Conjugate French verbs

There are three groups of verbs in French, those ending with ER (parler), IR (venir) or RE (prendre). As with Spanish, French verbs are conjugated by isolating the stem of the verb and adding an ending. For example, the stem of parler (to speak) is “parl”. The stem of finir (to finish) is “fin”.

As with English, there are three main tenses – past, present and future – with many different rules for each tense.

Most verbs belong to the regular conjugation of those that end in ER, though there are a significant number of irregular verbs, which follow no common pattern. Some frequently-used French irregular verbs are:

  • être – to be
  • avoir – to have
  • aller – to go
  • faire – to do
  • pouvoir – can
  • vouloir – to want
  • venir – to come
  • savoir – to know
  • prendre – to take

Examples of French conjugative verbs

 Let’s take a regular verb, the verb chanter (to sing), and conjugate it in the present tense

  • je chante (I sing)
  • tu chantes (you sing)
  • il/elle chante (he/she sings)
  • nous chantons (we sing)
  • vous chantez (you plural sing)
  • ils/elles chantent (he/she plural sing)