Verb Conjugations

Verbs in almost any language are conjugated. They have different forms depending on the subject. Sometimes this is a hard concept for anglophones to grasp because the verb forms in English don't vary much. But in most verbs, it is "I speak" but "he speaks. In French, the forms are more diverse. There are regular verbs and irregular verbs in French just as in English. The three classes of regular verbs are -er, -re, and -ir. The rest are all irregular. All verbs in French end in -er, -ir, -re, -oir, or -oire. Below you will learn how to conjugate regular verbs in the present tense, and some irregular verbs as well. To learn how these verbs work in other tenses, consult the tense topics at right.

regular -er verbs
Example verb: conjuguer, to conjugate

  • Drop the -er from the infinitive.
  • Add the following endings:
    • je: -e (je conjugue=I conjugate)
    • tu: -es (tu conjugues=you conjugate)
    • il/elle/on: -e (il conjugue=he conjugates)
    • nous: -ons (nous conjuguons=we conjugate)
    • vous: -ez (vous conjuguez=you conjugate)
    • ils: -ent (ils conjuguent=they conjugate)

regular -ir verbs

Example verb: choisir, to choose
  • Drop the -ir from the infinitive.
  • Add the following endings:
    • je: -is (je choisis=I choose)
    • tu: -is (tu choisis=you choose)
    • il/elle/on: -it (il choisit=he chooses)
    • nous: -issons (nous choisissons=we choose)
    • vous: -issez (vous choisissez=you choose)
    • ils: -issent (ils choisissent=they choose)

regular -re verbs
Example verb: rendre, to give back
  • Drop the -re from the infinitive.
  • Add the following endings:
    • je: -s (je rends=I give back)
    • tu: -s (tu rends=you give back)
    • il/elle/on: nothing (il rend=he gives back)
    • nous: -ons (nous rendons=we give back)
    • vous: -ez (vous rendez=you give back)
    • ils: -ent (ils rendent=they give back)

Some common irregular verbs

être - to be
je suis=I am
tu es=you are
il est=he is
nous sommes=we are
vous êtes=you are
ils sont=they are

avoir - to have
j'ai=I have
tu as=you have
il a=he has
nous avons=we have
vous avez=we have
ils ont=they have

aller - to go
je vais=I go
tu vas=you go
il va=he goes
nous allons=we go
vous allez=you go
ils vont=they go

faire - to do
je fais=I do
tu fais=you do
il fait=he does
nous faisons=we do
vous faites=you do
ils font=they do

pouvoir - to be able
je peux=I can
tu peux=you can
il peut=he can
nous pouvons=we can
vous pouvez=you can
ils peuvent=they can

mettre - to put (and its compounds)
je mets=I put
tu mets=you put
il met=he puts
nous mettons=we put
vous mettez=you put
ils mettent=they put

vouloir - to want
je veux=I want
tu veux=you want
il veut=he wants
nous voulons=we want
vous voulez=you want
ils veulent=they want

croire - to believe
je crois=I believe
tu crois=you believe
il croit=he believes
nous croyons=we believe
vous croyez=we believe
ils croient=they believe

boire - to drink
je bois=I drink
tu bois=you drink
il boit=he drinks
nous buvons=we drink
vous buvez=you drink
ils boivent=they drink

lire - to read (and its compounds)
je lis=I read
tu lis=you read
il lit=he reads
nous lisons=we read
vous lisez=you read
ils lisent=they read

dire - to say
je dis=I say
tu dis=you say
il dit=he says
nous disons=we say
vous dites=you say
ils disent=they say

voir - to see (and its compounds)
je vois=I see
tu vois=you see
il voit=he sees
nous voyons=we see
vous voyez=you see
ils voient=they see

conduire - to drive
je conduis=I drive
tu conduis=you drive
il conduit=he drives
nous conduisons=we drive
vous conduisez=you drive
ils conduisent=they drive

écrire - to write (and its compounds)
j'écris=I write
tu écris=you write
il écrit=he write
nous écrivons=we write
vous écrivez=we write
ils écrivent=they write

savoir - to know
je sais=I know
tu sais=you know
il sait=he knows
nous savons=we know
vous savez=you know
ils savent=they know

connaître - to know (a person)
je connais=I know
tu connais=you know
il connaît=he knows
nous connaissons=we know
vous connaissez=you know
ils connaissent=they know

prendre - to take (and its compounds)
je prends=I take
tu prends=you take
il prend=he takes
nous prenons=we take
vous prenez=you take
ils prennent=they take

venir - to come (and its compounds)
je viens=I come
tu viens=you come
il vient=he comes
nous venons=we come
vous venez=you come
ils viennent=they come

tenir - to hold (and its compounds)
je tiens=I hold
tu tiens=you hold
il tient=he holds
nous tenons=we hold
vous tenez=you hold
ils tiennent=they hold

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