French verb conjugations can get confusing and stressful if you let them. Fortunately for you, you don’t have to feel overwhelmed with them.

The first thing you need to remember is that French verbs are either regular or irregular. A regular verb will follow a pattern of conjugation that is shared with other regular verbs.

Irregular verbs, on the other hand, do not follow the same pattern. However, please be aware that some verbs are more irregular than others. Some verbs are considered irregular by some because they have root changes. An accent or double consonant may be added when conjugating the verb. These types of verbs still follow the same endings for regular verbs.

Other irregular verbs do not follow any pattern for conjugation  The verbs avoir, aller, and etre are verbs like this and do not follow the regular pattern.

 

Regular French Verb Conjugations for Complete Beginners

 

There are 3 different verb forms to be aware of.

  1. Verbs ending in “-er”
  2. Verbs ending in “-ir”
  3. Verbs ending in “-re”

This is the base form of the verb, like saying “to eat” or “to run”. You cannot use these verbs as the main verb of a sentence (just like you wouldn’t say, “I to eat this bread”). Each verb form has it’s set of “regular” verb endings.

 

Group 1 Verbs (Regular “-er” Verbs)

 

For regular “-er” verbs, you drop the “er” and add the following endings to the “root” of the verb.

 

For example, when using the verb “manger” (to eat), conjugate it as follows:

 

Note the asterisk on the nous form, in a regular verb, the “e” would have been dropped, but “mangons” doesn’t give the correct sound, so the “e” was added. You will need to continue this process for all regular “-er” verbs. All irregular verbs, you simply need to memorize! Some common regular “er” verbs include:

 

  • donner (to give, produce)
  • demander (to ask)
  • trouver (to find)
  • passer (to pass, go past)
  • rester (to stay, remain)
  • porter (to carry)
  • parler (to speak)
  • montrer (to show, display)
  • continuer (to continue)
  • penser (to think)

 

 

 

Regular French “-ir” Verbs

 

For “-ir” verbs, drop the “ir” from the end of the word and add the following endings:

 

For example, when using the verb “finir” (to finish), conjugate it as follows:

 

You will need to continue this process for all regular “-ir” verbs. All irregular verbs, you (again) simply need to memorize! Some common regular “ir” verbs include:

 

  • agir (to act)
  • nourrir (to feed, nourish)
  • convertir (to convert)
  • investir (to invest)
  • avertir (to warn)
  • choisir (to chose)
  • finir (to finish)
  • accomplir (to accomplish)

 

 

Regular “-re” Verbs

 

For all “-re” verbs, drop the “re” from the end of the word and add the following endings:

 

For example, when using the verb “attendre” (to wait (for)), conjugate it as follows:

 

You will need to continue this process for all regular “-re” verbs. All irregular verbs, you (again) simply need to memorize! Some common regular “re” verbs include:

 

  • attendre (to wait…for)
  • confondre (to confuse)
  • entendre (to hear, understand)
  • perdre (to lose)
  • rendre (to give back, return)
  • vendre (to sell)

 

Look for the similarities in verb endings across all THREE ending types.

 

Stop at this point if you are new to learning French.

Complete French Verb Conjugations

 

If you are a brand new French language learner, I highly recommend you review the section above which is a far more simplified version to help you wrap your head around French verb conjugations.

Once you understand the basics of regular and irregular verbs, it’s time to start learning the full complexities of French verb conjugations.

French verb conjugations are divided into 3 different groups based on how consistent their regular endings are. Take a glance at the chart below for a side-by-side comparison.

Then be sure to sign up for the verb conjugation practice PDF below.

 

 

Group 1 French Verb Conjugations

The conjugations with the asterisk (*) have an irregularity in the root of the verb. This irregularity in spelling simply changes the pronunciation of the word so the consonant at the end is pronounced instead of silent (jeter). It can also add a slight change to the pronunciation so it sounds more consistent with the main form of the verb (manger, commencer). 

In the case of acheter, the accent adds a slight change to the pronunciation of the vowel.

 

 

Group 2 French Verb Conjugations

Not all “-ir” verbs will be in group 2 and follow the endings above. This is something I simplified for complete beginners so as to reduce the overwhelm of french verb conjugations. However, with practice you will be able to recognize which “-ir” verbs belong to group 2 (above) and which belong to group 3 (below).

 

 

Group 3 French Verb Conjugations

Group 3 French Verbs seems to be a catch-all for all the other French verbs. The chart above shows all the different variations for group 3 verbs. Just keep practicing it – you can sign up for the French Verb conjugation practice PDF below.

Remember not to be overwhelmed with all the variations. They real key is to look for similarities and to practice identifying different verbs as you learn them. 

 

You’ll get this, just keep working at it.

And have fun!

Remember French Verbs More Easily

Review all 3 groups in present tense, plus learn all the most common verbs in each group.

PLUS get access to  verb conjugation practice worksheets. At no cost to you except your time in practicing verb conjugations!

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