Infinitive or past tense after conditional

helen

Kwiziq community member

12 February 2018

4 replies

Infinitive or past tense after conditional

This relates to:
Conjugate devoir in Le Conditionnel Présent = should (conditional mood) -

helen

Kwiziq community member

12 February 2018

12/02/18

In one of your quizzes, there were two examples of using devoir:

"Le deficit devrait dimminuer.." (The deficit should reduce..) and another example: "Ces resultats seraient dus....." (These results would be due...)

Why wouldn't we use "... seraient doivre" in the second example. It's not past-tense?

I'm trying to understand when to use the infinitive versus the past tense in the verb that follows a conditional.

helen

Kwiziq community member

12 February 2018

12/02/18

Sorry about this. I'm not sure why the content didn't show up with the question.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

13 February 2018

13/02/18

Hi Helen,


"Ces résultats seraient dus demain." -- These results would be due tomorrow.


This is conditional present tense. The past participle of "doire" is actually used as an adjective here. You could replace it with another adjective such as "jaune" (even though that doesn't make a whole lot of sense):


Ces résultats seraient jaunes demain. -- These results would be yellow tomorrow.


The use of the infinitive actually parallels its use in English in this case:


Il devrait partir. -- He would have to leave. (also: he should leave.)


"Partir"is the infinitive in French and "to leave" is the infinitive in English. So the constructions are very similar in this case.


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

helen

Kwiziq community member

13 February 2018

13/02/18

Wow! Chris this is super helpful. Je n'ai plus mal a la tete!


Thank you!!

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