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CarameliciousMonday 21st of March 2005 04:53:00 AM
Conjugation - This lesson on conjugation is a very important one. I would advise you to read all of this lesson and make sure that you understand everything. If you have any questions or comments feel free to email or PM Mery or Myself.

Conjugation, what is it?

-Conjugation is used when you want to put a verb to use. In english we use conjugation differently as in the verb "To Have" which is an infinitive. (In english an infinitive is a verb with the word "to" in front of it, which verbs from french translate to english into this form Avoir* = TO have)
Conjugation in english the verb "To Have" is

I have
You Have
She Has
We have
They have

In French we do the same thing except there are different forms and we change the endings of the verbs (In most cases)

There are many types of verbs, depending upon what verbs you are talking about. For example -er verbs, they end in -er, this will allow you to easily identify what and where to change, in order to put the verb to use.

Parl[color=red]er[/color] = To speak


Je parl[color=red]e[/color]
Tu parl[color=red]es[/color]
Il parl[color=red]e[/color]
On parl[color=red]e[/color]
Elle parl[color=red]e[/color]
Nous parl[color=red]ons[/color]
Vous parl[color=red]ez[/color]
Ils parl[color=red]ent[/color]
Elles parl[color=red]ent[/color]

These are the forms of conjugation

Je = I
Tu = You
Il = He
Elle = She
On = Nous
Nous = We
Vous = You (When talking to someone you don't know or older than you, etc. Used to show respect, can also be used when talking to many people, like saying "you all")
Ils = They (A group of all males or mixed crowd)
Elles = They (A group of all females)

Different verbs have different forms of conjugation

-ER verbs

In order to conjugate any normal verb, you take off the verb ending and change it to the correct form. It is verb easy to find the verb ending, just look from the end of the verb and look for the type of verb it is:
Parl[color=red]er[/color] er = the verb ending

-ER verbs are the most common verbs in the french language.

The conjugations for -ER verbs are

1st person je -e // nous -ons
2nd person tu -es // vous -ez
3rd person** il -e // ils -ent (also elles)

**3rd person also includes elle and on

Aim[color=red]er[/color] - To love or like
Arriv[color=red]er[/color] - To arrive or To happen
Chant[color=red]er[/color] - To sing
Parl[color=red]er[/color] - To Speak

Example Conjugation:


Je parl[color=red]e[/color]
Tu parl[color=red]es[/color]
Il parl[color=red]e[/color]
On parl[color=red]e[/color]
Elle parl[color=red]e[/color]
Nous parl[color=red]ons[/color]
Vous parl[color=red]ez[/color]
Ils parl[color=red]ent[/color]
Elles parl[color=red]ent[/color]

-IR Verbs

1st person je -is // nous -issons
2nd person tu -is // vous -issez
3rd person** il -it // ils -issent

abol[color=red]ir[/color] - to abolish
ag[color=red]ir[/color] - to act
avert[color=red]ir[/color] - to warn
chois[color=red]ir[/color] - to choose

Example Conjugation:


je chois[color=red]is[/color]
tu chois[color=red]is[/color]
il chois[color=red]it[/color]
elle chois[color=red]it[/color]
on chois[color=red]it[/color]
nous chois[color=red]issons[/color]
vous chois[color=red]issez[/color]
ils chois[color=red]issent[/color]
elles chois[color=red]issent[/color]

-RE Verbs

1st person je -s // nous -ons
2nd person tu -s // vous -ez
3rd person il (nothing)// ils -ent

attend[color=red]re[/color] - to wait (for)
défend[color=red]re[/color] - to defend
descend[color=red]re[/color] - to descend

Example Conjugation:


je descend[color=red]s[/color]
tu descend[color=red]s[/color]
il descend
elle descend
on descend
nous descend[color=red]ons[/color]
vous descend[color=red]ez[/color]
ils descend[color=red]ent[/color]
elles descend[color=red]ent[/color]

The verb form that ends in [color=red]-ir[/color] is called the infinitive (in English, the infinitive is the verb preceded by the word "to"). [color=red]-ir[/color] is the infinitive ending. The verb without the [color=red]-ir[/color] is called the stem or radical. This is the same with the other normal verbs endings also !

* = Irregular verb

MeryMonday 21st of March 2005 10:37:46 PM
- -OIR verbs

[color=blue]1st person: je -ois //nous -ons
2nd person:tu -ois //vous -ez
3rd person: il -oit //ils radical + ent[/color]

Example conjugation:


Je reç[color=red]ois[/color]
Tu reç[color=red]ois[/color]
Il /elle/ on reç[color=red]oit[/color]
Nous recev[color=red]ons[/color]
Vous recev[color=red]ez[/color]
Ils / elles reç[color=red]oivent[/color]

Note: recevoir is more or less an exception, when the ending of the verb is either -ois, -oit or -oient, a 'ç' (un c cédille) has to precede the 'o'. Why? If you don't add a 'ç', your verb will be mispronounced. Your verb has to be pronounced 'ressoit'***, so you have to add a 'ç' to get that pronounciation, if you don't do that the pronunciation of the verb will be 'rekois'***.

Many verbs ending in -oir are irregular verbs. We'll study them very soon!
MeryMonday 21st of March 2005 11:09:09 PM
être - avoir - 2 important verbs you all probably know...

An exercise will be posted for beginners

être = to be

Je suis
Tu es
Il/ elle/ on est
Nous sommes
Vous êtes
Ils/ elles sont

avoir = to have

Tu as
Il/ elle/ on a
Nous avons
Vous avez
Ils ont
MeryMonday 21st of March 2005 11:37:00 PM
Irregular verbs: - er - I selected some irregular verbs for you. Please try to remember them, they're often used! You'll see that some verbs can be conjugated from two different ways.

An exercise will be posted soon

1. manger = to eat

Je mange
Tu manges
Il/ elle/ on mange
Nous mang[color=red]e[/color]ons
Vous mangez
Ils/ elles mangent

Note: don't forget the 'e' in mangeons! If an 'e' wasn't added, the pronunciation of 'mangeons' would be 'mangons' ('g' as in 'gain'. When you add a 'e', 'g' is pronounced 'j' as in measure.

2. peser = to weigh

Je pèse
Tu pèses
Il/ elle/ on pèse
Nous pesons
Vous pesez
Ils pèsent

Note: easy to remember where you have to put an accent when you know the pronunciation of that verb, I'll add audio files to help you

3. payer = to pay

[color=red]2 different ways to conjugate that verb![/color]

Je paie paye
Tu paies payes
Il/elle/on paie paye
Nous payons
Vous payez
Ils/elles paient payent

Note: use the form you prefer, there's no difference between the two

4. aller = to go

Je vais
Tu vas
Il/elle/on va
Nous allons
Vous allez
Ils vont

MeryMonday 21st of March 2005 11:59:16 PM
Irregular verbs: -ir - 5. tenir = to hold

Je tiens
Tu tiens
Il/elle/on tient
Nous tenons
Vous tenez
Ils / elles tiennent

6. sentir = to smell
=> se sentir = to feel
e.g. = je me sens bien = I feel good

Je sens
Tu sens
Il /elle/ on sent
Nous sentons
Vous sentez
Ils /elles sentent

Note: How to conjugate 'se sentir' = to feel?

Je me sens bien = I feel good
Tu te sens bien
Il/elle/on se sent bien
Nous nous sentons bien
Vous vous sentez bien
Ils/elles se sentent bien

7. cueillir = to pick (flowers...)

Je cueille
Tu cueilles
Il/elle/on cueille
Nous cueillons
Vous cueillez
Ils/elles cueillent

8. dormir = to sleep

Je dors
Tu dors
Il/elle/on dort
Nous dormons
Vous dormez
Ils/elles dorment

Note: I often see French learners writing 'je dorme', I don't want to see that mistake anymore!

9. mourir = to die

Je meurs
Tu meurs
Il/elle/on meurt
Nous mourons
Vous mourez
Ils/elles meurent

Note: don't write 'mourir' with two 'r'!!!
Don't mistake 'nourrir' (to feed) for 'mourir' (to die)
Mourir is written with one 'r' because you only die once, just an easy tip to remember it / we learn that at primary school 8-)

10. courir = to run

Je cours
Tu cours
Il/elle/on court
Nous courons
Vous courez
Ils/elles courent
MeryTuesday 22nd of March 2005 12:17:33 AM
Irregular verbs: - oir - 11. savoir = to know

Je sais
Tu sais
Il/elle/on sait
Nous savons
Vous savez
Ils/elles savent

Note: to know can be translated by 'savoir', but also by 'connaître'. Many French learners don't know when they have to use either savoir or connaître. I'll write a post about that later

12. devoir = to have, to must

Je dois
Tu dois
Il/elle/on doit
Nous devons
Vous devez
Ils/elles doivent

13. vouloir = to want

Je veux
Tu veux
Il/elle/on veut
Nous voulons
Vous voulez
Ils/elles veulent

Note: be careful to the first and second person in the singular! I often see them misspelled

14. pouvoir = to can, to may

Je peux
Tu peux
Il/elle/on peut
Nous pouvons
Vous pouvez
Ils peuvent

15. s'asseoir = to sit down

[color=red]There are two different ways (some books say three) to conjugate that verb[/color]

Je m'assieds je m'assois
Tu t'assieds tu t'assois
Il/elle/on s'assied il s'assoit
Nous nous asseyons nous nous assoyons
Vous vous asseyez vous vous assoyez
Ils/elles s'asseyent ils s'assoient

Note: I always use the first form 'je m'assieds etc.' The second one sounds a bit formal

MeryTuesday 22nd of March 2005 12:35:46 AM
Autres verbes irréguliers - 16. mettre = to put

Je mets
Tu mets
Il/elle/on met
Nous mettons
Vous mettez
Ils/elles mettent

17. craindre = to fear

Je crains
Tu crains
Il/elle/on craint
Nous craignons
Vous craignez
Ils/elles craignent

Note: be careful! There's no 'd' before the 's' in the first and second person (singular)!!!even French native speakers make mistakes

18. faire = to do / to make
=> 2 verbs in English, one in French

Je fais
Tu fais
Il/elle/on fait
Nous faisons
Vous faisez
Ils/elles font

19. connaître = to know

Je connais
Tu connais
Il/elle/on connaît
Nous connaissons
Vous connaissez
Ils/elles connaissent

Note: be careful to the third person! 'il connaît'!!!

20. croire = to believe

Je crois
Tu crois
Il/elle/on croit
Nous croyons
Vous croyez
Ils/elles croient

Note: be careful to the pronunciation of 'croient'!!! So many French speakers say 'croyent' lol :| Actually it's pronounced like 'croit'

21. boire

Je bois
Tu bois
Il/elle/on boit
Nous buvons
Vous buvez
Ils/elles boivent

22. écrire = to write

J'écris *(1)
Tu écris
Il/elle/on écrit
Nous écrivons
Vous écrivez
Ils/elles écrivent

Note: *(1)very often two vowels can't follow one another in French, so you can't write je écris***, but j'écris ! :)