Conjugate devoir in Le Conditionnel Présent = should (conditional mood)

When devoir (to have to) is used in the present conditional tense, it means should:

Je devrais apprendre le français.
I should learn French.

Tu devrais arrêter de fumer.
You should stop smoking.

Elle devrait vraiment arrêter de le voir!
She should really stop seeing him!

Nous devrions sauver la planète.
We should save the planet.

Vous ne devriez pas être à l'école?
Shouldn't you be at school? 

Ils devraient réviser leurs leçons.
They should revise their lessons.

It is based on the irregular future form of the verb: devr-, to which we add the endings of the Imparfait-ais, -ais, -ait, -ions, -iez, -aient.
 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Nous devrions aller de porte à porte pour avoir des bonbons.
We should go door to door to get sweets.


Je devrais apprendre le français.
I should learn French.


Vous ne devriez pas être à l'école?
Shouldn't you be at school? 


Tu devrais arrêter de fumer.
You should stop smoking.


Elle devrait vraiment arrêter de le voir!
She should really stop seeing him!



Ils devraient réviser leurs leçons.
They should revise their lessons.


Voilà, avec ça tu devrais éviter la catastrophe!
Here, with that you should avoid disaster!


Nous devrions sauver la planète.
We should save the planet.


Q&A

Roman

Kwiziq community member

10 June 2018

4 replies

hanoukkia

Something wrong with hanoukkia: Not in ROBERT; Not in COLLINS: «Sorry, no results for “hanoukkia” in the French-English Dictionary»; Not in Linternaute.com: «Nous n'avons pas trouvé de résultats pour votre recherche hanoukkia»

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

11 June 2018

11/06/18

Hi Roman,


I have found Hanoucca for the festival and Hanoukkia for the candelabra.


But not an expert in this...

Roman

Kwiziq community member

12 June 2018

12/06/18

Thank you.


Could you give the links?

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

13 June 2018

13/06/18

I found on Wikipedia -


https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanoucca


Roman

Kwiziq community member

13 June 2018

13/06/18

Thanks a lot.

steven

Kwiziq community member

8 April 2018

2 replies

Follow up question

For some reason I can't reply to a specific response, so I'll have to post this as a seperate comment. 

This is a follow up question to Laura's translation of "She ought to really stop seeing him", which she wrote as "Elle devrait vraiment arreter de le voir." I'm wondering if the phrase "Elle devrait vraiment s'arreter de le voir" is also acceptable. 

Chris

Kwiziq community member

8 April 2018

8/04/18

Hi Steven,


I think it is OK to use the reflexive version of arrêter here. But a native speaker out to comment to be sure.


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

14 April 2018

14/04/18

Hi Steven

S'arrêter de faire [qch] = to stop oneself doing something / cease / quit something.


In English, it sounds okay to say "She really should stop herself from seeing him" but it's a bit of a weird way to express the idea, and in French it sounds weird too.


Cécile or Aurélie will be able to say for sure though.

helen

Kwiziq community member

12 February 2018

4 replies

Infinitive or past tense after conditional

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!!

harris

Kwiziq community member

4 September 2017

1 reply

"should" vs "would have to"

Hi, from what I gather from this lesson, basically "je devrais" should mean "I would have to", which essentially turns into "I should". Is this correct? So "Je devrais apprendre l'anglais" could mean "I would have to learn English" or "I should learn English" depending on the context, correct? thanks.

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

4 September 2017

4/09/17

Bonjour Harris,

Yes, "I should" and "I would have to" are fairly synonymous, both are equivalent to Je devrais.

Erika

Kwiziq community member

21 August 2017

1 reply

Shouldn't you vs you should not

If "Vous ne devriez pas être à l'école?" means Shouldn't you be at school? How do you say "You should not be in school"?

Ron

Kwiziq community member

21 August 2017

21/08/17

Bonjour Erika,
J'ai fait de la recherche et voila: «Vous ne devriez pas être à l’école !» Il me parait que la différence est dans la ponctuation usé, mais c'est possible il y aurait une autre syntaxe que je ne sais pas.
Bonne chance,

Vincent

Kwiziq community member

14 July 2017

1 reply

so does "vous feriez vos études ce soir" mean "you should study this evening" ?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

17 July 2017

17/07/17

Bonjour Vincent !

"feriez" is the verb "faire" in Le Conditionnel (= would do), and the expression "faire ses études" actually means "to study" in the more general sense of "to go to university", so:
Vous feriez vos études ce soir.
You would go to study at university tonight. (which sounds weird, as you wouldn't just go to uni on one night!)

To say "You should study tonight", you will use either:
Tu devrais étudier ce soir.
or
Tu devrais réviser ce soir.

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

Jennifer

Kwiziq community member

12 July 2016

2 replies

Can these sentences also be translated as ought?

e.g. Je devrais apprendre le français = i should or ought to learn french? In English ought is stronger than should, but in french, how would you distinguish them if at all?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

12 July 2016

12/07/16

Bonjour Jennifer !


The meaning of "Je devrais" is before all "I should", meaning an obligation coming more from myself, as opposed to "I ought" implying a higher reason.


I would say that the French expression that could carry a similar connotation would be to use "il faudrait", "il faut" in Le Conditionnel Présent.


E.g. Il faudrait que je fasse mes devoirs.    [I ought to do my homework]
-> feels like the obligation/need comes from an outside source


Je devrais faire mes devoirs.    [I should do my homework]
-> feels more like a moral duty you impose on yourself


I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

Jennifer

Kwiziq community member

1 January 2017

1/01/17

Thank you

Maria

Kwiziq community member

10 March 2016

2 replies

Future Simple Devoir

Hi if the conditional of devoir translates generally to 'would', what would be the translation of Devoir conjugated in the future simple?

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

10 March 2016

10/03/16

Bonjour Maria,


The future of devoir is equivalent to "will have to" or "must."


For example, Je devrai partir à midi - I will have to leave at noon / I must leave at noon.

Maria

Kwiziq community member

10 March 2016

10/03/16

Bonjour Laura, thank you very much for the prompt answer. Fantastic site, I just wish I had more time to spend on it :)

Jennifer

Kwiziq community member

10 January 2016

2 replies

How do you say she ought to really stop seeing him

I want to know how French differentiates between ought and should

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

11 January 2016

11/01/16

Bonjour Jennifer,

There's no difference in French (and for me, a native speaker, there's no difference in English either).

She really ought to stop seeing him - Elle devrait vraiment arrêter de le voir.

Jennifer

Kwiziq community member

11 January 2016

11/01/16

Thank you

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