FRENCH VERBS

French verbs are formed by: a stem + an ending (-ER, -IR or –RE). To use the verbs in different tenses, we need to know some rules. These rules are simple and are applied to nearly all verbs. Unfortunately, some verbs do not follow theses rules and it is therefore important to know these IRREGULAR VERBS such as “aller” (to go), “faire” (to do), “avoir” (to have) or “être” (to be). (cf vocabulary book) Most of the time, the rule is: keep the stem, take away the ending and replace it by another ending depending on the person/subject. PRESENT TENSE (e.g.: I play) To write in the present tense, we only change the ending (the stem remains the same). Let’s have a look at the endings: they are different according to the ending of the infinitive: verbs in –ER are different from those in –IR or – RE. JOUER (to play) joue joues joue jouons jouez jouent FINIR (to finish) finis finis finit finissons finissez finissent ATTENDRE (to wait) attends attends attend attendons attendez attendent

Je Tu Il/Elle/On Nous Vous Ils/Elles

Can you think of the verbs you already know? With the help of your vocab book, write them in the appropriate column.

1

-ER verbs

-IR verbs

-RE verbs

Irregular in the present tense

PERFECT TENSE (e.g.: I played)  Two groups There are two groups of verbs for the perfect tense: - the “être” verbs: refer to the MRS Van Der Tramp list - the “avoir” verbs: all the other verbs  Three parts The perfect tense is made by 3 parts: subject (I, you...) + “être” or “avoir” in the present tense + main verb We already know how to do être” and “avoir” in the present tense. The ending of the main verb changes in the perfect tense as well.  The ending For example, “I played” will not be “J’ai jouer” but “J’ai joué”! It is very simple, and you need to make sure you write this ending properly as examiners are very strict on this. So, how do we know how to change the endings? EASY! -ER verbs: -er turns into -é (jouer j’ai joué) -IR verbs: -ir turns into -i (finir j’ai fini) -RE verbs: -re turns into -u (attendre j’ai attendu)
2

Unfortunately, there are some irregular verbs, and we need to know them. The main ones are: “être”(j’ai été), “avoir” (j’ai eu), “faire” (j’ai fait). So all the “avoir” verbs are very easy to form. Now, we need to concentrate on the “être” verbs, as they require a bit more attention.  The “être” verbs Do you remember what we need to add at the end of the adjectives if they are feminine or plural? Yes, an -s or an -e (or even both). For example, if we are talking about a tall boy, we would say “un grand garcon”, but for a tall girl, we would say “grande”, and for more than one girl, we would say “grandes”. The “être” verbs work the same way: the ending of the main verb will also need an -e or an -s depending on the subject. Let’s take an example: “rester” (to stay). As this is an –ER verb, we already know the -er will turn into -é. So, if a boy says “I stayed”, we would say “je suis resté”, but if a girl says “I stayed”, we would say “je suis restée”. And if a group of boys says it, we would say “nous sommes restés”, and a group of girls, “nous sommes restées”. Note: if we have a group of boys and girls, this will be in the masculine form (no -e). Summary: to write in the perfect tense, we need to answer these questions: - is it an “être” or “avoir” verb? - if it is an “être” verb, who is the subject? (Masculine? Feminine? Plural?) Last but not least, never forget the accent on the -e for the – ER verbs: if you write “j’ai joue” instead of “j’ai joué”, you will not be awarded any mark! Your turn now: do you remember “être” and “avoir” in the present tense?

3

ÊTRE Je............................. Tu............................. Il/Elle/On.................. . AVOIR J’.............................. Nous........................ Tu............................. Vous......................... Il/Elle/On.................. . Ils/Elles.................... . . Nous........................ Vous......................... Ils/Elles....................

Now, an “avoir” verb in the perfect tense. TRAVAILLER J’.............................. Nous........................ Tu............................. Il/Elle/On.................. . And an “être” verb. ALLER Je (m) .......................................... Je (f) .......................................... . Tu (m) .......................................... . Tu (f) .......................................... Il.............................. . Elle.......................... . On............................ . Vous......................... Ils/Elles....................

4

Vous (m.formal) .......................................... . Vous (f.formal) .......................................... . Nous (m) .......................................... .

Nous (f) .......................................... . Vous (m.informal) ......................................... Vous (f.informal) .......................................... Ils............................. Elles.........................

THE FUTURE TENSE (e.g.:I will play/I am going to play) In French, there are two future tenses, as in English: I am going to play and I will play. Both are very easy: let’s have a look.
 First, the “simple” future (“I will...”): to form this

tense, we keep the whole infinitive and add the following endings Je Tu Il/Elle/On So, we will have: TRAVAILLER Je travaillerai Tu travailleras Il/Elle/On travaillera Nous travaillerons Vous travaillerez Ils/Elles travailleront -ai -as -a Nous Vous Ils/Elles -ons -ez -ont

5

This pattern is used for all –ER and –IR verbs. For the –RE verbs, we need to take the -e away: saying “j’attendreai” would not be very easy to pronounce! This is why we will say “j’attendrai” instead. Unfortunately, there are irregular verbs. These verbs will have their stem changed, but the ending will follow the same pattern as all the other verbs. You will have to refer to your vocabulary book to see which verbs are irregular, but here are some: Être serai je Avoir j’aurai Faire je ferai

 The second future (“I am going to...”) is even

simpler! All you need to do is to know how to do “ALLER” in the present tense. Do you remember it? Je .......vais............ Tu........................... Il/Elle/On................ Nous...................... Vous...................... Ils/Elles....................

And now, we add the infinitive of the main verb! Example: I am going to play Je vais jouer This is most probably the easiest tense of all: this rule is applied to all the verbs, even the “usually irregular” ones such as “aller”, “faire”, “avoir” or “être”.

THE IMPERFECT TENSE (e.g.: I used to play) Like for the present and simple future tenses, to do the imperfect tense, we need to take the ending of the infinitive and change it into:

6

Je Tu Il/Elle/On -ait

-ais -ions -ais

Nous Vous Ils/Elles -aient -iez

So we have: TRAVAILLER Je travaillais Tu travaillais Il/Elle/On travaillait Nous travaillions Vous travailliez Ils/Elles travaillaient

This goes for most of the verbs: refer to your vocabulary book for the irregular ones.

THE CONDITIONAL (e.g.: I would play) This is the last tense we are going to have a look at and is very easy. You already know one by heart: I would like = je voudrais. But how do we get this? To form this tense, we take the stem of the simple future (if you remember, in most of the case, this is the whole infinitive), and add the endings of the imperfect tense. Let’s take two examples. First, a regular verb: “jouer”. Future tense Je jouerai Imperfect ending -ais
7

Conditional: replace the ending Je jouerais

Now, an irregular verb: “être” Future Imperfect Conditional: replace the tense ending ending Je serai -ais Je serais

Now, try to fill these tables: Regular verbs Subject Je Tu Il/Elle/On Nous Vous Ils/Elles Verb Retourner Descendr e Rester Sortir Arriver Partir Future tense Imperfec Condition t ending al

Irregular verbs Subject Je Tu Il/Elle/On Nous Vous Ils/Elles Verb Aller Avoir Faire Etre Aller Faire Future tense Imperfec t ending Condition al

8

............................................................................................................ .. PRESENT TENSE (e.g.: I play).....................................................................................1 PERFECT TENSE (e.g.: I played).................................................................................2 THE FUTURE TENSE (e.g.:I will play/I am going to play) ........................................5 THE IMPERFECT TENSE (e.g.: I used to play)...........................................................6 THE CONDITIONAL (e.g.: I would play)...........................................7

9

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.