que ta mère te gronde, arrête de cafarder sur tes frères et sœurs. (If you don’t want your mother to scold you, stop telling on your brothers and sisters.)
Il était content que ses collègues ne cafardassent pas ses absences répétées. (He was happy that his colleagues didn’t report his repeated absences.)
In these examples, cafarder is used to express the idea of “reporting” or “telling on” someone’s actions. The use of the Subjonctif Imparfait tense adds a sense of doubt or uncertainty to the action, suggesting that the person may or may not have actually reported the behavior.
Table of the Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of cafarder
||Si j’étais triste, je cafardasse sur mes collègues.
||If I were sad, I would snitch on my colleagues.
||Si tu avais un secret, tu cafardasses à tout le monde.
||If you had a secret, you would tell everyone.
||Il serait fâché si il cafardât à ses parents.
||He would be angry if he snitched on his parents.
||Elle serait déçue si elle cafardât à ses amis.
||She would be disappointed if she snitched on her friends.
||Si on cafardât sur notre voisin, ça ne serait pas gentil.
||If one snitched on our neighbor, it wouldn’t be nice.
||Si nous cafardassions sur nos profs, on se ferait gronder.
||If we snitched on our teachers, we would get scolded.
||Si vous cafardassiez sur vos collègues, vous auriez des problèmes.
||If you snitched on your colleagues, you would have problems.
||S’ils cafardassent sur leur patron, ils risqueraient de perdre leur emploi.
||If they snitched on their boss, they would risk losing their job.
||Si elles cafardassent sur leur amie, elles perdraient sa confiance.
||If they snitched on their friend, they would lose her trust.
Other Conjugations for Cafarder.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb cafarder
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cafarder
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cafarder
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cafarder
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cafarder
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cafarder
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cafarder
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cafarder
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cafarder
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cafarder
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cafarder
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cafarder (this article)
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cafarder
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cafarder
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cafarder
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cafarder
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cafarder
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Cafarder – 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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