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French Conjugation: Everything You Need To Know

If you are trying to learn French conjugation for the first time or you started not quite a long time ago, then this is for you.

So, bear in mind that,

There is a book of reference: BESCHERELLE

It contains all the French verbs in alphabetical order. In case you find it difficult to conjugate a verb in any tense in French, this should be the book to refer to.

There are 3 groups of verbs

The first and second group verbs are regular. The third group of verbs are irregular. You will need to put in more effort here to be able to use them confidently.

a. Recognizing 1st Group Verbs In French

1st group verbs in French are all ended with ER except ALLER (Alley) and they make their gerund with the ANT ending: Ex: Chanter en chantant, Parler en Parlant, danser, en dansant . Keep in mind that 1st group verbs in French are considered regular verbs and this makes them easier to conjugate. Most French verbs are first group verbs.

b. Recognizing 2nd Group Verbs In French

2nd group verbs are ended with IR and they make their gerund with ISSANT ending. Ex: Finir (to finish) en finissant, Grandir (to grow) en grandissant, Bondir (to bounce) en bondissant. They are as easy as the first group verbs. To learn more, make sure to check out the article on the 2nd group verb in French.

c. Recognizing 3rd Group Verbs In French

3rd group verbs in French are ended with DRE, OIR or OIRE, OUDRE, IR, OINDRE, AINDRE, EINDRE, TRE, ER (Only Aller), and form their gerunds with ANT. The number of 3rd group verbs in French is lower than that of the 1st and the 2nd. They are considered irregular verbs and need to be learned based on their ending family. In other words, you should learn DRE verbs together and master them, before thinking of OIR verbs, and so on and so on.

However, if you are interested in learning just the first 100 most common verbs, no matter the group they belong to, then check out my post on the 100 most used french verbs

French Personal Pronouns

French Personal pronouns consist of 3 singular pronouns and 3 plural pronouns. In french we have 2 types of You. The formal You (Vous) and the informal one which is Tu. You need to know when and how to use them. When you are conjugating a verb in any of the French tenses, you should keep in mind that after the first plural person (We = nous in French), you should use Vous, which is the second plural person.

French Conjugation Table

The French Conjugation works based on tables per mood. For instance the indicative mood, the mood for facts, has 8 tenses under. Although there are 2 tenses there you do not need in speaking, which are le passé simple et le passé antérieur, you should be aware of its existence. In other words, you should know the table of each mood and how to use them. Check out my post on the French conjugation table.

The French subjunctive Is More Noticeable

Unlike in English where you use the infinitive without to, to express the subjunctive mood (the mood for wishes, desire, suggestions) you need to learn the subjunctive mood for each group of verbs. What do I mean? For instance, if you say: EX: I suggest she be there tomorrow by 9. In French, it will give you: Je suggère qu’elle soit là demain vers 9 heures.

In case you are wondering,

ER French Verbs: What Are They?

ER French verbs are all verbs ended with ER in the French language. They are considered as 1st group verbs, except Aller, which is a 3rd group verb despite its ending in ER. They are the most abundant group of verbs in French and easier to conjugate with the use of their stems sometimes referred to as radicals. Here is the list of 100 most common ER verbs you should know:

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