How to conjugate a verb in French?
Conjugating verbs in French is an essential aspect of the language. It allows you to express different tenses and moods, making your communication more accurate and effective. In this lesson, we will focus on the basics of verb conjugation for beginners, with many examples.
The first step in conjugating a verb in French is to identify its infinitive form, which is the base form of the verb. The infinitive form typically ends in -er, -ir, or -re.
Next, you need to know the subject pronoun that the verb will be conjugated for. In French, there are seven subject pronouns: je (I), tu (you, informal), il/elle (he/she), nous (we), vous (you, formal or plural), ils/elles (they).
Once you have the infinitive form and the subject pronoun, you can conjugate the verb. Here are the conjugation patterns for regular verbs in French:
1. Verbs ending in -er
The conjugation for verbs ending in -er is as follows:
- Je – e
- Tu – es
- Il/elle – e
- Nous – ons
- Vous – ez
- Ils/elles – ent
For example, the verb parler (to speak) is conjugated as follows:
- Je parle (I speak)
- Tu parles (You speak)
- Il/elle parle (He/she speaks)
- Nous parlons (We speak)
- Vous parlez (You speak)
- Ils/elles parlent (They speak)
2. Verbs ending in -ir
The conjugation for verbs ending in -ir is as follows:
- Je – is
- Tu – is
- Il/elle – it
- Nous – issons
- Vous -issez
- Ils/elles – issent
For example, the verb finir (to finish) is conjugated as follows:
- Je finis (I finish)
- Tu finis (You finish)
- Il/elle finit (He/she finishes)
- Nous finissons (We finish)
- Vous finissez (You finish)
- Ils/elles finissent (They finish)
3. Verbs ending in -re
The conjugation for verbs ending in -re is as follows:
- Je -s
- Tu -s
- Il/elle -t
- Nous -ssons
- Vous -ssez
- Ils/elles -ssent
For example, the verb vendre (to sell) is conjugated as follows:
- Je vends (I sell)
- Tu vends (You sell)
- Il/elle vend (He/she sells)
- Nous vendons (We sell)
- Vous vendez (You sell)
- Ils/elles vendent (They sell)
Note: There are also irregular verbs in French that do not follow the regular conjugation patterns.
These verbs must be memorized.
Some common irregular verbs in French include avoir (to have), être (to be), faire (to do), aller (to go), and venir (to come).
- Je mange un bon repas tous les jours. (I eat a good meal every day.)
- Tu parles français? (Do you speak French?)
- Il/elle finit ses devoirs à 6 heures. (He / She finishes his/her homeworks at 6 o’clock)