Introduction to the verb calibrer
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The English translation of the French verb calibrer is “to calibrate.” It is pronounced “kah-lee-bray.”
Calibrer comes from the Latin word “calibrum,” meaning “measure” or “weight.” It entered the French language in the 16th century, initially used in the field of metallurgy to describe the process of adjusting and standardizing weights and measures. Over time, it has come to have a broader meaning of adjusting and fine-tuning anything to a specific standard or measurement.
In everyday French, the verb calibrer is most often used in the Subjonctif Imparfait tense to express a hypothetical or uncertain situation in the past. It is often used in conjunction with other verbs to express a desired outcome or course of action.
Here are three examples of its usage in the Subjonctif Imparfait tense:
Si j’étais ingénieur, je calibrerais les machines avec précision. (If I were an engineer, I would calibrate the machines with precision.)
Nous préférions que vous calibrassiez les instruments avant de les utiliser. (We would prefer that you calibrate the instruments before using them.)
Il fallait que le technicien calibrât le microscope pour obtenir des résultats précis. (It was necessary for the technician to calibrate the microscope to get accurate results.)
In all of these examples, the Subjonctif Imparfait tense is used to express a hypothetical or uncertain action in the past. It is often used to express a desire, suggestion, or necessity. The use of calibrer in this tense reflects the idea of adjusting or setting something to a specific standard in order to achieve a certain outcome.
Table of the Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of calibrer
||Si je calibrasse mieux, ça marcherait.
||If I calibrated better, it would work.
||Si tu calibrasses plus précisément, tu réussirais.
||If you calibrated more accurately, you would succeed.
||Il ne serait pas content s’il calibrât mal.
||He wouldn’t be happy if he calibrated poorly.
||Si elle calibrât correctement, elle économiserait du temps.
||If she calibrated correctly, she would save time.
||Si on calibrât plus souvent, on éviterait des erreurs.
||If one calibrated more often, one would avoid mistakes.
||Si nous calibrassions ensemble, ça irait plus vite.
||If we calibrated together, it would go faster.
||Si vous calibrassiez bien, vous auriez des résultats précis.
||If you calibrated well, you would have precise results.
||S’ils calibrassent avant chaque utilisation, ça serait plus efficace.
||If they calibrated before each use, it would be more efficient.
||Si elles calibrassent plus tôt, elles pourraient partir plus tôt.
||If they calibrated earlier, they could leave earlier.
Other Conjugations for Calibrer.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb calibrer
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calibrer
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calibrer
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calibrer
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calibrer
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calibrer
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calibrer
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calibrer
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calibrer
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calibrer
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calibrer
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calibrer (this article)
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calibrer
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calibrer
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calibrer
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calibrer
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calibrer
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Calibrer – 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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