Verbs - encouraging statistics

To return: Verbs ~er group

The ~er verb patterns are by far the most numerous, according to "Le Petit Robert" the distribution of french verbs are:

~er 5,756 (89%) ; ~oir 40 (1%) ; ~re 252 (4%) ;~ir 396 (6%)

"Of the ~er verbs virtually all of the nearly 800 "irregular" ~er verbs only 2 do not follow precise patterns throughout their conjugations." from French Verbs made Simple(r) by David Brodsky. However according to this group makes up to over 6,000 verbs and the ONLY exception is aller to go. Aller falls into the 3rd group of exception words. The probable reason for the difference in total numbers between "Le Petit Robert" and "", is that almost all new verbs entering the language are conjugated according the rules for this 1st group of verbs. So over time the percentage of verbs in the french language that follow these rules will be increasing as well.

And I would add to that for the ~er verbs, that are often referred to as "irregular" in English texts do have rules - and they are NOT irregular! And that these rules are worthwhile learning as they can also help with other aspects of french, such as knowing that " ç " means the the soft " s " like sound is used in pronouncing the word, instead of the hard " k " like sound. eg. le garçon.

This all was encouraging for me - which is why I thought it worthwhile to share.

April 27, 2014



April 27, 2014

Et MERCI - Caroly250 ! I do like to hear that I am not too off track and that things like this that I post are relevant for the learning of French language on duolingo :) I am trying to be of use to the community, and to motivate myself by talking about things I find that are interesting - that can advance my language learning journey, and may be of interest to others. Also that are not put together in the same way that I am managing to put my learning journey together.

If someone else has got it together in a way that I feel I could not improve on for my learning journey - then I will just make a reference to what they have up on the internet - so others can check that out (including for myself as I proceed on my journey).

April 28, 2014

Of the verbs whose infinitif ends in ~er, one of the two that do not follow the regular patterns throughout their conjugations is the important verb "aller" : meaning to go. I am yet to find out what the other one is. Of the verb "aller" I have also been told that it is not a member of the ~er group of verbs. Which confuses me as ~aller ends in ~er.

But there is another way to view the verbs. That ALL the verbs in the ~er group do conform to standard rules ( except " aller " ). I believe that is also the case for the ~ir verb types (with the exception of " avoir " : meaning to have). And that ALL the other verbs - that don't follow these two larger standard patterns, including "aller" and "avoir" , are considered to fall into the third group which is often called ~re by english learns - but is referred to at the third group of verbs by native french speakers. More about that later..

(PS. if I am wrong in any of this - I am hoping I will be corrected :)

April 28, 2014

Also in French Verbs made Simple(r) by David Brodsky, he has an interesting history study on verbs, and his research and analysis indicate that the reason why so many high frequency words vary from the standard pattern - is because they are used a lot - and so over time have changed in pronunciation, and thus also spelling. Just like all the different dialects of english that are used around the world. You can read an extract from his book at this link and type in " isbn:0292783337 " in the field " Researching a topic: ", and press " search books ", it will come up with an extract of the book you can look through.

April 28, 2014

David Brodsky also says in: " How do the French verb endings ~er, ~oir, ~re, ~ir correspond to the three-fold division ~ar, ~er, ~ir characterisitics of most other major Romance languages?

Latin verbs are divided into four groups, depending on the infinitive ending. In the first, second and fourth groups, the vowel modifications which we have noted above ... being certain sounds ... ... In third group, the vowel of the infinitive ending was unstressed and simply disappeared in French, giving rise to the ~re verbs. "

I am still digesting this information from David, but I feel it is interesting enough to post, perhaps especially for those that are coming to French with an understanding of one of the other romance languages, or an interest in history.

April 28, 2014


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