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French tips: How to conjugate all the French verbs.

How to conjugate French verbs?

Verbs in French are divised into 3 groups, the first one, the easier, and the most common, called "the first groupe", is the group with the regular verbs ending with "er".

Ex: danser, travailler, parler. (dance, work, speak...)

Their conjugation is very easy, the only thing you have to do is to memorize the ending.

PARLER: (to talk) (I) Je parle (you) Tu parles (He) Il parle (or elle parle: she) (We) Nous parlons (You plural) Vous parlez (They) Ils parlent (or elles parlent)

endings: JE = e TU= es IL= e NOUS = ons VOUS = ez ILS = ent (and this ending is always mute)

The verb ending by "ier", remercier, gracier, etc... are conjugated the same, with teh same endings, they keep their "i".

REMERCIER (to thanks someone) Je remercie Tu remercies Il remercie Nous remercions Vous remerciez Ils remercient

Manger (to eat, pronouciation: http://fr.forvo.com/word/manger/), this verb is not irregular but has an exception, to the "nous", you need to put an additionnal "e" to keep being pronounced the same (this verb's root is pronounced "manj", like the "g" in "orange")

MANGER Je mange Tu manges Il mange Nous MANGEONS (and not "mangons", because it would be pronounced as a hard "g" like in "goat", and we need a soft g like in "orange". The "e" is only there to change the pronounciation and keep it alike to the other persons and to its root "manj") Vous mangez Ils mangent

SECOND GROUP: regular verbs ending with "IR" ex: Finir, mentir, servir, offrir, partir, etc...

PARTIR: (to leave) Je pars Tu pars Il part Nous partons Vous partez Ils partent

Here, I have: JE=s TU=s IL =t NOUS= ons VOUS= ez ILS= ent

FINIR (to finish, same group) Je finis Tu finis Il finit Nous finissons Vous finissez Ils finissent

Same endings...

The 3rd group is the difficult one, it gathers all the other verbs, not ending by "er" or "ir" and the irregular ones with "er" or "ir".

One of the most common and weird in this group are the three ones: Être (to be) Aller (to go) Avoir (to have), you need to memorize those 3 important verbs, because you can't guess them.

ÊTRE: (to be) Je suis Tu es Il est Nous sommes Vous êtes Ils sont

AVOIR: (to have) J'ai (and not "je ai"!!, the "je" is modified because of the two vowels following each other, "je ai" would be too difficult to pronounce, "je" is always transformed into " j' " when the verb begin with a vowel, or a non-aspirated "h".) Tu as Il a Nous avons Vous avez Ils ont

ALLER (to go) Je vais Tu vas Il va Nous allons Vous allez Ils vont.

For other verbs in this group, there are general patterns, depending of their endings. Tenir/Appartenir/Obtenir/Soutenir...etc (all conjugated as "tenir", tenir is irregular, memorize it.

Tenir: (to hold) Je tiens Tu tiens Il tient Nous tenons Vous tenez Ils tienent

Apprendre/Attendre/Comprendre/Descendre... etc (to learn, to wait, to underscendre, to get off...) and the verb ending with "ondre": répondre, etc... (to reply) Not irregular, but with conjugate according to the "endre" ending. Only memorize one, and you know them all. Notice that the endind of the 3rd group verbs is the same than for the 2nd group verbs.

PRENDRE: (to take) Je prends Tu prends Il prend Nous prenons Vous prenez Ils prennent

Battre/abattre/débattre/combattre, etc... (to hit, to cut down, to debate, to fight...) They are simple

BATTRE (to hit) Je bats Tu bats Il bat Nous battons Vous battez Ils battent

Boire/Croire etc... (drink, believe...) They are irregular for the plural persons.

BOIRE (to drink) Je bois Tu bois Il boit Nous buvons Vous buvez Ils boivent

CROIRE (To believe) Je crois Tu crois Il croit Nous croyons Vous croyez Ils croient

Naître/Connaître/Paraître/Disparaître, etc... (to born, to know, to seem, to disappear...) They're simple

NAÎTRE (to born) Je nais Tu nais Il naît (be careful there is a trick here, a ^ on the i) Nous naissons Vous naissez Ils naissent

PARAÎTRE (to seem) Je parais Tu parais Il paraît (same ^ on the i) Nous paraissons Vous paraissez Ils paraissent.

Devoir, falloir, vouloir = are irregular, but not voir, prévoir, recevoir. Vouloir is a very special one, because the ending "s" turned into a "x"

DEVOIR (irregular, to have to) Je dois Tu dois Il doit Nous devons Vous devez Ils doivent

VOIR (regular, to see) Je vois Tu vois Il voit Nous voyons Vous voyez Ils voient.

VOULOIR (to want) Je veux Tu veux Il veut Nous voulons Vous voulez Ils veulent

Verbes with "ire", or "uire" and the verb "vivre" Ecrire, Lire, Rire, Détruire etc... They are regular.

LIRE (to read) Je lis Tu lis Il lit Nous lisons Vous lisez Ils lisent.

VIVRE (to live) Je vis Tu vis Il vit Nous vivons Vous vivez Ils vivent

DIRE and FAIRE (to say and to do) Dire is regular but has only one exception, "vous". Je dis Tu dis Il dit Nous disons VOUS DITES (and not disez!!) Ils disent

Dire has the same exception than faire.

FAIRE Je fais Tu fais Il fait Nous faisons Vous FAITES (and not faisez!!!) Ils font

Plaire, complaire, etc.. are conjugated the same than "faire", but they have not their "vous" irregular, they have a normal "vous".

Craindre (to fear): crains, etc..

Please, tell me if you have question, if I'm not clear, or if I made some mistakes (because I wrote it very late)

March 27, 2014



Merci beau-coup! I was very perplexed about how the various verbs change form :).


When writing instructions, warnings, recipes, many write in the infinitive rather than the imperative. This may sound like an odd question, but when writing this way, are there any exceptions? Can all verbs be used in the infinitive?


WOW - what a GREAT question.
I ( or someone else ) will need to get back to you on this.

Thank you for asking such a GREAT question :D


I didn’t understand very well your question; are you talking about orders, advice and instructions?

There is no exception, you just use either imperative or infinitive like: « Tourner à droite. Ne pas tourner à gauche. » (Turn to the left. Do not turn to the right.) Note I’ve used « tourner » in the infinitive form You can also say:

« Tournez à droite. Ne tournez pas à gauche. » I used « tournez », which is the present imperative form with « vous » (y'all or formal You). « Tourne à droite. Ne tourne pas à gauche. » I used « tourne », which is the present imperative form with « tu » (ya).

  • Your question wasn’t clear, but I hope I answered it.


Did it help you? Do you feel comfortable with French verbs now. Please tell me if you try to conjugate verb with an ending I forgot in the list.


The only thing I would add (as an -er exception), because I see these two mistakes all the time in tutoring, "manger" in the nous form retains the 'e' - "mangeons," and for "commencer" the 'c' becomes - "commençons"


Yes, thanks, I add it. Not really an irregular, but definitively worth to put here.


You may not put it in the irregular basket, but it is an exception that follows a rule. And there are quite a few others besides. The ones mentioned above relate to the group ~er , and the sub rule concerns ~cer and ~ger verbs. I am in the process of writing an article on this, and once it is done, I will try to find this link, and put a cross reference for you here. - For it will include NOT just these instances, but hopefully be much more inclusive of all the other variations. - Wish me luck , and if you pick up this link - please comment. This is part of creating the community and making things relevant :)


Yes, it would be very interesting, thanks.


Hee Hee. though not quite finished - but so close - Please check through things and tell me where things should be addressed. Starting from Verbs ~er group

Thank you PERCE_NEIGE. You are a legend !


Please check out Verbs ~er group - ~ger endings.
and also Verbs ~er group - ~cer endings

This is a link to an extensive 'loam' of work that I have had the privilege to work on - with guidance from PERCE_NEIGE. If you follow the links, it shows ALL the spelling rules related to ~er verbs. And this includes GREAT rules to learn that have influence over all sorts of aspects of french.

I look forward to your comments to this learning loom :)


Thank you so much! I always have problems when it comes to conjugating verbs but this will help me a lot :D


Thank you PERCE_NEIGE, I've added it to our French grammar references discussion.


me no ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ comprendré


Thank you! This looks like just what I was looking for


thanks! this helped a lot


had a lot of problems in conjugating verbs, now it's clear! Thanks a lot


But the third group is really confusing.


The third group is the group you put the verbs that can't be in the first or the second one.


thanks for the tip


This is incredibly helpful! So happy to have found this treasure! Merci beaucoup:)


Verb conjugation is a big problem for learners like me. I found this contribution very helpful aid to memory. Thank you very much, PERCE_NEIGE


I will be reading over this until I have it memorized! I was having a lot of trouble remembering what was what! Thanks!!!!


This is what takes the fun out of learning a language.


owwwww - you don't really mean that.

It is part of the story also in the language.
It is only if you are ... well .. looking at learning a language for brownie points , that I could see you perhaps say this. Please do question me on this. For I often say challenging statements to hear interesting responses.

Yet language is not a mathematical equation. It is ever so much more than that. Not just history. It is also a sharing of culture and understanding of the world. Sometimes also a history of when other cultures affected this culture.
It gives us new ways to look at things. New ways to understand things.

Thank you for your engagement in this discussion.

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