How to form the present tense in French?
The present tense in French is used to express actions that are happening regularly, actions that are happening now, or actions that are generally true. It’s a fundamental aspect of the French language, and one that every beginner should learn.
Here’s a step-by-step lesson on how to form the present tense in French:
- Understanding verb conjugation: In French, verbs change their form depending on the subject pronoun (je, tu, il/elle, nous, vous, ils/elles). This is known as verb conjugation.
- Finding the stem of the verb: To conjugate a verb in the present tense, you need to find the stem of the verb. This is done by removing -er, -ir or -re from the infinitive form of the verb. For example, the stem of the verb parler (to speak) is parl-.
- Adding the appropriate present tense endings: Once you have the stem of the verb, you can add the appropriate present tense endings to form the conjugated verb. Here are the present tense endings for regular -er verbs:
- -e for je and il/elle
- -es for tu
- -ons for nous
- -ez for vous
- -ent for ils/elles
Here are some examples of regular -er verbs in the present tense:
- Parler (to speak): je parle, tu parles, il/elle parle, nous parlons, vous parlez, ils/elles parlent
- Regarder (to watch): je regarde, tu regardes, il/elle regarde, nous regardons, vous regardez, ils/elles regardent
- Acheter (to buy): j’achète, tu achètes, il/elle achète, nous achetons, vous achetez, ils/elles achètent
Note: There are also irregular verbs in French that do not follow this conjugation pattern. Some common irregular verbs include avoir (to have), être (to be), faire (to do/make), aller (to go), and venir (to come).
That’s it! With these simple steps, you can form the present tense in French and start expressing actions that are happening regularly, actions that are happening now, or actions that are generally true. As you practice and become more familiar with the different verb conjugations, you’ll be able to form the present tense more easily and accurately.