FR conditional of travailler

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FR conditional of travailler

Postby jeffers » Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:40 am

I'm using Hugo French in 3 Months, and in week 8 conditionals are covered. The notes don't mention anything about travailler, but in the exercises it appears travailler does not follow the normal pattern. Examples they have are je travaillais, vous travailliez, but elle travaillerait.

I've checked several sites which give French verb conjugations, and all four sites I checked disagree. All four use the full infinitive travailler for every person. However, Google translate agrees with the examples from Hugo, and the only form it recognizes as having the er is the feminine of the 3rd person singular. In other cases, I get the "did you mean?" message.

So which is correct? Are the conditional forms of travailler irregular? Am I missing some rule?
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Re: FR conditional of travailler

Postby Arnaud » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:06 am

jeffers wrote: je travaillais, vous travailliez
It's imparfait. Travailler is regular.

Conditionnel Présent

je travaillerais
tu travaillerais
il travaillerait
nous travaillerions
vous travailleriez
ils travailleraient

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Re: FR conditional of travailler

Postby Cavesa » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:40 am

Conditional is pretty irregularity free, the forms you mention are imparfait.

Could you share some of the example sentences, please?

The problem may be, especially once you drag google translate into this, that foreign grammars don't work like ths-L1-verb-form=that-L2-verb-form. So, Hugo may be just giving you a mix of sentences with and without conditional already. Or sentences with imparfait and conditional. (Si j'étais à sa place, je demanderais.) Did you find more verbs in imparfait in the exercises?
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Re: FR conditional of travailler

Postby jeffers » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:26 pm

The example sentences from the Hugo book are:

Qu’est-ce que vous feriez, si vous ne travailliez pas?
Si je ne travaillais pas, je peindrais et je dessinerais.

Qu’est-ce que Nicole ferait, si elle parlait français?
Si elle parlait français, elle travaillerait comme interprète.

These are both from the exercises for the conditional. Have they simply made an error in the first of these two examples? Or even worse, used imparfait in a section about conditional?
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Re: FR conditional of travailler

Postby Cavesa » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:42 pm

jeffers wrote:The example sentences from the Hugo book are:

Qu’est-ce que vous feriez, si vous ne travailliez pas?
Si je ne travaillais pas, je peindrais et je dessinerais.

Qu’est-ce que Nicole ferait, si elle parlait français?
Si elle parlait français, elle travaillerait comme interprète.

These are both from the exercises for the conditional. Have they simply made an error in the first of these two examples? Or even worse, used imparfait in a section about conditional?


No mistake, rather lack of explanation in Hugo, I suppose. This is a normal way to make conditional sentences with hypothesis.
here are two pages with basic explanation, but there are surely better ones out there, I didn't spend too much time on it, I hope these will suffice for now. Most grammar books explain the issue.
http://www.francaisfacile.com/exercices ... -28092.php
http://grammaire.reverso.net/1_1_18_La_ ... emps.shtml

In the Hugo examples: The person asked in sentence one does work and therefore doesn't paint. He is basically being asked "if you were so lucky, won a lottery, and didn' have to work, what would you do?", in thesecond one Nicole cannot speak French. If she could, she would work as an interpreter
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Re: FR conditional of travailler

Postby smallwhite » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:28 pm

if (...) THEN {...}

if (...) THEN { I would...}
if (...) THEN { conditional mood }

( si vous ne travailliez pas ) { Qu’est-ce que vous feriez }
( Si je ne travaillais pas ) { je peindrais et je dessinerais }

( si elle parlait français ) { Qu’est-ce que Nicole ferait }
( Si elle parlait français ) { elle travaillerait comme interprète }

You don't say
if ( I would be a millionaire ) THEN { I would study French grammar all day }
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Re: FR conditional of travailler

Postby Cainntear » Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:09 am

jeffers wrote:The example sentences from the Hugo book are:

Qu’est-ce que vous feriez, si vous ne travailliez pas?
Si je ne travaillais pas, je peindrais et je dessinerais.

The answer's in the English translation:

What would you do if you weren't working?
If I wasn't working, I'd paint and draw.

So in English, the bold is conditional, the italic is past. The French pattern is exactly the same.
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Re: FR conditional of travailler

Postby s_allard » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:29 am

Cainntear wrote:
jeffers wrote:The example sentences from the Hugo book are:

Qu’est-ce que vous feriez, si vous ne travailliez pas?
Si je ne travaillais pas, je peindrais et je dessinerais.

The answer's in the English translation:

What would you do if you weren't working?
If I wasn't working, I'd paint and draw.

So in English, the bold is conditional, the italic is past. The French pattern is exactly the same.


No, this is poor advice. The French pattern is definitely not the same.The French imparfait in italics in the examples above is not the past tense. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say that the second example is poor English.

What smallwhite has so correctly pointed out is that this construction in French is used to express hypothesis. It has nothing to do with the past. In fact, after "if" we use the subjunctive to describe a hypothetical situation contrary to reality.

If I were you, I would take the job offer.
If I weren't working, I'd paint and draw.

This is different from talking about actions in the past with if.

If I wasn't working at the time, it was because of health problems.

In this example we use the indicative mood because we are talking about real events in the past.
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Re: FR conditional of travailler

Postby s_allard » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:30 am

s_allard wrote:
Cainntear wrote:
jeffers wrote:The example sentences from the Hugo book are:

Qu’est-ce que vous feriez, si vous ne travailliez pas?
Si je ne travaillais pas, je peindrais et je dessinerais.

The answer's in the English translation:

What would you do if you weren't working?
If I wasn't working, I'd paint and draw.

So in English, the bold is conditional, the italic is past. The French pattern is exactly the same.


No, this is poor advice. The French pattern is definitely not the same.The French imparfait in italics in the examples above is not the past tense. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say that the second example is poor English.

What smallwhite and cavesa have so correctly pointed out is that this construction in French is used to express hypothesis. It has nothing to do with the past. In fact, after "if" we use the subjunctive to describe a hypothetical situation contrary to reality.

If I were you, I would take the job offer.
If I weren't working, I'd paint and draw.

This is different from talking about actions in the past with if.

If I wasn't working at the time, it was because of health problems.

In this example we use the indicative mood because we are talking about real events in the past.
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Re: FR conditional of travailler

Postby Cavesa » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:01 pm

I agree with s_allard here, learning this stuff by looking for English equivalents can be very misleading.
I recommend using any good French grammar resource and studying the chapters on conditions and hypothesis. It is easier than it looks, and you're likely to use this all the time.
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