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French grammar - Polite requests and wishes - Le conditionnel présent of vouloir and aimer

Polite requests and wishes - Le conditionnel présent of vouloir & aimer

In French, we use the conditional mood to make polite requests and to express wishes.

The verb vouloir can be softened and made more indirect by using it in the conditional mood - so rather than je veux ('I want') we can use je voudrais ('I would like').

The verb aimer in the conditional can be used to express a wish or desire - j'aimerais ('I would like').

Both of these are in effect 'ifthen' conditionals but with the 'if possible' omitted.

Demain, j'aimerais aller au restaurant.
Tomorrow I would like to go to a restaurant.
Il ne voudrait pas m'aider à préparer le dîner par hasard ?
He wouldn't want to help me cook dinner by any chance?
On pourrait peut-être aller au cinéma ?
Maybe we could go to the cinema?
Voudrais-tu de l'eau ?
Would you (familiar) like some water?
Jacques aimerait être en vacances.
Jacques would like to be on vacation.
J'aimerais partir à midi.
I would like to leave at noon.
Aimeriez-vous manger avec nous ?
Would you (formal) like to eat with us?
Voudriez-vous venir chez nous demain ?
Would you (formal) like to come to us tomorrow?
Aimeriez-vous commander un apéritif pour commencer ?
Would you (formal) like to order an aperitif to start?
Je voudrais une salade verte, s'il vous plaît.
I would like a green salad, please.
J'aimerais acheter une nouvelle maison.
I would like to buy a new house.
Elle voudrait commencer son nouveau travail demain.
She would like to start her new job tomorrow.
Vous auriez du feu, s'il vous plaît ?
Do you (formal) have a light, please?

The verb avoir used in the conditional conditionnel présent for politeness