I notice a lot of online blog articles which use conditional tense to express some report:

En effet, Apple aurait déjà commencé à discuter avec des potentiels partenaires d’une extension d’Apple Pay sur le web.

I am translating this as

Apple already started discussion with potential partners to extend Apple Pay for the web.

I find it unusual in English at least, to say

Apple would have already started discussion with ....

On top of the title question, does anyone know a good article that explains this use of the tense?

  • If the body of your post matched with the title it would be a slightly different question than the one I marked it as a duplicate of. If frequency was put forward as the main topic we could maybe keep the question separate. Mar 24, 2016 at 11:20
  • In that case, I think it is a duplicate. Thank you
    – Nik So
    Mar 24, 2016 at 11:39

1 Answer 1


That tense used to express precautions regarding to the sentence is indeed commonly used in journalism.

"According to our sources, it might be eventually be plausible that xxx. But nothing is certain so take this information with a grain of salt"

This allows the journalist to report news without being accused of false information afterwards if this reveals false.

However they can also use a formula a bit less cautious : "Selon nos informations" + passé composé

Selon nos informations, un accident a eu lieu sur l'A6

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