French/Grammar/Verbs/Conjugations

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French conjugation is the creation of derived forms of a French verb from its principal parts by inflection. French verbs are conventionally divided into three conjugations (conjugaisons) with the following grouping:

  • 1st group: verbs ending in -er.
  • 2nd group: verbs ending in -ir, with the gerund ending in -issant.
  • 3rd group:
    • 1st section: verbs ending in -ir, with the gerund ending in -ant.
    • 2nd section: verbs ending in -oir.
    • 3rd section: verbs ending in -re.

The first two groups follow a regular conjugation, whereas the third group follows an irregular one. The third group is considered a closed-class conjugation form [1], meaning that most new verbs introduced to the French language are of the first group (téléviser, atomiser, radiographier), with the remaining ones being of the second group.

It is noteworthy that the verb aller is the only verb ending in -er belonging to the third group.

Auxiliary verbs[edit]

There are two auxiliary verbs in French: avoir (to have) and être (to be), used to conjugate compound tenses according to these rules:

Compound tenses are conjugated with an auxiliary followed by the past participle, ex: j'ai fait (I did), je suis tombé (I fell). When être is used, the participle is inflected according to the gender and number of the subject. The participle is inflected with the use of the verb avoir according to the direct object, but only if the direct object precedes the participle, ex:

  • il a marché, elle a marché, nous avons marché (he walked, she walked, we walked)
  • il est tombé, elle est tombée, nous sommes tombés, elles sont tombées (he fell, she fell, we fell, they (fem.) fell)
  • Il a acheté une voiture. Voilà la voiture qu'il a achetée. (He bought a car. Here is the car he bought)

As stand-alone verbs, the conjugation of the two auxiliaries is listed in the table below:

Avoir[edit]

This verb has different stems for different tenses. These are imperfect av- /av/; present subjunctive ai- /ɛ/; future and conditional aur- /ɔʁ/; simple past and past subjunctive e- (not pronounced: eus, eusse are pronounced as bare inflections /y, ys/). Although the stem changes, the inflections of these tenses are as a regular -oir verb.

However, in the simple present, not only are there stem changes, but the inflections are irregular as well:

Avoir "to have"
 
Indicative Subjunctive Conditional Imperative
Present Simple Past Imperfect Future Present Imperfect Present Present
j' ai /ɛ/ eus /y/ avais /avɛ/ aurai /ɔʀe/ aie /ɛ/ eusse /ys/ aurais /ɔʀɛ/
tu as /a/ eus avais auras aies eusses aurais aie*
il/elle a /a/ eut avait aura ait eût aurait
nous avons /avɔ̃/ eûmes avions aurons ayons eussions aurions ayons*
vous avez /ave/ eûtes aviez aurez ayez eussiez auriez ayez*
ils/elles ont /ɔ̃/ eurent avaient auront aient eussent auraient

* Notice that the imperative form uses the subjunctive conjugation.

Non-finite forms:

  • Infinitive: avoir /avwaʁ/
  • Present participle: ayant /ejɑ̃/
  • Gerundive: en ayant /an ejɑ̃/
  • Verbal adjective: ayant(s) /ejɑ̃/, ayante(s) /ejɑ̃t/
  • Past participle: eu(e)(s) /y/

Auxiliary verb: avoir

Expressing age[edit]

Avoir is also used to express age.

Tu as quel âge ? How old are you? lit: You have what age?
J'ai trente ans. I'm thirty (years old) lit: I have thirty years.

Interogitives[edit]

Besides using avoir affirmatively. You can also use it interrogatively. A small complication arises, in that without some help, the result does not sound very good. The use of an euphonic (pleasing to the ear) is used with vowels before the pronoun. Thus, the letter -t- is placed between the verb and the pronoun:

Ai-je? (Have I?)
As-tu? (Have you?) informal
A-t-il? (Has he?)
A-t-elle? (Has she?)
Avons nous? (Have we?)
Avez vous? (Have you?) formal
Ont ils? (Have they?) masculine
Ont elles? (Have they?) feminine

The use of liaison fullfils the euphonic for ""ont".

Être[edit]

This verb has different stems for different tenses. These are all pronounced differently: imperfect ét- /et/; present subjunctive soi- /swa/; future and conditional ser- /s(ə)ʀ/; simple past and past subjunctive in f- /f/. The inflections of these tenses are as a regular -oir verb (that is, as an -re verb but with the vowel u /y/ in the f- forms). For example, subjunctive soyons, soyez is pronounced with the y sound (/swajɔ̃, swaje/) of other -re and -oir verbs.

However, in the simple present, not only are there stem changes, but the inflections are irregular as well:

Être "to be"
 
Indicative Subjunctive Conditional Imperative
Present Simple Past Imperfect Future Present Imperfect Present Present
je suis /sɥi/ fus /fy/ étais /etɛ/ serai /s(ə)ʀe/ sois /swa/ fusse /fys/ serais /s(ə)ʀɛ/
tu es /ɛ/ fus étais seras sois fusses serais sois*
il/elle est /ɛ/ fut était sera soit fût serait
nous sommes /sɔm/ fûmes étions serons soyons fussions serions soyons*
vous êtes /ɛt/ fûtes étiez serez soyez fussiez seriez soyez*
ils/elles sont /sɔ̃/ furent étaient seront soient fussent seraient

* Notice that the imperative form uses the subjunctive conjugation.

The non-finite forms use the stem êt- /ɛt/ (before a consonant)/ét- /ɛt/ (before a vowel):

  • Infinitive: être
  • Present participle: étant
  • Gerundive: en étant
  • Verbal adjective: étant(e)(s)
  • Past participle: été(e)(s)

Auxiliary verb: avoir

First group verbs (-er verbs)[edit]

French verbs ending in -er, which comprise the largest class, inflect somewhat differently than other verbs. Between the stem and the inflectional endings that are common across most verbs, there may be a vowel, which in the case of the -er verbs is a silent -e- (in the simple present singular), or -ai /e/ (in the past participle and the je form of the simple past), and -a- /a/ (in the rest of simple past singular and in the past subjunctive). In addition, the orthographic -t found in the -ir and -re verbs in the singular of the simple present and past is not found in this conjugation, so that the final consonants are -, -s, - rather than -s, -s, -t.

Parler[edit]

The verb parler "to speak", in French orthography and IPA transcription
 
Indicative Subjunctive Conditional Imperative
Present Simple Past Imperfect Simple Future Present Imperfect Present Present
je parle
/paʀl/
parlai
/paʀle/
parlais
/paʀlɛ/
parlerai
/paʀləʀe/
parle
/paʀl/
parlasse
/paʀlas/
parlerais
/paʀləʀɛ/
tu parles
/paʀl/
parlas
/paʀla/
parlais
/paʀlɛ/
parleras
/paʀləʀa/
parles
/paʀl/
parlasses
/paʀlas/
parlerais
/paʀləʀɛ/
parle
/paʀl/
il parle
/paʀl/
parla
/paʀla/
parlait
/paʀlɛ/
parlera
/paʀləʀa/
parle
/paʀl/
parlât
/paʀlɑ/
parlerait
/paʀləʀɛ/
nous parlons
/paʀlɔ̃/
parlâmes
/paʀlɑm/
parlions
/paʀljɔ̃/
parlerons
/paʀləʀɔ̃/
parlions
/paʀljɔ̃/
parlassions
/paʀlasjɔ̃/
parlerions
/paʀləʀjɔ̃/
parlons
/paʀlɔ̃/
vous parlez
/paʀle/
parlâtes
/paʀlɑt/
parliez
/paʀlje/
parlerez
/paʀləʀe/
parliez
/paʀlje/
parlassiez
/paʀlasje/
parleriez
/paʀləʀje/
parlez
/paʀle/
ils parlent
/paʀl/
parlèrent
/paʀlɛːʀ/
parlaient
/paʀlɛ/
parleront
/paʀləʀɔ̃/
parlent
/paʀl/
parlassent
/paʀlas/
parleraient
/paʀləʀɛ/

Non-finite forms:

  • Infinitive: parler /paʀle/
  • Present participle: parlant /paʀlɑ̃/
  • Gerundive: en parlant /ɑ̃ paʀlɑ̃/
  • Verbal adjective: parlant(s) /paʀlɑ̃/, parlante(s) /paʀlɑ̃t/
  • Past participle: parlé(e)(s) /paʀle/

Auxiliary verb: avoir (arriver, entrer, monter, passer, rester, rentrer, retourner, and tomber use être)

Exceptional contexts:

  • When the first-person singular present tense form of the indicative or subjunctive is found in inversion, the writer must change the final e to either é or è, in order to link the two words : « Parlé-je ? », /paʀlɛʒ/, "Am I speaking?" (This is a very rare construction, however.)
  • When the second-person singular form of the imperative is followed by its object y or en, a final s is added: « Parles-en ! », [paʀlzɑ̃], "Talk about it!"

Exceptional verbs:

  • The verb aller, though it ends in -er is completely irregular and belongs to the third group.
  • In -cer verbs, the c becomes a ç before endings that start with a or o, to indicate that it is still pronounced /s/; similarly, in -ger verbs, the g becomes ge before such endings, to indicate that it is pronounced /ʒ/.
  • In -oyer and -uyer verbs, the y becomes an i before endings that start with a silent e; in -ayer verbs, the writer may or may not change the y to an i before such endings. Additionally, the future and conditional forms of envoyer start with enverr- rather than envoyer-; and similarly with renvoyer.
  • In -é.er verbs, the é becomes an è before silent endings, and optionally in the future and conditional tenses.
  • In -e.er verbs other than most -eler and -eter verbs, the e becomes an è before endings that start with a silent e (including the future and conditional endings).
  • In most -eler and -eter verbs, the writer must either change the e to an è before endings that start with a silent e, or change the l or t to ll or tt. In the rest of these verbs, only one or the other form is allowed.
  • The verbal adjective of following verbs is irregular: adhérer - adhérent(e)(s); coïncider - coïncident(e)(s); confluer - confluent(e)(s); affluer - affluent(e)(s); converger - convergent(e)(s); déterger - détergent(e)(s); différer - différent(e)(s); exceller - excellent(e)(s); diverger - divergent(e)(s); négliger, négligent(e)(s); précéder - précédent(e)(s); violer - violent(e)(s); influer - influent(e)(s); communiquer - communicant(e)(s); suffoquer - suffocant(e)(s); provoquer - provocant(e)(s); naviguer - navigant(e)(s); déléguer - délégant(e)(s); fatiguer - fatigant(e)(s); intriguer - intrigant(e)(s).

Second group verbs (-ir verbs / gerund ending in -issant)[edit]

The -ir verbs differ from the -er verbs in the following points:

  • The vowel of the inflections is always -i-, for example -isse in the past subjunctive rather than the -asse of the -er verbs.
  • A few of the singular inflections themselves change, though this is purely orthographic and does not affect the pronunciation: in the simple present and past, these are -s, -s, -t rather than -, -s, -. (The change in pronunciation is due to the change of vowel from e, ai, a to -i-.)
  • In the simple present, imperfect, the present subjunctive, and the gerund, a suffix -iss- /is/ appears between the root and the inflectional endings. In the simple present singular, this suffix has disappeared and the endings are -is, -is, -it.

Choisir[edit]

The verb choisir "to choose", in French orthography and IPA transcription
 
Indicative Subjunctive Conditional Imperative
Present Simple Past Imperfect Simple Future Present Imperfect Present Present
je choisis
/ʃwazi/
choisis
/ʃwazi/
choisissais
/ʃwazisɛ/
choisirai
/ʃwaziʀe/
choisisse
/ʃwazis/
choisisse
/ʃwazis/
choisirais
/ʃwaziʀɛ/
tu choisis
/ʃwazi/
choisis
/ʃwazi/
choisissais
/ʃwazisɛ/
choisiras
/ʃwaziʀa/
choisisses
/ʃwazis/
choisisses
/ʃwazis/
choisirais
/ʃwaziʀɛ/
choisis
/ʃwazi/
il choisit
/ʃwazi/
choisit
/ʃwazi/
choisissait
/ʃwazisɛ/
choisira
/ʃwaziʀa/
choisisse
/ʃwazis/
choisît
/ʃwazi/
choisirait
/ʃwaziʀɛ/
nous choisissons
/ʃwazisɔ̃/
choisîmes
/ʃwazim/
choisissions
/ʃwazisjɔ̃/
choisirons
/ʃwaziʀɔ̃/
choisissions
/ʃwazisjɔ̃/
choisissions
/ʃwazisjɔ̃/
choisirions
/ʃwaziʀjɔ̃/
choisissons
/ʃwazisɔ̃/
vous choisissez
/ʃwazise/
choisîtes
/ʃwazit/
choisissiez
/ʃwazisje/
choisirez
/ʃwaziʀe/
choisissiez
/ʃwazisje/
choisissiez
/ʃwazisje/
choisiriez
/ʃwaziʀje/
choisissez
/ʃwazise/
ils choisissent
/ʃwazis/
choisirent
/ʃwaziʀ/
choisissaient
/ʃwazisɛ/
choisiront
/ʃwaziʀɔ̃/
choisissent
/ʃwazis/
choisissent
/ʃwazis/
choisiraient
/ʃwaziʀɛ/

Non-finite forms:

  • Infinitive: choisir /ʃwaziʀ/
  • Present participle: choisissant /ʃwazisɑ̃/
  • Gerundive: en choisissant /ɑ̃ ʃwazisɑ̃/
  • Verbal adjective: choisissant(s) /ʃwazisɑ̃/, choisissante(s) /ʃwazisɑ̃t/
  • Past participle: choisi(e)(s) /ʃwazi/

Auxiliary verb: avoir (partir uses être)

haïr

The verb haïr loses its dieresis in the singular of the simple present tense (the i loses its trema, reflecting the pronunciation of the initial syllable as a single vowel /ɛ/ rather than the hiatus /ai/): je hais, tu hais, il hait but nous haïssons, vous haïssez, ils haïssent /ʒə ɛ, ty ɛ, il ɛ, nu aisɔ̃, vu aise, il ais/. Hais is as usual used for the imperative. In all other forms, the root is /ai/ (imperfect and present & past subjunctive /ais/-, future and conditional /aiʀ/-).

Third Group[edit]

First Section (-ir verbs / gerund ending in -ant)[edit]

dormir, mentir, partir, sentir, servir, sortir

The verbs dormir, mentir, partir, sentir, servir and their derivatives do not take the -iss- infix. The effect of this is that they conjugate as -re verbs rather than -ir verbs, apart from the past participle which is still -i. Sortir and its derivatives are similar in their usual meanings of "to go out" etc., though in their legal senses they conjugate regularly as -ir verbs: les lois sortissent leurs effets (laws produce their effects); ce qui ressortit à… (what is under the jurisdiction of…). Partir serves as an example:

Partir[edit]

Partir "to leave"
 
Indicative Subjunctive Conditional Imperative
Present Simple Past Imperfect Simple Future Present Imperfect Present Present
je pars /paʀ/ partis /paʀti/ partais /paʀtɛ/ partirai /paʀtiʀe/ parte /paʀt/ partisse /paʀtis/ partirais /paʀtiʀɛ/
tu pars partis partais partiras partes partisses partirais pars
il part partit partait partira parte partît partirait
nous partons partîmes partions partirons partions partissions partirions partons
vous partez partîtes partiez partirez partiez partissiez partiriez partez
ils partent partirent partaient partiront partent partissent partiraient

Non-finite forms:

  • Infinitive: partir
  • Present participle: partant
  • Gerundive: en partant
  • Verbal adjective: partant(e)(s)
  • Past participle: parti(e)(s)

Similarly, dormir, mentir, sortir, sentir, servir are je dors, mens, sors, sens, sers /ʒ(ə) dɔʀ, mɑ̃, sɔʀ, sɑ̃, sɛʀ/ etc.

couvrir, offrir, ouvrir, souffrir

The verbs couvrir, offrir, ouvrir, souffrir and their derivatives are similar, but orthographically they differ slightly: they take the simple present endings of the -er verbs. In addition, their past participles end in -ert. Ouvrir will serve as an example:

Ouvrir[edit]

Ouvrir "to open"
 
Indicative Subjunctive Conditional Imperative
Present Simple Past Imperfect Future Present Imperfect Present Present
je ouvre /uvʀ/ ouvris ouvrais ouvrirai ouvre ouvrisse ouvrirais
tu ouvres ouvris ouvrais ouvriras ouvres ouvrisses ouvrirais ouvre
il ouvre ouvrit ouvrait ouvrira ouvre ouvrît ouvrirait
nous ouvrons ouvrîmes ouvrions ouvrirons ouvrions ouvrissions ouvririons ouvrons
vous ouvrez ouvrîtes ouvriez ouvrirez ouvriez ouvrissiez ouvririez ouvrez
ils ouvrent ouvrirent ouvraient ouvriront ouvrent ouvrissent ouvriraient

Non-finite forms:

  • Infinitive: ouvrir
  • Present participle: ouvrant
  • Gerundive: en ouvrant
  • Verbal adjective: ouvrant(e)(s)
  • Past participle: ouvert(s) /uvɛʀ/, ouverte(s) /uvɛʀt/

Venir[edit]

venir, tenir

The common verbs venir "to come" and tenir "to hold", as well as their derivatives,[2] change their stem vowel to a diphthong or nasal in much of their conjugations. Venir will serve as an example; for tenir, simply change the v to a t.

Venir "to come"
 
Indicative Subjunctive Conditional Imperative
Present Simple Past Imperfect Future Present Imperfect Present Present
je viens
/vjɛ̃/
vins
/vɛ̃/
venais
/v(ə)nɛ/
viendrai
/vjɛ̃dʀe/
vienne
/vjɛn/
vinsse
/vɛ̃s/
viendrais
/vjɛ̃dʀɛ/
tu viens
/vjɛ̃/
vins
/vɛ̃/
venais
/v(ə)nɛ/
viendras
/vjɛ̃dʀa/
viennes
/vjɛn/
vinsses
/vɛ̃s/
viendrais
/vjɛ̃dʀɛ/
viens
/vjɛ̃/
il vient
/vjɛ̃/
vint
/vɛ̃/
venait
/v(ə)nɛ/
viendra
/vjɛ̃dʀa/
vienne
/vjɛn/
vînt
/vɛ̃/
viendrait
/vjɛ̃dʀɛ/
nous venons
/v(ə)nɔ̃/
vînmes
/vɛ̃m/
venions
/v(ə)njɔ̃/
viendrons
/vjɛ̃dʀɔ̃/
venions
/v(ə)njɔ̃/
vinssions
/vjɛ̃sjɔ̃/
viendrions
/vjɛ̃dʀijɔ̃/
venons
/v(ə)nɔ̃/
vous venez
/v(ə)ne/
vîntes
/vɛ̃t/
veniez
/v(ə)nje/
viendrez
/vjɛ̃dʀe/
veniez
/v(ə)nje/
vinssiez
/vjɛ̃sje/
viendriez
/vjɛ̃dʀije/
venez
/v(ə)ne/
ils viennent
/vjɛn/
vinrent
/vɛ̃ʀ/
venaient
/v(ə)nɛ/
viendront
/vjɛ̃dʀɔ̃/
viennent
/vjɛn/
vinssent
/vɛ̃s/
viendraient
/vjɛ̃dʀɛ/

Non-finite forms:

  • Infinitive: venir /v(ə)niʀ/
  • Present participle: venant /v(ə)nɑ̃/
  • Gerundive: en venant
  • Verbal adjective: venant(e)(s)
  • Past participle: venu(e)(s) /v(ə)ny/

Auxiliary verb: être

acquérir, cueillir, saillir

Second section (-oir verbs)[edit]

Verbs ending in -oir tend to have stem changes, which makes them more irregular than the other conjugations. Many have stems ending in -v, which drops before a consonant or the vowel u. Others have stems ending in -l, which undergoes changes similar to the plural of French nouns ending in -l. In addition, the vowel of the stem tends to become oi /wa/ or eu /ø, œ/ when there is no vowel in the inflectional ending (much of the simple present and present subjunctive). They also differ from other verbs in that the vowel of both the simple past and the past participle is -u /y/.

The verbs voir "to see" and seoir "to suit" and their derivatives (prévoir, asseoir) inflect as -ir verbs, not as -oir verbs, as they have the vowel -i- in the past simple and subjunctive: je vis, j'assis, etc.

Pouvoir[edit]

 
Indicative Subjunctive Conditional Imperative
Present Simple Past Imperfect Future Present Imperfect Present Present
je peux, puis* pus pouvais pourrai puisse pusse pourrais
tu peux pus pouvais pourras puisses pusses pourrais peux
il peut put pouvait pourra puisse pût pourrait
nous pouvons pûmes pouvions pourrons puissions pussions pourrions pouvons
vous pouvez pûtes pouviez pourrez puissiez pussiez pourriez pouvez
ils peuvent purent pouvaient pourront puissent pussent pourraient

*In case of questions puis is used exclusively: puis-je venir? Can I come? The usage of puis in other cases is mannered.

Non-finite forms:

  • Infinitive: pouvoir
  • Present participle: pouvant
  • Gerundive: en pouvant
  • Verbal adjective: pouvant(e)(s)
  • Past participle: pu(e)(s)

Auxiliary verb: avoir

Recevoir[edit]

 
Indicative Subjunctive Conditional Imperative
Present Simple Past Imperfect Future Present Imperfect Present Present
je reçois reçus recevais recevrai reçoive reçusse recevrais
tu reçois reçus recevais recevras reçoives reçusses recevrais reçois
il reçoit reçut recevait recevra reçoive reçût recevrait
nous recevons reçûmes recevions recevrons recevions reçussions recevrions recevons
vous recevez reçûtes receviez recevrez receviez reçussiez recevriez recevez
ils reçoivent reçurent recevaient recevront reçoivent reçussent recevraient

Non-finite forms:

  • Infinitive: recevoir
  • Present participle: recevant
  • Gerundive: en recevant
  • Verbal adjective: recevant(e)(s)
  • Past participle: reçu(e)(s)

Auxiliary verb: avoir

  • Other verbs conjugated along the same model: concevoir, décevoir, percevoir, apercevoir.

Savoir[edit]

 
Indicative Subjunctive Conditional Imperative
Present Simple Past Imperfect Future Present Imperfect Present Present
je sais sus savais saurai sache susse saurais
tu sais sus savais sauras saches susses saurais sache*
il sait sut savait saura sache sût saurait
nous savons sûmes savions saurons sachions sussions saurions sachons*
vous savez sûtes saviez saurez sachiez sussiez sauriez sachez*
ils savent surent savaient sauront sachent sussent sauraient

* Notice that the imperative form uses the present subjunctive stem.

Non-finite forms:

  • Infinitive: savoir
  • Present participle: sachant
  • Gerundive: en sachant
  • Verbal adjective: sachant(e)(s)
  • Past participle: su(e)(s)

Auxiliary verb: avoir

Vouloir[edit]

 
Indicative Subjunctive Conditional Imperative
Present Simple Past Imperfect Future Present Imperfect Present Present
je veux voulus voulais voudrai veuille voulusse voudrais
tu veux voulus voulais voudras veuilles voulusses voudrais veuille
il veut voulut voulait voudra veuille voulût voudrait
nous voulons voulûmes voulions voudrons voulions voulussions voudrions veuillons
vous voulez voulûtes vouliez voudrez vouliez voulussiez voudriez veuillez
ils veulent voulurent voulaient voudront veuillent voulussent voudraient

Non-finite forms:

  • Infinitive: vouloir
  • Present participle: voulant
  • Gerundive: en voulant
  • Verbal adjective: voulant(e)(s)
  • Past participle: voulu(e)(s)

Auxiliary verb: avoir

Third Section (-re verbs)[edit]

Orthographically, the -re verbs have the inflectional endings of the -ir verbs (singular -s, -s, -t in the simple present and past). However, unlike the -ir verbs, there is no suffix -iss- between the root and the inflection, except in the past subjunctive, which is identical to the -ir verbs. In addition, the vowel of the past participle is -u /y/ rather than -i.

Attendre[edit]

 
Indicative Subjunctive Conditional Imperative
Present Simple Past Imperfect Future Present Imperfect Present Present
j’ attends
/atɑ̃/
attendis
/atɑ̃di/
attendais
/atɑ̃dɛ/
attendrai
/atɑ̃dʀe/
attende
/atɑ̃d/
attendisse
/atɑ̃dis/
attendrais
/atɑ̃dʀɛ/
tu attends
/atɑ̃/
attendis
/atɑ̃di/
attendais
/atɑ̃dɛ/
attendras
/atɑ̃dʀa/
attendes
/atɑ̃d/
attendisses
/atɑ̃dis/
attendrais
/atɑ̃dʀɛ/
attends
/atɑ̃/
il attend
/atɑ̃/
attendit
/atɑ̃di/
attendait
/atɑ̃dɛ/
attendra
/atɑ̃dʀa/
attende
/atɑ̃d/
attendît
/atɑ̃di/
attendrait
/atɑ̃dʀɛ/
nous attendons
/atɑ̃dɔ̃/
attendîmes
/atɑ̃dim/
attendions
/atɑ̃djɔ̃/
attendrons
/atɑ̃dʀɔ̃/
attendions
/atɑ̃djɔ̃/
attendissions
/atɑ̃disjɔ̃/
attendrions
/atɑ̃dʀijɔ̃/
attendons
/atɑ̃dɔ̃/
vous attendez
/atɑ̃de/
attendîtes
/atɑ̃dit/
attendiez
/atɑ̃dje/
attendrez
/atɑ̃dʀe/
attendiez
/atɑ̃dje/
attendissiez
/atɑ̃disje/
attendriez
/atɑ̃dʀije/
attendez
/atɑ̃de/
ils attendent
/atɑ̃d/
attendirent
/atɑ̃diʀ/
attendaient
/atɑ̃dɛ/
attendront
/atɑ̃dʀɔ̃/
attendent
/atɑ̃d/
attendissent
/atɑ̃dis/
attendraient
/atɑ̃dʀɛ/

Non-finite forms:

  • Infinitive: attendre /atɑ̃dʀ/
  • Present participle: attendant /atɑ̃dɑ̃/
  • Gerundive: en attendant /an atɑ̃dɑ̃/
  • Verbal adjective: attendant(s) /atɑ̃dɑ̃/, attendante(s) /atɑ̃dɑ̃t/
  • Past participle: attendu(e)(s) /atɑ̃dy/

Auxiliary verb: avoir (descendre uses être)

  • If the verb stem ends with a t or d (as in attend or bat), the -t inflection of the third person simple present drops, as here. However, elsewhere it is retained: rompreil rompt.
  • Battre, mettre and all verbs on -aindre or -eindre are irregular

Dire[edit]

to say, talk

 
Indicative Subjunctive Conditional Imperative
Present Simple Past Imperfect Future Present Imperfect Present Present
je dis dis disais dirai dise disse dirais
tu dis dis disais diras dises disses dirais dis
il dit dit disait dira dise dît dirait
nous disons dîmes disions dirons disions dissions dirions disons
vous dites dîtes disiez direz disiez dissiez diriez dites
ils disent dirent disaient diront disent dissent diraient

Non-finite forms:

  • Infinitive: dire
  • Present participle: disant
  • Gerundive: en disant
  • Verbal adjective: disant(e)(s)
  • Past participle: dit(e)(s)

Auxiliary verb: avoir

Prendre[edit]

to take

 
Indicative Subjunctive Conditional Imperative
Present Simple Past Imperfect Future Present Imperfect Present Present
je prends pris prenais prendrai prenne prisse prendrais
tu prends pris prenais prendras prennes prisses prendrais prends
il prend prit prenait prendra prenne prît prendrait
nous prenons prîmes prenions prendrons prenions prissions prendrions prenons
vous prenez prîtes preniez prendrez preniez prissiez prendriez prenez
ils prennent prirent prenaient prendront prennent prissent prendraient

Non-finite forms:

  • Infinitive: prendre
  • Present participle: prenant
  • Gerundive: en prenant
  • Verbal adjective: prenant(e)(s)
  • Past participle: pris(e)(s)

Auxiliary verb: avoir

  • apprendre, comprendre, entreprendre, reprendre, and surprendre follow the same pattern

Faire[edit]

to do, make

 
Indicative Subjunctive Conditional Imperative
Present Simple Past Imperfect Future Present Imperfect Present Present
je fais fis faisais ferai fasse fisse ferais
tu fais fis faisais feras fasses fisses ferais fais
il fait fit faisait fera fasse fît ferait
nous faisons fîmes faisions ferons fassions fissions ferions faisons
vous faites fîtes faisiez ferez fassiez fissiez feriez faites
ils font firent faisaient feront fassent fissent feraient

Non-finite forms:

  • Infinitive: faire
  • Present participle: faisant
  • Gerundive: en faisant
  • Verbal adjective: faisant(e)(s)
  • Past participle: fait(e)(s)

Auxiliary verb: avoir

  • défaire, refaire, and satisfaire follow the same pattern.

Naître[edit]

to be born

 
Indicative Subjunctive Conditional Imperative
Present Simple Past Imperfect Future Present Imperfect Present Present
je nais naquis naissais naîtrai naisse naquisse naîtrais
tu nais naquis naissais naîtras naisses naquisses naîtrais nais
il naît naquit naissait naîtra naisse naquît naîtrait
nous naissons naquîmes naissions naîtrons naissions naquissions naîtrions naissons
vous naissez naquîtes naissiez naîtrez naissiez naquissiez naîtriez naissez
ils naissent naquirent naissaient naîtront naissent naquissent naîtraient

Non-finite forms:

  • Infinitive: naître
  • Present participle: naissant
  • Gerundive: en naissant
  • Verbal adjective: naisant(e)(s)
  • Past participle: né(e)(s)

Auxiliary verb: être

Aller[edit]

The verb aller "to go" has the unique quality of having a first group ending with an irregular conjugation. It belongs to none of the three sections of the third group, and is often categorized on its own. The verb has different stems for different tenses. These are all pronounced differently: past all- /al/ (simple past, imperfect, past subjunctive); present subjunctive aill- /aj/; conditional and future ir- /iʀ/. The inflections of these tenses are completely regular, and pronounced as in any other -er verb. However, in the simple present, not only are there stem changes, but the inflections are irregular as well:

Aller "to go"
 
Indicative Subjunctive Conditional Imperative
Present Simple Past Imperfect Future Present Imperfect Present Present
je vais /vɛ/ allai /ale/ allais /alɛ/ irai /iʀe/ aille /aj/ allasse /alas/ irais /iʀɛ/
tu vas /va/ allas allais iras ailles allasses irais va
il va /va/ alla allait ira aille allât irait
nous allons /alɔ̃/ allâmes allions irons allions allassions irions allons
vous allez /ale/ allâtes alliez irez alliez allassiez iriez allez
ils vont /vɔ̃/ allèrent allaient iront aillent allassent iraient

The non-finite forms are all based on all- /al/:

  • Infinitive: aller
  • Present participle: allant
  • Gerundive: en allant
  • Verbal adjective: allant(e)(s)
  • Past participle: allé(e)(s)

Auxiliary verb: être

Inflectional endings of the three verb groups[edit]

 
1st group 2nd group 3rd group   1st group 2nd group 3rd group
Indicatif (Présent)   Subjonctif (Présent)
je e1 is s (x3) e5   e isse e
tu es is s (x3) es5   es isses es
il e it t (d4) e5   e isse e
nous ons issons ons ons   ions issions ions
vous ez issez ez ez   iez issiez iez
ils ent issent ent (nt2) ent   ent issent ent
   
  Indicatif (Imparfait)   Subjonctif (Imparfait)
je ais issais ais   asse isse6 isse6 usse6
tu ais issais ais   asses isses isses usses
il ait issait ait   ât ît ît ût
nous ions issions ions   assions issions issions ussions
vous iez issiez iez   assiez issiez issiez ussiez
ils aient issaient aient   assent issent issent ussent
   
  Indicatif (Passé simple)   Impératif (Présent)
je ai is is6 us6    
tu as is is us   e is s e5
il a it it ut    
nous âmes îmes îmes ûmes   ons issons ons ons
vous âtes îtes îtes ûtes   ez issez ez ez
ils èrent irent irent urent    
   
  Indicatif (Futur simple)   Conditionnel (Présent)
je erai irai rai   erais irais rais
tu eras iras ras   erais irais rais
il era ira ra   erait irait rait
nous erons irons rons   erions irions rions
vous erez irez rez   eriez iriez riez
ils eront iront ront   eraient iraient raient
  1. In an interrogative sentence, the final e is written é, and is pronounced as an open è [ɛ]. Additionally, the e in je becomes silent. For example: je marche [ʒe maʁʃ] (I walk), marché-je? [maʁʃɛːʒ] (do I walk?)
  2. The following verbs have the ending -ont: ils sont (they are), ils ont (they have), ils font (they do), ils vont (they go).
  3. only in je/tu peux (I/you can), je/tu veux (I/you want), and je/tu vaux (I am/you are 'worth').
  4. Verbs in -dre have a final d for the 3rd singular person, except for those ending in -indre and -soudre which take a final t.
  5. The only verbs having this ending are: assaillir (assail), couvrir (cover), cueillir (pluck), défaillir (default), offrir (offer), ouvrir (open), souffrir (suffer), tressaillir (shiver), and in the imperative only, avoir (have), savoir (know), and vouloir (want).
  6. Except for je vins (I came), je tins (I held), etc..., que je vinsse (that I come), que je tinsse (that I hold), etc...

References[edit]

  1. Le nouveau Bescherelle: L'art de conjuger", 1972, pp. 10
  2. Maintenir, advenir, contrevenir, convenir, devenir, intervenir, parvenir, provenir, revenir, se souvenir, survenir