Introduction to the verb coiffer
Get the Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) tense conjugation of coiffer. 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 for the French verb coiffer is “to style” or “to do one’s hair.” It is pronounced as “kwaf-ay” in its infinitive form.
The word coiffer comes from the Old French “coif,” meaning a headdress or cap, and ultimately from the Latin “cappa,” meaning “cloak” or “hood.” In everyday French, coiffer is most often used to refer to styling one’s hair, but it can also be used in other contexts such as fitting a hat or cap.
In the Subjonctif Imparfait tense, coiffer is used to express a hypothetical or uncertain action in the past. Here are three examples of its usage:
- Il fallait que je coiffasse mes cheveux avant la fête. (I needed to style my hair before the party.)
- Elle voulait que sa mère lui coiffât les cheveux tous les matins. (She wanted her mother to style her hair every morning.)
- Si j’avais su coiffer les cheveux, je l’aurais fait moi-même. (If I had known how to style hair, I would have done it myself.)
Table of the Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of coiffer
|Je voudrais que je coiffasse ma sœur pour la fête.
|I wish I could style my sister’s hair for the party.
|Si tu avais un peigne, tu coiffasses tes cheveux.
|If you had a comb, you would style your hair.
|Il faudrait qu’il coiffât ses cheveux avant de sortir.
|He should style his hair before going out.
|Elle serait plus heureuse si elle coiffât les cheveux de sa fille.
|She would be happier if she styled her daughter’s hair.
|Il faudrait qu’on coiffât les poupées avant le départ.
|We should style the dolls before leaving.
|Si nous coiffassions les uns les autres, nous serions plus proches.
|If we styled each other’s hair, we would be closer.
|Si vous coiffassiez moins, vous auriez plus de temps pour vous.
|If you styled your hair less, you would have more time for yourself.
|J’aimerais que vous coiffassent mieux vos clients.
|I wish you would style your clients’ hair better.
|Si elles coiffassent ensemble, elles auraient des coiffures différentes.
|If they styled their hair together, they would have different hairstyles.
Other Conjugations for Coiffer.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer (this article)
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
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Coiffer – 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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