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Apparently gésir has an incomplete conjugation—it only works in the present tense. This confuses me. How would I say “I would lie down” or “I will lie down”, etc?

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Gésir implies more than just lying down; the subject has to be incapacitated and not be able to move. It's mainly used on dead people's graves, where ci-gît stands for "here lies ..."

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You can find all the common conjugations of gésir at le conjugueur. You have imparfait and present participle, too. As to I would lie down and its mates, I would use je serais couché, as in [se coucher].

Or you could innovate. Try j'aurais gési, je giserais

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I'd have said j'aurais git et Claudel a utilisé il gira (cité par Grevisse, naturellement). –  Un francophone May 28 '12 at 17:36
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J'aurais git makes me think of VCS :p –  Evpok May 28 '12 at 20:26
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« Gésir » is also used at the imparfait. It will be strange if you use it for anything but dead, wounded or otherwise incapacitated persons or animals. « Être couché » is what is commonly used.

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