French III Study Guide
Verb Tenses

Le passé composé

  • When using the passé composé, one must add the helping verb avoir or être before a verb and change the verb to its past participle form.

  • When conjugating a verb with être in the passé composé, the verb must agree in gender and number.

  • Example:
Elles entrent la voiture!


Elles sont entrées la voiture!


  • The imperfect is used when making a description or talking about an ongoing action.

  • The imperfect has its own set of endings, used for both l'imparfait and le conditionnel. To change a verb to the imperfect, use the 'nous' form and drop the 'ons', adding the appropriate l'imparfait ending.

  • Imperfect endings:






  • Example (with l'imparfait and passé composé):
He was drinking a coffee when a roof tile fell on his head.

in l'imparfait...

Il buvait un café quand une tuile est tombée sur sa tête!

Le conditionnel

  • Le conditionnel is used when describing an action that will occur under certain conditions. For example, If I were driving, I would eat.

  • The 'if' part of the sentence is written in the imperfect tense, and the action uses le conditionnel.

  • To change a verb to le conditionnel, simply add the appropriate imperfect ending to the infinitive (or the freaky fourteen irregular verb stem).

  • Example (with l'imparfait and le conditionnel):
Si je conduisais, je mangerais.

Return to Main Page