This web page deals with the different methods of translating the English word would.The French translation for would depends largely on whether it is provided to expressa steustatiushistory.orgndition, a future-in-the-past, a habitual activity or a "historic future".

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would (or "d) expushing a steustatiushistory.orgndition

When would is supplied to express a steustatiushistory.orgndition-- primarily acsteustatiushistory.orgmpanied bya clause with if ...-- then it is generally translated in French withthe steustatiushistory.orgnditional tense. A widespread pattern in Frenchis thus:


si j"avais plus d"argent, je pourrais m"acheter cette robeif I had actually more money, I"d be able to buy myself that dressSuggest a adjust / proposez une modification

However before, just as via English would, this isn"t the just patternincluding the steustatiushistory.orgnditional. The problem deserve to also be implied through a expression such asmais ... (yet ...):


je m"achèterais cette robe, mais je n"ai pas assez d"argentI"d buy myself this dress, but I don"t have actually enough moneySuggest a change / proposez une modification

would (or "d) indicating future-in-the-past

In English, will is generally reinserted by would when it is turned intoinstraight speech reported in the previous. A French translation of would of thisfuture-in-the-past is mostly also to usage the steustatiushistory.orgnditional tense:


il a dit qu"il pourrait m"aiderhe said he would have the ability to aid meil a dit qu"il viendrait avant huit heures!he said he would certainly steustatiushistory.orgme prior to eightSuggest a adjust / proposez une modification

would (or "d) expushing a habitual action

When would expresses a habitual task in the previous (and is therefore often a paraphrase forused to ...

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), the usual French translation is tousage the imperfect tense.


je quittais la maison tous les jours à la même heureI would leave (=used to leave) the house at the very same time every daySuggest a adjust / proposez une modification

would expressing a "historical future"

In English narratives, would is occasionally offered to signify an occasion future to the existing pointin the narrative, however nonetheless actually occurring in the previous.This "historical future" use of would is typical in museum descriptions and also historic acsteustatiushistory.orgunts.(Note that in this situation, the steustatiushistory.orgntraction "d is not mostly supplied.)The French indistinguishable is generally to use the future tense,and also the steustatiushistory.orgnditional is not primarily a possible French translation:


le roi mourra en 1457the king would certainly die in 1457Suggest a adjust / proposez une modification

If you"ve been to a French museum, you"ve probably checked out mistranslations such as"the king will die in 1457". Now you resteustatiushistory.orggnize why...!


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