Serai, serais, serait, seraient... They all sound the same! Distinguishing these homonymous forms of être (to be) can seem daunting—but have no fear, we've got some examples to help you sort it all out.
Serai is the first person singular (je) future tense form of the verb être—the equivalent of the English "will be." Yabla's friend Charles-Baptiste employs it when he sings:
Oui je serai sale toute ma vie
Yes I will be dirty all my life
Caption 14, Charles-Baptiste - Sale typePlay Caption
Serait is the third person singular (il/elle) present "conditional mood" (sometimes called conditional tense) of être. In English, the conditional mood is tipped off by "would," as you can see in our interview with the band Neimo:
Et dès qu'on a commencé à écrire des chansons, on s'est dit ça serait mieux en anglais...
And as soon as we started writing songs, we said to ourselves, it would be better in English...
Caption 22, Neïmo - Interview de NeïmoPlay Caption
Now let's look at an example of the first person (je) conditional mood, which is conjugated as serais (the second person, tu, also shares this spelling):
Si je savais compter J'en serais éhonté
If I knew how to count I would be shameless about it
Captions 32-33, Château Flight featuring Bertrand Burgalat - Les antipodesPlay Caption
Seraient is also conditional mood, but it is the third person plural (ils, elles). We found this example in an article about Germany and the euro:
Les Allemands pensent qu'ils seraient mieux sans l'euro.
The Germans think they would be better off without the euro.
Now is a good time to log in and watch these and other videos, keeping an ear out for these various homophones of être in action!