Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contreventer

Introduction to the verb contreventer

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The English translation of the French verb contreventer is “to brace against the wind” or “to protect from the wind.” It is pronounced as “kohn-truh-vahn-tey” in the infinitive form.

This verb comes from the French words “contre” meaning “against” and “vent” meaning “wind,” and it originates from the Old French word “contrevent,” which referred to a protective structure against the wind.

In everyday French, contreventer is most often used in the Subjonctif Imparfait tense to express a hypothetical or uncertain action in the past. It is typically used in conjunction with the word “si” (if) to introduce a conditional clause.

Here are three examples of contreventer being used in the Subjonctif Imparfait tense in everyday French:

  1. Si nous contreventions la porte, elle ne s’ouvrirait pas. (If we braced the door, it wouldn’t open.)
  2. Je voulais que tu contreventes les fenêtres avant la tempête. (I wanted you to brace the windows before the storm.)
  3. Il fallait que nous contreventions les arbres pour les protéger du vent. (We had to brace the trees to protect them from the wind.)

Table of the Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of contreventer

Pronoun Conjugation Example Usage English Translation
je contreventasse Je serais content si je contreventasse la fenêtre. I would be happy if I closed the window.
tu contreventasses Si tu n’avais pas peur, tu contreventasses la porte. If you weren’t afraid, you would close the door.
il contreventât Il serait surpris si il contreventât les volets. He would be surprised if he closed the shutters.
elle contreventât Elle serait plus calme si elle contreventât la porte. She would be calmer if she closed the door.
on contreventât Si on contreventât toutes les fenêtres, il ferait moins froid. If one closed all the windows, it would be less cold.
nous contreventassions Si nous contreventassions la maison, il y aurait moins de vent. If we closed the house, there would be less wind.
vous contreventassiez Si vous contreventassiez les rideaux, il y aurait plus d’intimité. If you closed the curtains, there would be more privacy.
ils contreventassent S’ils contreventassent les portes et les fenêtres, il y aurait moins de bruit. If they closed the doors and windows, there would be less noise.
elles contreventassent Si elles contreventassent toutes les ouvertures, il y aurait moins de poussière. If they closed all the openings, there would be less dust.

Other Conjugations for Contreventer.

   
    Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb contreventer
   

    Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contreventer
   

    Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contreventer
   

    Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contreventer
   

    Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contreventer
   

    Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contreventer
   

    Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contreventer
   

    Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contreventer

    Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contreventer

    Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contreventer

    Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contreventer
   

    Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contreventer (this article)

    Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contreventer
   

    Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contreventer
   

    Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contreventer

    L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contreventer

    L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contreventer

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Contreventer – 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.

NOTE: To take a deep dive into all the French tenses then see my article on Mastering French Tense Conjugation.

Formation

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

Subjonctif Présent

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.)

Conditional

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.)

Conditional Perfect

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.)

Summary

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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