سانچو:maincat French verbs have been traditionally classified in three groups, based on their endings and conjugation. One of these is, in fact, a "remnant" group including any verb that does not conjugate like the verbs of the first two. With the caveat of the irregular third conjugation, these groupings are similar to the tripartite system found in Italian (-are, -ere, -ire), Spanish/Portuguese (-ar, -er, -ir), and other Romance languages.
- 1 The three conjugations
- 2 General notes
- 3 First conjugation
- 4 Second conjugation
- 5 Third conjugation
- 6 Hesitations and variations
- 7 Auxiliary verbs
- 8 See also
The three conjugations[ترميميو]
- -er verbs (verbes en -er) form the first conjugation and match roughly Latin verbs in -are. The prototypical verb is (aimer).
- -ir verbs (verbes en -ir) form the second conjugation. It is a slight misnomer as it specifically includes verbs who use the -iss- infix (derived from the Latin inchoative infix -esc-) in the indicative present and imperfect, and the subjunctive imperfect. They match roughly Latin verbs in -ēre and -ire. The prototypical verb is (finir).
- Verbs of the third conjugation match a variety of Latin verbs in -ire or -ere whose conjugation evolved in a fashion that gave them non-standard endings. As such, this family is highly irregular: it includes verbs in -ir, in -oir and -re, as well as a few exceptional verbs in -er.
- Traditionally, the third conjugation consisted of verbs ending in -oir, and the fourth conjugation was made up of -re verbs. This categorisation has, however, become unused.
- The second person singular always ends in -s, except in the first group's imperative and a few verbs in -eux.
- The plural endings almost always end in -ons, -ez and -ent (or -ont) in tenses other than the past historic.
- In the past historic, the first and second always end in -mes and -tes, with the preceding syllable's vowel taking a circumflex.
- In the indicative present, some verbs end in -tes instead of -ez: (être), (dire), (redire), (faire), and (')'s derivatives.
- The verb (') is the only verb without -ons in the indicative present (it has nous sommes).
- The imperfect indicative always ends in -ais, -ais, -ait, -ions, -iez, -aient.
- The imperfect subjunctive always ends in -sse, -sses, -t, -ssions, -ssez, -ssent, with the preceding syllable's vowel taking a circumflex in the third person singular.
- The conditional is always formed by adding the imperfect indicative endings to the future stem, that stem being identical to the infinitive in the first two conjugations.
The first conjugation is typified by the verb (aimer). It has a few irregularities in the verb root, usually to preserve pronunciation, or due to shifts in the location of the stress. The same endings are used in all forms. It includes all verbs in -er except for (aller), and (envoyer) and its derivatives.
- Infinitive: stem + -er
- Past: stem + -é
- Present: stem + -ant
- Present: stem + -e, -es, -e, -ons, -ez, -ent
- Imperfect: stem + -ais, -ais, -ait, -ions, -iez, -aient
- Past historic: stem + -ai, -as, -a, -âmes, -âtes, -èrent
- Future: stem + -erai, -eras, -era, -erons, -erez, -eront
- Conditional: stem + -erais, -erais, -erait, -erions, -eriez, -eraient
- Present: stem + -e, -es, -e, -ions, -iez, -ent
- Imperfect: stem + -asse, -asses, -ât, -assions, -assiez, -assent
- tu form: stem + -e
- nous form: stem + -ons
- vous form: stem + -ez
Spelling variations: verbs in -cer and -ger[ترميميو]
In French, a c is pronounced /s/ before e and i, and when it has a cedilla (ç), but it is pronounced /k/ before a, o, and u. When a verb stem ends in a c, it becomes ç before the endings that begin in a or o, in order to maintain the pronunciation of the verb stem.
The prototypical verb in this case is (placer), conjugated as follows:
- Present (nous form): plaçons
- Imperfect: plaçais, plaçais, plaçait, placions, placiez, plaçaient
- Past historic: plaçai, plaças, plaça, plaçâmes, plaçâtes, placèrent
- Imperfect: plaçasse, plaçasses, plaçât, plaçassions, plaçassiez, plaçassent
- nous form: plaçons
In the same way as the pronunciation of the letter c changes, so does the letter g. It is pronounced /ʒ/ before e and i, but pronounced /ɡ/ before a, o, and u. This causes problems with verbs ending in -ger, as explained above. These verbs also change their spelling: the g changes to ge before a and o.
The prototypical verb is (manger), conjugated as follows:
- Present (nous form): mangeons
- Imperfect: mangeais, mangeais, mangeait, mangions, mangiez, mangeaient
- Past historic: mangeai, mangeas, mangea, mangeâmes, mangeâtes, mangèrent
- Imperfect: mangeasse, mangeasses, mangeât, mangeassions, mangeassiez, mangeassent
- nous form: mangeons
These spelling changes may combine with the vowel variation discussed in the next section with verbs such as (dépecer), (rapiécer) and (assiéger) (there are no verbs in -eger).and (manger).
The pronunciation of some verbs changes when the ending begins with an unpronounced e (namely -e, -es, -ent and the future/conditional endings). This is usually because the schwa (/ə/) is phonotactically not allowed in a stressed, closed syllable.
Verbs with vowel alternation[ترميميو]
Verbs with a penultimate vowel of /e/ (é), such as (répéter), or /ə/, such as (acheter), change the last vowel of the stem to è (/ɛ/) , if the first vowel of the ending is /ə/..
The prototypical verbs of these types are (lever) and (céder):
- Present: lève, lèves, lève, (levons, levez), lèvent
- Future: lèverai, lèveras, lèvera, lèverons, lèverez, lèveront
- Conditional: lèverais, lèverais, lèverait, lèverions, lèveriez, lèveraient
- tu form: lève
- Present: cède, cèdes, cède, (cedons, cedez), cèdent
- Future: cèderai, cèderas, cèdera, cèderons, cèderez, cèderont
- Conditional: cèderais, cèderais, cèderait, cèderions, cèderiez, cèderaient
- tu form: cède
- Instead of accenting the stressed vowel, the verbs (appeler), (interpeler), (jeter) and their derivatives duplicate the l or t:
- Present: appelle, appelles, appelle, (appelons, appelez), appellent
- Future: appellerai, appelleras, appellera, appellerons, appellerez, appelleront
- Conditional: appellerais, appellerais, appellerait, appellerions, appelleriez, appelleraient
- tu form: appelle
- Present: jette, jettes, jette, (jetons, jetez), jettent
- Future: jetterai, jetteras, jettera, jetterons, jetterez, jetteront
- Conditional: jetterais, jetterais, jetterait, jetterions, jetteriez, jetteraient
- tu form: jette
- Verbs like (') may retain the original é spelling, and /e/ pronunciation, of the final e in the future and conditional. As such, these verbs may be written with an acute accent in these two tenses:
- ceder (alternative conjugation)
- Future: céderai, céderas, cédera, céderons, céderez, céderont
- Conditional: céderais, céderais, céderait, céderions, céderiez, céderaient
- Verbs with a penultimate vowel of /ɛ/, such as (paresser), are conjugated normally like ('), as are verbs in -éer, such as (créer), and -eyer, like (grasseyer). Some verb in -eller or -etter exist as alternate spellings of equivalent forms in -eler and -eter; they do not vary either.
1990 spelling reform[ترميميو]
Before 1990, conjugation of verbs in -eler and -eter was very complex. Some would always duplicate the consonant, other would conjugate like ('), and others could take both. Very often dictionaries would contradict each other, or even themselves, when giving conjugations. It is now recommended that all these verbs, with the exception of the most common ((appeler) and (jeter)) be conjugated like (').
At the same time, it was recommended that verbs like (') conjugate the same way as (') in the future and conditional, as modern pronunciation did not match the spelling for many people.
Verbs in -yer[ترميميو]
- Verbs ending in -oyer and -uyer (other than (envoyer) and (renvoyer)) replace the y with an i before an unpronounced e, turning the preceding syllable in a diphthong. The prototypical verbs are (noyer) and (ennuyer), hence:
- Present: noie, noies, noie, (noyons, noyez), noient
- Future: noierai, noieras, noiera, noierons, noierez, noieront
- Conditional: noierais, noierais, noierait, noierions, noieriez, noieraient
- tu form: noie
- Present: ennuie, ennuies, ennuie, (ennuyons, ennuyez), ennuient
- Future: ennuierai, ennuieras, ennuiera, ennuierons, ennuierez, ennuieront
- Conditional: ennuierais, ennuierais, ennuierait, ennuierions, ennuieriez, ennuieraient
- tu form: ennuie
- Verbs ending in -ayer, however, may be conjugated either by turning the y into an i as above, or by keeping the y and using the exact same conjugation as (') (prototypical example (payer)):
- Present: paie, paies, paie, (payons, payez), paient —OR— paye, payes, paye, (payons, payez), payent
- Future: paierai, paieras, paiera, paierons, paierez, paieront —OR— payerai, payeras, payera, payerons, payerez, payeront
- Conditional: paierais, paierais, paierait, paierions, paieriez, paieraient —OR— payerais, payerais, payerait, payerions, payeriez, payeraient
- tu form: paie —OR— paye
Irregular verb: envoyer[ترميميو]
The verb (envoyer) has irregular future and conditional tenses.The future stem of this verb is enverr-, resembling (voir) more than envoyer. This gives the future tense j'enverrai, tu enverras, etc., and the conditional tense j'enverrais, tu enverrais, etc.
Regular verbs with peculiar spellings[ترميميو]
- Verbs in -éer (mostly (créer), (recréer) and (béer)) have unusual sequences of multiple "e"s; the feminine past participles of (') and (') are the only words in French to have sequences of three "e"s (créée, recréée).
- Verbs ending in -ier are pronounced normally (that is, they rhyme with words in -ie like (manie)), and the sequence of two "i"s found in the imperfect and subjunctive (and otherwise very rare) is preserved.
The prototypical verb for the second conjugation is (finir). The conjugation is, marked by the vowel i and the infix -iss- in the indicative present and imperfect. It has only one irregular verb and one that can take an alternate conjugation.
- Infinitive: stem + -ir
- Past: stem + -i
- Present: stem + -issant
- Present: stem + -is, -is, -it, -issons, -issez, -issent
- Imperfect: stem + -issais, -issais, -issait, -issions, -issiez, -issaient
- Past historic: stem + -is, -is, -it, -îmes, -îtes, -irent
- Future: stem + -irai, -iras, -ira, -irons, -irez, -iront
- Conditional: stem + -irais, -irais, -irait, -irions, -iriez, -iraient
- Present: stem + -isse, -isses, -isse, -issions, -issiez, -issent
- Imperfect: stem + -isse, -isses, -ît, -issions, -issiez, -issent
- tu form: stem + -is
- nous form: stem + -issons
- vous form: stem + -issez
Irregular -ir verb families[ترميميو]
- Certain verbs, such as (dormir), lose the sequence -iss- throughout their conjugation. Additionally, their singular present indicative forms lose the final consonant of the stem and the i of the ending. Thus, the present indicative of dormir is conjugated: dors, dors, dort, dormons, dormez, dorment.
- Another small group of verbs, including (cueillir), conjugate like first conjugation (-er) verbs, except for the infinitive, past participle and the past historic and imperfect subjunctive tenses, where second conjugation forms are used.
- Verbs ending in -oir are usually considered part of the third conjugation (below).
Special -ir verbs[ترميميو]
- The verb (fleurir) is very often conjugated as if its infinitive was (florir) when it means "prosper". This is systematic in the imperfect indicative (je florissais, etc.) and present participle ((florissant), and although much less common, also seen in all other tenses, including the infinitive itself.
- The verb (haïr) is conjugated exactly like ('), but its diaeresis remains for all the conjugation, with the exception of the singular present indicative, where the forms are written without it (je hais, tu hais, il hait) and pronounced accordingly /ɛ/, not /ai/. The verb was formerly spelled (hayir), and the corresponding indicative forms (haïs, haïs, haït) are still used regionally.
- Although (maudire) is conjugated like (') in all other forms, it is considered a third-group verb due to its irregular infinitive and past participle ((maudit)). Another third-group verb that often conjugate in regular second-group conjugation is (bruire).
Verbs of the third group are an extremely disparate forms, several of which have missing, unresolved or variable conjugations. The verbs can be broken in several broad groups:
- The verb (aller)
- Verbs in -ir with a stem that varies or that loses a syllable in some tenses.
- Verbs in -re (-ore, -oire, -ire, -ure) and -oir
All in all, these verbs account for less than four hundred words and over seventy distinct conjugations. Only some of the most common and important conjugations are given and described here.
Owing to its history as a mixture of two highly irregular Old French verbs ((estre) and (ester)), (être) contains a variety of unique and unpredictable forms.
- Past: été
- Present: étant
- Present: suis, es, est, sommes, êtes, sont
- Imperfect: étais, étais, était, étions, étiez, étaient
- Past historic: fus, fus, fut, fûmes, fûtes, furent
- Future: serai, seras, sera, serons, serez, seront
- Conditional: serais, serais, serait, serions, seriez, seraient
- Present: sois, sois, soit, soyons, soyez, soient
- Imperfect: fusse, fusses, fût, fussions, fussiez, fussent
- tu form: sois
- nous form: soyons
- vous form: soyez
(avoir) is another highly irregular auxiliary. It was worn down with overuse, and became abbreviated to its current forms.
- Past: eu (note pronunciation /y/)
- Present: ayant
- Present: ai, as, a, avons, avez, ont
- Imperfect: avais, avais, avait, avions, aviez, avaient
- Past historic: eus, eus, eut, eûmes, eûtes, eurent
- Future: aurai, auras, aura, aurons, aurez, auront
- Conditional: aurais, aurais, aurait, aurions, auriez, auraient
- Present: aie, ais, ait, ayons, ayez, aient
- Imperfect: eusse, eusses, eût, eussions, eussiez, eussent
- tu form: aie
- nous form: ayons
- vous form: ayez
(faire) is the second most frequent verb in French (after (être)), and is noticeably irregular.
Note that "fais-" followed by an ending is alway pronounced with a mute e sound (/fəz/) in this verb.
- Past: fait
- Present: faisant
- Present: fais, fais, fait, faisons IPA: /fəzɔ̃/, faites, font
- Imperfect: faisais /fəzɛ/, faisais, faisait, faisions, faisiez, faisaient
- Past historic: fis, fis, fit, fîmes, fîtes, firent
- Future: ferai, feras, fera, ferons, ferez, feront
- Conditional: ferais, ferais, ferait, ferions, feriez, feraient
- Present: fasse, fasses, fasse, fassions, fassiez, fassent
- Imperfect: fisse, fisses, fît, fissions, fissiez, fissent
- tu form: fais
- nous form: faisons
- vous form: faites
It is possible that (aller) is the single most irregular French verb. Its conjugation involve no less than three distinct stems from synonymous Latin roots: all-/aill- (from the Late Latin (alare), from Latin (ambulare)), v- (from (vadere)) and ir- (from Latin (ire)). Aside from this, most endings are those of first conjugation (-er) verbs.
- Past: allé
- Present: allant
- Present: vais, vas, va, allons, allez, vont
- Imperfect: allais, allais, allait, allions, alliez, allaient
- Past historic: allai, allas, alla, allâmes, allâtes, allèrent
- Future: irai, iras, ira, irons, irez, iront
- Conditional: irais, irais, irait, irions, iriez, iraient
- Present: aille, ailles, aille, allions, alliez, aillent
- Imperfect: allasse, allasses, allât, allassions, allassiez, allassent
- tu form: va (but vas-y)
- nous form: allons
- vous form: allez
Rendre and prendre[ترميميو]
Most verbs in -dre conjugate like (rendre) (major exceptions are those in -indre and -oudre). (prendre) and its compounds, however, have a very different conjugation, where the d is only kept in the future and conditional.
- Participles: rendu, rendant
- Present: rends, rends, rend, rendons, rendez, rendent
- Imperfect: rendais, etc.
- Past historic: rendis, etc.
- Future/conditional: rendrai, etc.
- Present: rende, rendes, rende, rendions, rendiez, rendent
- Imperfect: rendisse, etc.
- Imperative: rends, rendons, rendez
- Participles: pris, prenant
- Present: prends, prends, prend, prenons, prenez, prennent
- Imperfect: prenais, etc.
- Past historic: pris, etc.
- Future/conditional: prendrai, etc.
- Present: prenne, prenne, prenne, prenions, preniez, prennent
- Imperfect: prisse, etc.
- Imperative: prends, prenez, prenons
Tenir and venir[ترميميو]
Verbs derived from (tenir) and (venir) form a major group of verbs who reproduce the peculiarities of several Spanish verbs like (poner) and gains a d in the future and conditional. These verbs are the only verb to have a nasal vowel in the past historic and imperfect subjunctive.
- Participles: tenu, tenant
- Present: tiens, tiens, tient, tenons, tenez, tiennent
- Imperfect: tenais, etc.
- Past historic: tins, tins, tint, tînmes, tîntes, tinrent
- Future/conditional: tiendrai, etc.
- Present: tienne, tiennes, tienne, tenions, teniez, tiennent
- Imperfect: tinsse, tinsses, tînt, tinssions, tinssiez, tinssent
- Imperative: tiens, tenons, tenez
Battre and mettre[ترميميو]
For all purpose but spelling, (battre) and its derived verbs are conjugated like (rendre). The only difference is in spelling, as native French words may not have tt before a consonant, thus the indicative present singular of these verbs goes bats, bats, bat. (mettre) and its family show the same changes, but additionally have a past participle, past historic, and subjunctive imperfect in mi-:
- Participles: mis, mettant
- Present: mets, mets, met, mettons, mettez, mettent
- Imperfect: mettais, etc.
- Past historic: mis, etc.
- Future/conditional: mettrai, etc.
- Present: mette, mettes, mette, mettions, mettiez, mettent
- Imperfect: misse, etc.
- Imperative: mets, mettons, mettez
Verbs in -uire such as (cuire), (conduire) and (détruire) conjugate as follow. The only exceptions are (luire), (reluire) and (nuire), which have two possible forms in the past historic and no t to their past participles.
- Participles: cuit, cuisant
- Present: cuis, cuis, cuit, cuisons, cuisez, cuisent
- Imperfect: cuisais, etc.
- Past historic: cuisis, etc.
- Future/conditional: cuirai, etc.
- Present: cuise, cuises, etc.
- Imperfect: cuisse, etc.
- Imperative: cuis, cuisons, cuisez
- Participles: lui, luisant
- Past historic: luis, etc.
(') is often, by analogy, conjugated the same in the past historic. The third person plural *cuirent in particular, is fairly common.
Hesitations and variations[ترميميو]
- For other hesitations see Appendix:French irregular verbs
- In the 1990 spelling reform, it was recommended that (receler) and (assener) be written with an accent: (recéler)/(asséner). This may affect the conjugation of these verbs.
- The verb (faillir) was traditionally conjugated similarly to (falloir) (which was, in fact, a variant of it). Nowadays, it is more usually conjugated like (finir), although literary usage still uses the original forms on occasion. The conjugation is that of ('):
- Indicative present: je faus, tu faus, il faut
- Indicative future/imperfect:faudr+first-conjugation endings
- (chauvir) is an uncommon verb for which usage hesitates between the conjugation of (') (which classical pundits rejected) and that of (offrir) (except for the past participle, which is always in -i).
- Traditional grammar holds that, depending on meaning, (saillir) is conjugated either like a second-group verb or like (assaillir). In practice, there is hesitation and a tendency to always use the (') conjugation.
The vast majority of French verbs are conjugated with the auxiliary ('). The traditional rule to know which verbs take (') is given as "verbs in the pronominal form, verbs of movement and verbs expressing change". However, the second and third element, although they do encompass most of the verbs that take (') absolutely or most often, does not apply to a number of other verb where (') is sole possible or favored. Furthermore, the precise sense may affect the auxiliary: verbs used transitively don't take (').
The following verbs always take (être) when used intransitively:
- (devenir) (and (redevenir))
- (entrer) (and (rentrer))
- (naître) (and (renaître))
- (partir) (and (repartir))
- (sortir) (and (ressortir))
- (tomber) (and (retomber))
- (venir) (and (revenir))
In addition the following verbs usually are conjugated with (être), but may also use (avoir)
- (descendre) (and (redescendre))
- (monter) (and (remonter))
- (passer) (and (repasser))
- (rester) (dialectal)