A-level French/Verbs

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A verb is a word used to describe something that happened, such as an action or state of being.

Infinitive[edit | edit source]

The infinite is a verb without a subject or tense. In English, it is usually "to _____". In French, all infinitives end in -er, -ir, or -re.

  • parler (to talk)
  • finir (to finish)
  • entendre (to hear)

Most verbs are -er verbs. Many verbs that end in -er end in -ate in English (for example, the verb to donate is "donner"). Many verbs that end in -ir end in -ish in English (for example, the verb finir means to finish).

The infinitive is used in certain phrases in both English and French.

Conjugating Verbs[edit | edit source]

To conjugate a verb means to change it so it can be used with a particular tense and subject. In French, most verbs are conjugated by taking off the -er, -ir, and -re and adding certain endings depending on the tense. However, some verbs do not work like and are irregular verbs.

Common irregular verbs[edit | edit source]

Here are twenty verbs that are used a lot, but are not formed like regular -er, -ir, or -re verbs:

  • aller (to go)
  • avoir (to have)
  • boire (to drink)
  • connaître (to know)
  • courir (to run)
  • devoir (to have to)
  • dire (to say, to tell)
  • dormir (to sleep)
  • écrire (to write)
  • être (to be)
  • faire (to do, to make)
  • lire (to read)
  • mentir (to lie)
  • mettre (to put, to turn on)
  • mourir (to die)
  • pouvoir (to be able to, can, may)
  • prendre (to take)
  • recevoir (to receive)
  • savoir (to know)
  • venir (to come)
  • voir (to see)
  • vouloir (to want, to wish)