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

Introduction to the verb déferrer

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The English translation of the French verb déferrer is “to unshoe” or “to remove shoes”. It is pronounced deh-feh-ray.

Déferrer comes from the old French word “defferrer”, which is made up of the prefix “de-” (meaning “undo”) and the Latin word “ferrum” (meaning “iron”). This verb is most often used in everyday French to refer to the act of removing horseshoes from a horse’s hooves.

In the Subjonctif Imparfait tense, déferrer is conjugated as follows:

Je déferrasse
Tu déferrasses
Il/Elle déferrât
Nous déferrassions
Vous déferrassiez
Ils/Elles déferrassent

Here are three simple examples of its usage in this tense, along with their English translations:

  1. Il fallait que je déferrasse mon cheval avant de le laisser au pré. (I had to unshoe my horse before leaving him in the pasture.)
  2. Je souhaitais que tu déferrasses le poney pour qu’il se repose un peu. (I wanted you to remove the pony’s shoes so he could rest a bit.)
  3. Nous préférions que les maréchaux-ferrants déferrassent les chevaux avec précaution. (We preferred that the farriers unshod the horses carefully.)

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

Pronoun Conjugation Example Usage English Translation
je déférasse Il est possible que je déférasse les chevaux après la course. I might take the shoes off the horses after the race.
tu déférasses Si tu étais présent, tu déférasses les chevaux toi-même. If you were here, you would remove the shoes from the horses yourself.
il déférât Il faudrait qu’il déférât les chevaux avant la compétition. He should take the shoes off the horses before the competition.
elle déférât Si elle savait comment, elle déférât les chevaux sans aide. If she knew how, she would remove the shoes from the horses without help.
on déférât Je pense qu’il vaudrait mieux qu’on déférât les chevaux avant la course. I think it would be better if we took the shoes off the horses before the race.
nous déférassions Si nous avions plus de temps, nous déférassions les chevaux nous-mêmes. If we had more time, we would take the shoes off the horses ourselves.
vous déférassiez Je pense que vous déférassiez les chevaux plus vite que moi. I think you would take the shoes off the horses faster than me.
ils déférassent Si les chevaux étaient plus calmes, ils déférassent les chevaux en moins de temps. If the horses were calmer, they would take the shoes off the horses in less time.
elles déférassent Si elles déférassent les chevaux, elles éviteraient les blessures. If they took the shoes off the horses, they would prevent injuries.

Other Conjugations for Déferrer.

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

    Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb déferrer
   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Déferrer – 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.

I hope you enjoyed this article on the verb déferrer. Still in a learning mood? Check out another TOTALLY random French verb conjugation!

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