Conjugate devoir in Le Conditionnel Passé = should have (past conditional)

Look at these examples of devoir in the Conditionnel passé:

 

J'aurais dû manger plus tôt.
I should have eaten earlier.

 

Tu aurais dû fermer la porte à clé.
You should have locked the door.

 

Elle aurait dû freiner plus tôt.
She should have braked earlier.

 

Nous n'aurions pas l'écouter.
We shouldn't have listened to him.

 

Vous auriez dû la prévenir.
You should have warned her.

 

Ils auraient dû prendre le bus à la place.
They should have taken the bus instead.

 
Conjugating devoir in Le Conditionnel Passé is easy:
 
Conditionnel of avoir  +  dû  (past participle of devoir+ infinitive
 
 
Notice the difference between the English and French
  • in English you use the past participle form of the verb (locked, listened, eaten)
  • in French we use the Conditionnel passé of devoir + the verb infinitive (fermer, écouter, manger)
 
Compare this with:

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Ils auraient dû prendre le bus à la place.
They should have taken the bus instead.


Tu aurais dû fermer la porte à clé.
You should have locked the door.


Vous auriez dû la prévenir.
You should have warned her.


Elle aurait dû freiner plus tôt.
She should have braked earlier.


J'aurais dû manger plus tôt.
I should have eaten earlier.



Nous n'aurions pas l'écouter.
We shouldn't have listened to him.


Q&A

CrystalMaiden

Kwiziq community member

6 May 2018

1 reply

So French doesn't have " should have, " it has " I've had to + verb. "

Maybe this should be mentioned in the lesson, because once you read the French sentences as " I've had to " etc, it makes it a lot easier.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

17 May 2018

17/05/18

Actually in French, it's "I would have had to + verb"  =  j'aurais  + verbe

Paula

Kwiziq community member

24 January 2018

4 replies

devoir imparfait

So if we use the conditionnel passé to translate 'should have' how do we use devoir in the imparfait?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

24 January 2018

24/01/18

Hi Paula,

"devoir" in the imparfait? Et voilà:

je devais,
tu devais,
il/elle/on devait,
nous devions,
vous deviez,
ils/elles devaient.

And since I am not entirely clear on what you mean by "how to we use devoir in the imparfait", here is an example:

I must clean my room. -- Je dois ranger ma chambre. (present tense)
I should clean my room. -- Je devrais ranger ma chambre. (conditionel présent)
I should have cleaned my room. -- J'aurais dû ranger ma chambre. (conditionel passé)

If that doesn't address your actual question, could you rephrase it again, please, because I am not sure I quite understand what you are asking.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

24 January 2018

24/01/18

Bonjour Paula!

I think I understand what you're asking here.
The verb devoir in L'Imparfait will usually be translated as "I had to" or "I was supposed to", as such:

Je devais l'appeler, mais je n'ai pas eu le temps.
I was supposed to call him, but I didn't have time.

Il devait absolument le faire ce jour-là.
He absolutely had to do it that day.

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

Thomas

Kwiziq community member

25 July 2018

25/07/18

Hi Aurélie,


The other day I found myself trying to say (verbally), by starting off 'Je devrais..', e.g. "I should do..", and stalling, having wanted to turn it into "I should have done" - I was probably doing along the lines of what the 6 May 2018 poster was thinking ('I must have had to..' rather than 'I would have had..').I think this lesson and your above response explains it.


To get the stupid question out of the way, there's no way 'Je devrais avoir eu' makes any sense, is there? (I'm guessing I was trying to construct the conditional past by combining conditional present and pluperfect).


Thanks!


Tom

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

25 July 2018

25/07/18

Bonjour Tom !


This is definitely not the colloquial way to express Le Conditionnel Passé in French :)

M

Kwiziq community member

18 July 2017

1 reply

CP VS le subjonctif?

Hey! I was wondering if one could sometimes replace the conditionnel passé with the subjonctif, and vice versa. This because the CP also technically deals with "judged" (you should have done x" situations?

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

18 July 2017

18/07/17

Bonjour M -

No. The subjunctive is required after certain verbs, conjunctions, and expressions. It's never interchangeable with the conditionnel passé.

Neil

Kwiziq community member

19 June 2017

4 replies

How do you say must have

As in that must have been terrible for you

Ron

Kwiziq community member

19 June 2017

19/06/17

One way to say «must have» is «il doit avoir». there are other constructions, however.

Ron

Kwiziq community member

19 June 2017

19/06/17

In fact, here is another construction «Cela a dû être terrible pour vous»

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

19 June 2017

19/06/17

Bonjour Neil !

To express "must have + past participle" as in "must have done"..., you will use Le Passé Composé of "devoir" = "a dû + infinitive"

"Ça a dû coûter cher." (It must have cost a lot)
"Il a dû se sentir mal à l'aise. (He must have felt uneasy.)

See:
https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/grammar/conjugate-voir-boire-croire-savoir-lire-taire-avoir-in-le-passe-compose-conversational-past

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

Neil

Kwiziq community member

19 June 2017

19/06/17

Thank you that is wonderful. Neil J

Meghna

Kwiziq community member

10 April 2017

2 replies

Vous_____ me le dire

In the test for the above, the translation reads as 'You shouldn't have told me'. Shouldn't the translation have been ' You shouldn't have told me that'? I am trying to see where the 'le' fits in the translation given.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

10 April 2017

10/04/17

Bonjour Meghna !

Here it's about colloquialism in both languages.
You are correct that the "le" in French means "it/that" here, but in English you tend not to express it, whereas in French it's always necessary to add it:
I'm glad you told me [it].
Je suis contente que tu me *l'*ai dit.
I'll add [it] to the question to remove any ambiguity :)

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

Meghna

Kwiziq community member

10 April 2017

10/04/17

Thanks Aurélie. The clarification is helpful indeed

Oleg

Kwiziq community member

20 February 2017

1 reply

Two possible conjugations in Le Conditionnel Passé?

Hello, when I look into the conjugation tables (from Le Figaro web page) I see two possible conjugations patterns for Le Conditionnel Passé the one I used to j'aurais dû tu aurais dû il aurait dû nous aurions dû vous auriez dû ils auraient dû And this one j'eusse dû tu eusses dû il eût dû nous eussions dû vous eussiez dû ils eussent dû Are this forms equivalent? Regards, Oleh

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

10 March 2017

10/03/17

Bonjour Oleg !

No, they're not interchangeable, as the second form is used only in very formal writing, and is extremely rare nowadays.

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

Jennifer

Kwiziq community member

7 February 2017

4 replies

Must have

What if you wannt to say. Someone must have done something, how would you say that? For example. Where is she? She must have gone to the shops. Like Kevin also like this lesson. Merci bien

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

8 February 2017

8/02/17

Bonjour Jennifer, et merci du compliment !

To express "must have", you will conjugate the verb "devoir" in Le Passé Composé followed by your verb's infinitive:
"Elle a dû aller faire les courses." (She must have gone to the shops.)
"J'ai dû me tromper." (I must have made a mistake.)

Here's a link to Le Passé Composé of "devoir":
https://french.kwiziq.com/my-languages/french/view/4612

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

Jennifer

Kwiziq community member

9 February 2017

9/02/17

Ought to have,

Mercii Aurélie.

Would you also help me out with ought to? what would we say for example for he/ought/should have done their homework. I ask this because I now realise that the difference between ought, should and must have are becoming difficult for me to destinguish.

Thank you once again

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

10 February 2017

10/02/17

"Ought to" and "should" will both be translated in the same way in French, as they mean the same:
with "devoir" in Le Conditionnel.

:)

Jennifer

Kwiziq community member

15 February 2017

15/02/17

Thank you

Kevin

Kwiziq community member

21 September 2016

1 reply

Great lesson--thank you. Don't know how I missed knowing this!

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

21 September 2016

21/09/16

Happy to help! :-)

Find your French level for FREE

Test your French to the CEFR standard

find your French level

Share the love!

I'll be right with you...