I was reviewing the usage of the conditional perfect, then I came upon this exercise that confused me. The MODÈLE (as shown below) doesn't make sense, if translated into English as far as my understanding of the conditional perfect being 'would have done something'.

J'avais peur de parler avec le professeur. (Cécile)

My understanding is, Cécile said that she was afraid of talking to the professor.

Vraiment? Cécile aurait parlé avec le professeur.

I am supposed to act as Cécile's acquaintance, and say: Really? Cécile would have talked with the professor.

But this doesn't make sense semantically. There are 2 possibilities.

Possibility 1, Cécile did talked with the professor in spite she was afraid, but 'would have talked' implies she didn't talk with the professor. Those 2 phrases are contradicting with each other.

Possibility 2, Cécile didn't talk with professor because she was afraid, then why would others saying she 'would have talked' to the professor? Her being afraid explained why she didn't talk to the professor. Shouldn't it be if she wasn't afraid, then she 'would have talked' to the professor? Again, it's contradicting.

Am i missing something here?


1 Answer 1


The exercise isn't very clearly written. The brackets are not the speaker, as you assume. What they mean is that Marcel is the speaker for every line, and then you answer by contrasting the person(s) in brackets with Marcel.

So, in your example, Marcel says he was scared to talk to the teacher, and then you remark that Cécile wouldn't have been afraid.

  • ah, this makes sense! merci beaucoup! Oct 30, 2022 at 7:11

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