French/Grammar/Tenses/Present indicative

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Usage of the Present[edit | edit source]

When you want to talk about something that's happening now.


Formation of the Present[edit | edit source]

To form the present tense, there are seven categories of verbs that you need to know about, sorted by their endings, and if they are regular (follow the rules) or irregular (have their own rules).

They are:

  • -er verbs
  • -ir verbs
  • -re verbs

and

  • irregular -er verbs
  • irregular -ir verbs
  • irregular -re verbs
  • really really irregular verbs

Regular Verbs[edit | edit source]

Regular -er Verbs[edit | edit source]

  • For non stem-changing regular -er verbs, the stem is determined by removing the final -er.
  • After determining the stem, conjugate by adding the appropriate endings.

Subject

Ending

je

-e

tu

-es

il

-e

nous

-ons

vous

-ez

ils

-ent

Conjugation of Regular -ir Verbs[edit | edit source]

  • For regular -ir verbs, the stem is determined by removing the final -ir.
  • After determining the stem, conjugate by adding the appropriate endings.


Subject

Ending

je

-is

tu

-is

il

-it

nous

-issons

vous

-issez

ils

-issent

Conjugation of Regular -re Verbs[edit | edit source]

  • For regular -re verbs, the stem is determined by removing the final -re.
  • After determining the stem, conjugate by adding the appropriate endings.


Subject

Ending

je

-s

tu

-s

il

-

nous

-ons

vous

-ez

ils

-ent

Irregular Conjugations[edit | edit source]

  • Several verbs are irregularly conjugated in the present.
  • Some verbs can be categorized by the general pattern they follow, while others are completely irregular.
  • Irregular verbs are too numerous to be entirely provided here. Only some common irregular verbs will be shown.

Stem Changing -er Verbs[edit | edit source]

  • Several French verbs are stem-changing; the endings for conjugation basically remain the same, but slight changes occur with the stem.
  • One may divide the category of stem-changing verbs into two subcategories: verbs whose stems change only in the nous form and verbs whose stems change only in the je, tu, il, and ils forms.

-cer Verbs

  • To conjugate a -cer verb in the nous form, change the c to a ç.
  • Conjugations in the je, tu, il, vous, and ils forms remain unaffected.

-ger Verbs

  • To conjugate a -ger verb in the nous form, add an e between the final g and the ending ons.
  • Conjugations in the je, tu, il, vous, and ils forms remain unaffected.

-ayer, -oyer, and -uyer Verbs

  • To conjugate an -ayer, -oyer, or -uyer verb in the je, tu, il, and ils forms, change the y to i.
  • Conjugations in the nous and vous forms remain unaffected.

-eler Verbs

  • To conjugate an -eler verb in the je, tu, il, and ils forms, change the l to ll.
  • Conjugations in the nous and vous forms remain unaffected.

-eter Verbs

  • To conjugate an -eter verb in the je, tu, il, and ils forms, change the t to tt.
  • Conjugations in the nous and vous forms remain unaffected.

Verbs with e in the second to last syllable

  • To conjugate a verb with an e in the second to last syllable in the je, tu, il, and ils forms, change the e to è.
  • Conjugations in the nous and vous forms remain unaffected.

Verbs with é in the second to last syllable

  • To conjugate a verb with an é in the second to last syllable in the je, tu, il, and ils forms, change the é to è.
  • Conjugations in the nous and vous forms remain unaffected.

Irregular -ir Verb Patterns[edit | edit source]

Couvrir

  • The verbs couvrir, cueillir, offrir, ouvrir, and souffrir, follow this pattern.
  • The stem is determined by removing the final -ir.
  • Although the verbs are -ir verbs, they are treated like regular -er verbs for the purpose of conjugation. Thus, they utilize the regular endings for -er verbs.

Dormir

  • The verbs dormir, mentir, partir, sentir, servir, and sortir follow this pattern.
  • For conjugating the plural forms (nous, vous, ils), the stem is determined by removing the final -ir.
  • For conjugating the singular forms (je, tu, il), the stem is the same as the plural stem, except that the last letter of the plural stem is removed in addition to the -ir.
  • The verb ending pattern for these verbs is as follows:


Subject

Ending

je

-s

tu

-s

il

-t

nous

-ons

vous

-ez

ils

-ent

Irregular -re Verb Patterns[edit | edit source]

-aindre, -eindre, and -oindre Verbs

  • Verbs ending with -aindre, -eindre, and -oindre follow this pattern.
  • For conjugating the singular forms (je, tu, il), the stem is determined by removing the final -dre.
  • For conjugating the plural forms (nous, vous, ils), the stem is the same as the singular stem, except that a g is immediately after the final i and before the final n.
  • The verb ending pattern for these verbs is as follows:


Subject

Ending

je

-s

tu

-s

il

-t

nous

-ons

vous

-ez

ils

-ent

Completely Irregular Verbs[edit | edit source]

Aller - To Go

Subject

Conjugation

je

vais

tu

vas

il

va

nous

allons

vous

allez

ils

vont

S'asseoir - To Sit

Subject

Conjugation

je m'

assieds

tu t'

assieds

il s'

assied

nous nous

asseyons

vous vous

asseyez

ils s'

asseyent

Avoir - To Have

Subject

Conjugation

j'

ai

tu

as

il

a

nous

avons

vous

avez

ils

ont

Boire - To Drink

Subject

Conjugation

je

bois

tu

bois

il

boit

nous

buvons

vous

buvez

ils

boivent

Conduire - To Drive

Subject

Conjugation

je

conduis

tu

conduis

il

conduit

nous

conduisons

vous

conduisez

ils

conduisent

Connaître - To Know (A person)

Subject

Conjugation

je

connais

tu

connais

il

connaît

nous

connaissons

vous

connaissez

ils

connaissent

Croire - To Believe

Subject

Conjugation

je

crois

tu

crois

il

croit

nous

croyons

vous

croyez

ils

croient

Devoir - To Have To

Subject

Conjugation

je

dois

tu

dois

il

doit

nous

devons

vous

devez

ils

doivent

Dire - To Say/To Tell

Subject

Conjugation

je

dis

tu

dis

il

dit

nous

disons

vous

dites

ils

disent

Écrire - TO Write

Subject

Conjugation

j'

écris

tu

écris

il

écrit

nous

écrivons

vous

écrivez

ils

écrivent

Être - To Be

Subject

Conjugation

je

suis

tu

es

il

est

nous

sommes

vous

êtes

ils

sont

Faillir - To Almost Do

Subject

Conjugation

je

faillis / faux

tu

faillis / faux

il

faillit / faut

nous

faillissons / faillons

vous

faillissez / faillez

ils

faillissent / faillent

Faire - To Do/To Make

Subject

Conjugation

je

fais

tu

fais

il

fait

nous

faisons

vous

faites

ils

font

Falloir - To Have To/To Need (This verb can only be used in the impersonnal form)

Subject

Conjugation

il

faut

Lire - To Read

Subject

Conjugation

je

lis

tu

lis

il

lit

nous

lisons

vous

lisez

ils

lisent

Mettre - To Put/To Place

Subject

Conjugation

je

mets

tu

mets

il

met

nous

mettons

vous

mettez

ils

mettent

Mourir - To Die

Subject

Conjugation

je

meure

tu

meures

il

meurt

nous

mourons

vous

mourez

ils

meurent

Naître - To Be Born

Subject

Conjugation

je

nais

tu

nais

il

naît

nous

naissons

vous

naissez

ils

naissent

Prendre - To Take

Subject

Conjugation

je

prends

tu

prends

il

prend

nous

prenons

vous

prenez

ils

prennent

Rire - To Laugh

Subject

Conjugation

je

ris

tu

ris

il

rit

nous

rions

vous

riez

ils

rient

Savoir - To Know (a fact)

Subject

Conjugation

je

sais

tu

sais

il

sait

nous

savons

vous

savez

ils

savent

Sortir - To Go Out

Subject

Conjugation

je

sors

tu

sors

il

sort

nous

sortons

vous

sortez

ils

sortent

Venir - To Come

Subject

Conjugation

je

viens

tu

viens

il

vient

nous

venons

vous

venez

ils

viennent

Vivre - To Live

Subject

Conjugation

je

vis

tu

vis

il

vit

nous

vivons

vous

vivez

ils

vivent

Voir - To See

Subject

Conjugation

je

vois

tu

vois

il

voit

nous

voyons

vous

voyez

ils

voient

Vouloir - To Want

Subject

Conjugation

je

veux

tu

veux

il

veut

nous

voulons

vous

voulez

ils

veulent