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Conjugating French Regular Verbs is a Piece of Cake!

You are probably thinking ” Oh no, French verbs are so difficult to learn” … But luckily,  there’s a pattern to conjugating regular French verbs into the simple and compound tenses, so if you learn to conjugate one verb in each of the groups, you will know how to conjugate hundreds of others!

First of all, what is a verb?

  • A verb is a “doing word”, an “action word”
  • It is a word that reveals what is happening . It can express a physical action, a mental action, or a state of being.Ex: Parler (to speak) / penser (to think)/finir (to finish) etc…
  • The infinitive form of a verb is a verb in its basic form. In English, it’s usually preceded by “to” but not always.  In French,  it is usually one word with the following endings : ER, IR, and RE. If you look up  a verb in a dictionary,  you’ll find its infinitive form .
  • French verbs are classified into 3 groups and each of them has different endings.
  1. – ER VERBS : Parler, écouter, marcher, regarder etc… (to speak, to listen, to walk, to watch/to look etc…)
  2. – IR VERBS: Finir, choisir, réussir etc… (to finish, to choose, to succeed etc…)
  3. – RE /-OIR VERBS: Attendre, mettre, voir etc… (to wait for, to put, to see etc…)

Look at the table below :

GroupInfinitive ending ConjugationTips
Groupe 1- ERTo conjugate -ER verbs remove the infinitive ending to find the stem & add the endings
-e/-es/-e/-ons/-ez/-ent
Ex: Parler (to speak)Je parle
Tu parles
Il/elle/on parle
Nous parlons
Vous parlez
Ils/elles parlent
Groupe 2- IRTo conjugate -IR verbs, remove the infinitive ending to find the stem & add the endings
- is /-is/-it/-issons/-issez/-issent
Ex: Finir (to finish)Je finis
Tu finis
Il/elle/on finit
Nous finissons
Vous finissez
Ils/elles finissent
Groupe 3- RE /-OIR To conjugate -RE/OIR verbs , remove the infinitive ending to find the stem & add the endings
- s/-s /- /-ons/-ez/-ent

*For il/elle/on DO NOT ADD ANYTHING
Ex: Attendre (to wait for)J'attends
Tu attends
Il/elle/on attend
Nous attendons
Vous attendez
Ils/elles attendent

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