Introduction to the verb caillouter
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The English translation of the French verb caillouter is “to cover with small stones” or “to pave with cobblestones”. The infinitive form, caillouter, is pronounced as “ka-yuh-ter” in French.
The word caillouter is derived from the noun caillou, which means “stone” or “pebble” in French. It comes from the Latin word “calculus”, meaning “small stone”.
In everyday French, caillouter is most often used in the Subjonctif Imparfait tense, which is used to express a hypothetical, uncertain, or unreal action in the past. It is often used in subordinate clauses after certain conjunctions, such as “si” (if) or “quand” (when).
Here are three simple examples of caillouter in the Subjonctif Imparfait tense, with their respective English translations:
Il fallait que je cailloutasse le chemin avant qu’il pleuve. (It was necessary for me to pave the path before it rained.)
Si j’avais eu plus de temps, j’aurais caillouté la cour. (If I had more time, I would have paved the courtyard.)
Nous voulions que la place du village soit cailloutée avant la fête. (We wanted the village square to be covered with small stones before the festival.)
Table of the Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of caillouter
||Je ne pouvais pas traverser s’il cailloutasse.
||I couldn’t cross if it rained rocks.
||Si tu te dépêchais pas, il cailloutasses.
||If you didn’t hurry, it might rain rocks.
||Il faudrait porter un casque s’il cailloutât.
||You would need to wear a helmet if it rained rocks.
||Elle préférerait rester à l’intérieur s’il cailloutât.
||She would prefer to stay inside if it rained rocks.
||Si on se protégeait, on pourrait sortir s’il cailloutât.
||If we protected ourselves, we could go out if it rained rocks.
||Si nous étions plus prudents, nous cailloutassions moins.
||If we were more careful, we would have less rain of rocks.
||Si vous vous couvriez, vous cailloutassiez moins.
||If you covered up, you would have less rain of rocks.
||S’ils étaient plus agiles, ils cailloutassent moins.
||If they were more agile, they would have less rain of rocks.
||Si elles se cachaient, elles cailloutassent moins.
||If they hid, they would have less rain of rocks.
Other Conjugations for Caillouter.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb caillouter
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caillouter
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caillouter
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caillouter
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caillouter
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caillouter
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caillouter
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caillouter
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caillouter
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caillouter
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caillouter
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caillouter (this article)
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caillouter
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caillouter
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caillouter
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caillouter
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caillouter
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Caillouter – 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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