Appendix:French irregular verbs

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Main category: French irregular verbs

There are approximately 350 irregular verbs that do not conjugate in either the first or second conjugation. For simplicity, these highly varying verbs have been traditionally "lumped" into a third group. All existing non-defective conjugation are detailed and discussed in this page. Defective verbs are discussed in Appendix:French defective verbs

Contents

Classification of irregular verbs[edit]

Verbs in the third group can be classified in the following groups:[1]

  • avoir and être
  • Irregular verb in -er: aller, envoyer and renvoyer.
  • Irregular verbs in -ir:
    • Verbs in -ir whose conjugation appears to mix the first and second conjugation. Almost all verbs end in -llir, -vrir and -frir are part of this group.
    • Verbs in -ir with present singular indicative conjugation ending in a consonant sound, but otherwise like the previous type. These verbs are mostly in -tir.
    • Verbs in -ir with a variable stem, mostly these are in -enir (i.e. tenir, venir and their derived verbs)
  • Verbs in -oir
  • Verbs in consonnant+re
    • Verbs in -dre and -tre where the root varies, either because a root vowel, or the /d t/ are replaced.
    • Verbs in -dre, -pre, -ttre and -cre
    • Verbs in -vre
    • Verbs in -aître and -oître
  • Verbs in vowel+re
    • Verbs in -uire
    • Verbs in -oire
    • Verbs in -ure
    • Verbs in -aire
    • Verbs in -ore
    • Verbs in -ire

Auxiliary verbs: être and avoir[edit]

The auxiliaries être and avoir are both highly irregular. Owing to its first vowel in /ɛ/, être shows some of the alternation seen in verbs of the first group. It is the only verb to have an irregular first-person plural outside the past historic, and one of only four to have an irregular second-person plural. The auxiliaries are also the only verbs whose subjunctive present first- and second- person plural are in -ons, -ez rather than -ions, -iez (compare soyons, croyions). This often leads to spelling mistakes in both directions. Both verbs contain subjunctive forms of imperative.

Irregular pronunciations of these verbs include il est (/ɛ/, not /ɛt/ or /ɛst/) and eu- pronounced /y/ in all of avoir's conjugation. Note also the prototypical ai is pronounced /e/, not /ɛ/.

Être
  • Participles: été, étant
  • Indicative
    • Present: suis, es, est, sommes, êtes, sont
    • Imperfect: ét+first-group endings
    • Past historic: fus, fus, fut, fûmes, fûtes, furent
    • Future/conditional: ser+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: sois, sois, soit, soyons, soyez, soient
    • Imperfect: fusse, fusses, fût, fussions, fussiez, fussent
  • Imperative: sois, soyons, soyez
Avoir
  • Participles: eu, ayant
  • Indicative
    • Present: ai, as, a, avons, avez, ont
    • Imperfect: av+first-group endings
    • Past historic: eus, eus, eut, eûmes, eûtes, eurent
    • Future/conditionnal: aur+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: aie, ais, ait, ayons, ayez, aient
    • Imperfect: eusse, eusses, eût, eussions, eussiez, eussent
  • Imperative: aie, ayons, ayez

Irregular verbs in -er[edit]

There are only three verbs in -er considered to be parts of the thirds conjugation: aller, envoyer and renvoyer.

Aller[edit]

The conjugation of aller involves no less than four distinct stems from completely different origins: all-/aill- (from the Late Latin alar), v- (from vadere) and ir- (from ire). Aside from this, most endings are those of first-group verbs:

Aller
  • Participles: all-+First groupe endings
  • Indicative
    • Present: vais, vas, va, allons, allez, vont
    • Imperfect: all+first-group endings
    • Past historic: all+first-group endings
    • Future/conditional: ir+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: aille, ailles, aille, allions, alliez, aillent
    • Imperfect: all+first-group endings
  • Imperative: va, allons, allez

Formerly the first-person present indicative was vas (hence the imperative), which is now restricted to either dialectal or archaic writing. Aller always uses être for its auxiliary.

Envoyer and renvoyer[edit]

These two verbs are conjugated mostly like other verbs in -yer, except in the future and conditional. These two tenses have been affected by analogy with an unused and incorrect conjugation of voir, and are conjugated like that verb:

  • Indicative:
    • Future: (r)enverr+first-group endings (enverrai...)
    • Conditional: (r)enverr+first-group imperfect indicative endings (enverrais...)

Irregular verbs in -ir[edit]

Verbs that combine first- and second-group endings[edit]

Cueillir and related verbs[edit]

The verbs cueillir, accueillir and recueillir are conjugated as if they were first-group verbs, except in the past historic, past participle and subjunctive imperfect, whose endings are those of second-group verbs:

Cueillir
  • Participles: cueilli, cueillant
  • Indicative
    • Present: cueill+ first-group endings
    • Imperfect: cueill+first-group endings
    • Past historic: cueill+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: cueiller+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: cueill++first-group endings
    • Imperfect: cueill++second-group endings
  • Imperative: cueill+first group endings

Assaillir and related verbs[edit]

These verbs (assaillir, tressaillir, saillir, défaillir) are conjugated like the above verbs, but their normal conjugation in the future and conditional is that of second-group verbs. However, there is significant hesitations and they are often conjugated like cueillir instead. This is because the final /i/ tends to be reduced to a schwa in pronunciation, making the future and conditional practically homonymous with those of first-group verb.

Assaillir
  • Participles: assailli, assaillant
  • Indicative
    • Present: assaill+ first-group endings
    • Imperfect: assaill+first-group endings
    • Past historic: assaill+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: assaillir/assailler+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: assaill++first-group endings
    • Imperfect: assaill++second-group endings
  • Imperative: assaill+first group endings

  • According to traditional grammarians, saillir is conjugated like a second-group verb in some of its meanings. However these meanings may be hard to distinguish, and there is some hesitation in both directions.
  • Défaillir has an archaïc alternative conjugation (unsurprisingly identical to the archaic forms of faillir, which is now conjugated as a second-group verb) where the future and conditional use the root défaudr- and the present singular is je défaus, tu défaus, il défaut.

Offrir, ouvrir, and related verbs[edit]

The verbs offrir, souffrir, ouvrir and the latter's derivatives are conjugated like assaillir, except that futures and conditionals in -er are much, much rarer, and they have a past participle in -ert.

Offrir
  • Participles: offert, offrant
  • Indicative
    • Present: offr+ first-group endings
    • Imperfect: offr+first-group endings
    • Past historic: offr+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: offrir+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: offr++first-group endings
    • Imperfect: offr++second-group endings
  • Imperative: offr+first group endings

Verbs with an indicative singular shorter than the plural[edit]

Mentir[edit]

A series of verbs (mentir, dormir, servir, partir, sortir, sentir) lose the consonant preceding the -ir in the singular present indicative.

Mentir
  • Participles: menti, mentant
  • Indicative
    • Present: mens, mens, ment, mentons, mentez, mentent
    • Imperfect: ment+first-group endings
    • Past historic: ment+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: mentir+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: ment++first-group endings
    • Imperfect: ment++second-group endings
  • Imperative: mens, mentons, mentez

  • The verb assortir is derived from sorte and is a second-group verb.
  • There are two verbs ressortir, the first means "come out again" or "stand out" and conjugates like sortir, the other means "to come within the province, the jurisdiction, the purview", and is a second-group verb. They are often confused.
  • There is a tendency to move départir to a second- instead of a third-group conjugation.

Bouillir[edit]

Bouillir is very similar to mentir, but loses more letters due to its spelling. Its future and conditional are often in -er-, but much less commonly than with assaillir and its relatives. The verb is also often conjugated as if its infinitive was bouer, and its subjunctive present singular has been conjugated bous, bous, bout instead of bouille.

Bouillir
  • Participle: bouilli, bouillant
  • Indicative
    • Present: bous, bous, bout, bouillons, bouillez, bouillent
    • Imperfect: bouill+first-group endings
    • Past historic: bouill+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: bouillir+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: bouill++first-group endings
    • Imperfect: bouill++second-group endings
  • Imperative: bous, bouillons, bouillez

Vêtir and courir[edit]

These verbs have a past participle in -u. Vêtir (unlike mentir) keeps the -t in the indicative present singular. As in earlier period, literary usage will often conjugate it as a second-group verb. This hesitation goes back to the earliest period of French, though the conjugation given here now predominates. In normal usage however, the verb and its derivatives have been completely superseded by habiller.

The conjugation of courir is a mix of rendre and mourir. This is not surprising given that its original infinitive was courre, and was later altered to be more like the latter verb. Courre is still part of the vocabulary of doghunt (chasse à courre).

Vêtir
  • Participle: vêtu, vêtant
  • Indicative
    • Present: vêts, vêts, vêt, vêtons, vêtez, vêtent
    • Imperfect: vêt+first-group endings
    • Past historic: vêt+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: vêtir+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: vêt++first-group endings
    • Imperfect: vêt++second-group endings
  • Imperative: vêts, vêtons, vêtez
Courir
  • Participle: couru, courant
  • Indicative
    • Present: cours, cours, court, courons, courez, courent
    • Imperfect: cour+first-group endings
    • Past historic: courus, courus, courut, courûmes, courûtes, coururent
    • Future/conditional: courr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: cour++first-group endings
    • Imperfect: courusse, courusses, courût, courussions, courussiez, courussent
  • Imperative: cours, courons, courez

Verbs with a variable stem[edit]

These verbs display stem variation in the same places as verbs like lever (future, conditional, indicative and subjunctive present), with the addition of (except for mourir) the past historic and subjunctive imperfect.

Compounds of quérir[edit]

The verb quérir itself has fallen out of usage, replaced by quêter and chercher, but its compounds (acquérir, conquérir, enquérir, requérir) are still used.

Acquérir
  • Participles: acquis, acquérant
  • Indicative
    • Present: acquiers, acquiers, acquiert, acquérons, acquérez, acquièrent
    • Imperfect: acquér+first-group endings
    • Past historic: acqu+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: acquerr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: acquière, acquières, acquière, acquérions, acquériez, acquièrent
    • Imperfect: acqu+second-group endings
  • Imperative: acquiers, acquérons, acquérez

Tenir and venir[edit]

These two verbs are conjugated the same way, as are their derivatives.

Venir
  • Participles: venu, venant
  • Indicative
    • Present: viens, viens, vient, venons, venez, viennent
    • Imperfect: ven+first-group endings
    • Past historic: vins, vins, vint, vînmes, vîntes, vinrent
    • Future/conditional: viendr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: vienne, viennes, vienne, venions, veniez, viennent
    • Imperfect: vinsse, vinsses, vînt, vinssions, vinssiez, vinssent
  • Imperative: viens, venons, venez
Tenir
  • Participles: tenu, tenant
  • Indicative
    • Present: tiens, tiens, tient, tenons, tenez, tiennent
    • Imperfect: ten+first-group endings
    • Past historic: tins, tins, tint, tînmes, tîntes, tinrent
    • Future/conditional: tiendr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: tienne, tiennes, tienne, tenions, teniez, tiennent
    • Imperfect: tinsse, tinsses, tînt, tinssions, tinssiez, tinssent
  • Imperative: tiens, tenons, tenez

Mourir[edit]

The conjugation of mourir is similar to that of courir, but has vowel variation and a very different past participle.

Mourir
  • Participle: mort, mourant
  • Indicative
    • Present: meurs, meurs, meurt, mourons, mourez, meurent
    • Imperfect: mour+first-group endings
    • Past historic: mourus, mourus, mourut, mourûmes, mourûtes, moururent
    • Future/conditional: mourr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: meure, meures, meure, mourions, mouriez, meurent
    • Imperfect: mourusse, mourusses, mourût, mourussions, mourussiez, mourussent
  • Imperative: meurs, mourons, mourez

Fuir[edit]

The conjugation of fuir and enfuir is particular in having an alternate stem in the indicative imperfect:

Fuir
  • Participles: fui, fuyant
  • Indicative
    • Present: fuis, fuis, fuit, fuyons, fuyez, fuient
    • Imperfect: fuy+first-group endings
    • Past historic: fu+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: fuir+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: fuie, fuies, fuie, fuyions, fuyiez, fuient
    • Imperfect: fu++second-group endings
  • Imperative: fuis, fuyons, fuyez

  • Bruire was once conjugated like fuir (hence the adjective bruyant) with an infinitive bruir (/bʁɥiʁ/, modern /bʁy.iʁ/), but this conjugation has been mostly superseded by a regular second-group conjugation.

Verbs in -oir[edit]

Verbs with a singular present indicative in "-eu-"[edit]

These verbs share an irregular future and conditional, and a monosyllabic singular indicative using the vowel /œ/~/ø/. They have identical conjugations in several tenses. Vouloir and pouvoir are two of the few verbs whose second-person singular does not always end in -s (in the indicative present, it ends in -x).

Pouvoir[edit]

Pouvoir has two possible conjugation in the first person present indicative. The very formal puis is the original form, supplanted in everyday usage in the 17th century by peux, reconstructed on the third and second persons. Puis is still considered the only possible form in inverted interrogative construction: Puis-je vous aider? (May I help you?) The verb, by its very meaning, is unused in the imperative.

  • Participles: pu, pouvant
  • Indicative
    • Present: peux (puis), peux, peut, pouvons, pouvez, peuvent
    • Imperfect: pouv+first-group endings
    • Past historic: pus, pus, put, pûmes, pûtes, purent
    • Future/conditional: pourr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: puisse, puisses, puisse, puissions, puissiez, puissent
    • Imperfect: pusse, pusses, pût, pussions, pussiez, pussent
  • Imperative: nonexistant

Vouloir[edit]

The use of the subjunctive forms in the imperative, and indicative present first- and second-person plural for the subjunctive, are 17th century innovations. In the imperative, significant semantic differences exist between the forms. In the subjunctive, the original forms are still in occasional literary usage. The present participle veuillant has occasionally been used, particularly in Middle French.

  • Participles: voulu, voulant
  • Indicative
    • Present: veux, veux, veut, voulons, voulez, veulent
    • Imperfect: voul+first-group endings
    • Past historic: voulus, voulus, voulut, voulûmes, voulûtes, voulurent
    • Future/conditional: voudr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: veuille, veuilles, veuille, voulions/veuillions, vouliez/veuilliez, veuillent
    • Imperfect: voulusse, voulusses, voulût, voulussions, voulussiez, voulussent
  • Imperative: veuille, veuillons, veuillez//veux, voulons, voulez

It is not entirely clear whether the subjunctive forms veuillions and veuilliez should be spelt with endings in -iez/-ions or -ez/-ons, since these forms where replaced at a time when spelling was still in significant flux. The spelling with extra is is given here for consistency with most verbs.

Mouvoir and pleuvoir[edit]

Barring the fact that pleuvoir (to rain) is an impersonal verb, and hence hardly used outside the third person singular or plural (literary license has often done so, but this is rare), and that mouvoir traditionally had a circumflex accent on its singular masculine past participle (see below), these verbs are, in fact, conjugated identically:

Mouvoir
  • Participles: mu/mû, mouvant
  • Indicative
    • Present: meus, meus, meut, mouvons, mouvez, meuvent
    • Imperfect: mouv+first-group endings
    • Past historic: mus, mus, mut, mûmes, mûtes, murent
    • Future/conditional: mouvr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: meuve, meuves, meuve, mouvions, mouviez, meuvent
    • Imperfect: musse, musses, mût, mussions, mussiez, mussent
  • Imperative: meus, mouvons, mouvez
Pleuvoir
  • Participles: plu, pleuvant
  • Indicative
    • Present: pleut, pleuvent
    • Imperfect: pleuvait, pleuvaient
    • Past historic: plut, plurent
    • Future/conditional: pleuvr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: pleuve, pleuvent
    • Imperfect: plût, plussent
  • Imperative: unused

Traditionally, the masculine singular of mouvoir's past particple was written with a circumflex. Abandonment of this diacritical was recommended by the Académie Française in 1990, though usage remains mixed.

Verbs in -evoir[edit]

This conjugation includes verbs in -cevoir such as recevoir and concevoir, as well as devoir and redevoir (minus the cedillas present in the conjugation of the other verbs). Devoir is slightly distinct in that its masculine singular past participle has a circumflex to distinguish it from the homographic preposition du. It was recommended in 1990 that the same accent on redevoir's past participle be abandoned, but usage has not settled on this issue (which is hard to ascertain as the verb is very uncommon).

Recevoir and devoir
  • Participles: reçu, recevant // dû, devant
  • Indicative
    • Present: reçois, reçois, reçoit, recevons, recevez, reçoivent // dois, dois, doit, devons, devez, doivent
    • Imperfect: recev+first-group endings // dev+first-group endings
    • Past historic: reçus, reçus, reçut, reçûmes, reçûtes, reçurent // dus, dus, dut, dûmes, dûtes, durent
    • Future/conditional: recevr+first-group endings // devr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: reçoive, reçoives, reçoive, recevions, receviez, reçoivent // doive, doives, doive, devions, deviez, doivent
    • Imperfect: reçusse, reçusses, reçût, reçussions, reçussiez, reçussent // dusse, dusses, dût, dussions, dussiez, dussent
  • Imperative: reçois, recevons, recevez // dois, devons, devez

Other verbs[edit]

Savoir[edit]

The original present participle of savoir was savant (scientist), now a noun. Its first-person singular present indicative is pronounced /se/ or /sɛ/. Like the verbs avoir, etre and vouloir, this is the last verb with irregular imperative forms (differed with present forms) with use of subjunctive forms.

Savoir
  • Participles: su, sachant (arc. savant)
  • Indicative
    • Present: sais, sais, sait, savons, savez, savent
    • Imperfect: sav+first-group endings
    • Past historic: sus, sus, sut, sûmes, sûtes, surent
    • Future/conditional: saur+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: sache, saches, sache, sachions, sachiez, sachent
    • Imperfect: susse, susses, sût, sussions, sussiez, sussent
  • Imperative: sache, sachons, sachez

Voir and its derivatives, including pourvoir[edit]

Voir, revoir and entrevoir have an euphonic /j/ in several forms (as with verbs in -oyer, this consonant is often extended to all conjugated forms in /wa/), and are the only verbs in -oir whose past historic and imperfect subjunctive is in i instead of u. Prévoir and pourvoir have a future in -oira, with pourvoir further conjugating like other verbs in -oir in the past historic and imperfect subjunctive.

Voir
  • Participles: vu, voyant
  • Indicative
    • Present: vois, vois, voit, voyons, voyez, voient
    • Imperfect: voy+first-group endings
    • Past historic: v+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: verr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: voie, voies, voie, voyions, voyiez, voient
    • Imperfect: v+second-group endings
  • Imperative: vois, voyons, voyez
Prévoir
  • Indicative
    • Future/conditionnal: prévoir+first-group endings
Pourvoir
  • Indicative
    • Past historic: pouvus, pourvus, pourvut, pourvûmes, pourvûtes, pourvurent
    • Future/conditionnal: pourvoir+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Imperfect: pourvusse, pourvusse, pourvût, pourvussions, pourvussiez, pourvussent

Falloir[edit]

This impersonnal verb is used only in the third person singular, and thus lacks an imperative. Although it once had a present participle fallant, this form has fallen out of usage completely.

  • Participles: fallu, fallant (present participle unused)
  • Indicative
    • Present: faut
    • Imperfect: fallais
    • Past historic: fallut
    • Future/conditional: faudra/faudrait
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: faille
    • Imperfect: fallût
  • Imperative: unused

Valoir[edit]

The verbs in this group are the only other verbs beside pouvoir and vouloir with an -x in the second person singular. Prévaloir preserves valoir's archaic other subjunctive.

Valoir
  • Participles: valu, valant
  • Indicative
    • Present: vaux, vaux, vaut, valons, valez, valent
    • Imperfect: val+first-group endings
    • Past historic: valus, valus, valut, valûmes, valûtes, valurent
    • Future/conditional: vaudr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: vaille, vailles, vaille, valions, valiez, vaillent
    • Imperfect: valusse, valusses, valût, valussions, valussiez, valussent
  • Imperative: vaux, valons, valez
Prévaloir
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: prévale, prévales, prévale, prévalions, prévaliez, prévalent

Regularisation of the subjunctive are often encountered in all three directions: vaillons, vaillez; vale, vales, valent and prévaille etc.

Asseoir and derivatives[edit]

Asseoir has a complex conjugation history going all the way back to Old French, where variation in the now rare and defective seoir were known to exist. In modern usage, it has two generally accepted conjugation (dubbed the "oi" and "e" conjugations) and one variant markedly dated future/conditional conjugation (dubbed "eye" conjugation). An additional, nonstandard conjugation (using "i") used mostly in informal usage now exist, tracing back to the origins of the verb, but it is not entirely clear whether its infinitive should be asseoir or assir/assire.

By far the -oi- conjugation predominates in spoken and informal usage, with the -e- forms being considered more literary in most areas (except Belgium). The -eye- are even more strongly marked, and are now rare, whereas the -i- are restricted to marked dialectal or informal usage, and more common in North America than Europe (where they are most common in the indicative present). The conjugation in -i- is, in fact , that of circoncire (see below), a variation of dire's conjugation.

Although rasseoir has the same conjugation problems as asseoir, surseoir uses only forms in -oi-. However, usage has generally been to use a -e- in the future that is not present in asseoir. seoir amd messeoir are defective and use forms in -e- The 1990 spelling reforms recommended suppressing all the extra es in the infinitive or future of these verbs, but usage has not completely settled. An analogical -e- is often restored in the present and future forms of (r)asseoir and surseoir.

Asseoir (-oi- conjugation)
  • Participle: assis, assoyant
  • Indicative
    • Present: assois, assois, assoit, assoyons, assoyez, assoient
    • Imperfect: assoy+first-ground endings
    • Past historic: ass+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: assoir+first-ground endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: assoie, assoies, assoie, assoyions, assoyiez, assoient
    • Imperfect: ass+second-group endings
  • Imperative: assois, assoyons, assoyez
Asseoir (-e- and -eye- conjugations)
  • Participle: assis, asseyant
  • Indicative
    • Present: assieds, assieds, assied, asseyons, asseyez, asseyent
    • Imperfect: assey+first-ground endings
    • Past historic: ass+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: assiér/asseyer+first-ground endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: asseye, asseyes, asseye, asseyions, asseyiez, asseyent
    • Imperfect: ass+second-group endings
  • Imperative: assieds, asseyons, asseyez
Asseoir/Assire (-i- conjugation)
  • Participle: assis, assisant
  • Indicative
    • Present: assis, assis, assit, assisons, assisez, assisent
    • Imperfect: assis+first-ground endings
    • Past historic: ass+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: assir+first-ground endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: assis+first-ground endings
    • Imperfect: ass+second-group endings
  • Imperative: assis, assisons, assisez

Déchoir[edit]

Several forms of this verb are very uncommon. Due to its meaning, it is not used in the imperative.

Déchoir
  • Participle: déchu, déchéant
  • Indicative
    • Present: déchois, déchois, déchoit, déchoyons, déchoyez, déchoient
    • Imperfect: déché+first-group endings (alternative: déchoy+first-group endings)
    • Past historic: déchus, déchus, déchut, déchûmes, déchutes, déchurent
    • Future/conditional: déchoir+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: déchoie, déchoies, déchoie, déchoyions, déchoyiez, déchoient
    • Imperfect: déchusse, déchusses, déchût, déchussions, déchussiez, déchussent
  • Imperative: unused

Verbs in consonnant+re[edit]

Verbs in -dre and -tre with a variation in the root[edit]

Verbs in -indre[edit]

These verbs in -aindre (craindre, plaindre...), -eindre (peindre, teindre...) or -oindre (joindre...) differ from the more widespread conjugation of rendre in having forms in -gn- and never ending in -d or -ds.

Craindre
  • Participle: craint, craignant
  • Indicative
    • Present: crains, crains, craint, craignons, craignez, craignent
    • Imperfect: craign+first-group endings
    • Past historic: craign+second-ground endings
    • Future/conditional: craindr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: craign+first-group endings
    • Imperfect: craign+second-group endings
  • Imperative:crains, craignons, craignez

The future and conditional are often formed with a root in -ingner- instead of -indr-.

Verbs in -soudre[edit]

The verbs dissoudre, absoudre and résoudre all all derived from an obsolete verb soudre. The original regular past participles of dissoudre and absoudre have become adjectives, leading to their modern participles. The masculine form of these participles are anomalous, ending in -s, whereas the feminine is in -te. The 1990 spelling reform recommended masculines in -t. Further, they are commonly given as having no past historic or imperfect subjunctive. Although these two forms are very uncommon, they are in use and easily reconstructed from those of résoudre

Résoudre
  • Participle: résolu, résolvant (but absous/absoute, absolvant and dissous/dissoute, dissolvant)
  • Indicative
    • Present: résous, résous, résout, résolvons, résolvez, résolvent
    • Imperfect: résolv+first group endings
    • Past historic: résolus, résolus, résolut, résolûmes, résolûtes, résolurent
    • Future/conditional: résoudr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: résolve, résolves, résolve, résolvions, résolviez, résolvent
    • Imperfect: résolusse, résolusses, résolût, résolussions, résolussiez, résolussent
  • Imperative:résous, résolvons, résolvez

As with verbs in -indre, the future and conditional are often formed with a root -solver- instead of -soudr-

Prendre[edit]

The conjugation of prendre and its derivatives has superficial similarities with that of rendre, but differs in several areas, most noticeably in having a monosyllabic past historic and participle, and losing the d in a number of other places.

Prendre
  • Participle: pris, prenant
  • Indicative
    • Present: prends, prends, prend, prenons, prenez, prennent
    • Imperfect: pren+first-group endings
    • Past historic: pr+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: prendr+first-ground endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: prenne, prennes, prenne, prenions, preniez, prennent
    • Imperfect: pr+second-group endings
  • Imperative: prends, prenons, prenez

Mettre[edit]

The conjugation of this verbs and its derivatives is mostly that of battre, but for the past historic, past participle and imperfect subjunctive, which are those of prendre.

Mettre
  • Participle: mis, mettant
  • Indicative
    • Present: mets, mets, met, mettons, mettez, mettent
    • Imperfect: mett+first-group endings
    • Past historic: m+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: mettr+first-ground endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: mette, mettes, mette, mettions, mettiez, mettent
    • Imperfect: m+second-group endings
  • Imperative: mets, mettons, mettez

Coudre[edit]

The verb coudre and its derivatives have a root in cous- where prendre has a root in pren(n)- or pr-.

Coudre
  • Participle: cousu, cousant
  • Indicative
    • Present: couds, couds, coud, cousons, cousez, cousent
    • Imperfect: cous+first-group endings
    • Past historic: cous+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: coudr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: cous+first-group endings
    • Imperfect: cous+second-group endings
  • Imperative:couds, cousons, cousez

Moudre[edit]

The conjugation of moudre and émoudre, which uses the root moul- where prendre has pren(n)- or pr-, is slowly eroding, with periphrasis used in speech to avoid the forms homonymous with mouler.

Moudre
  • Participle: moulu, moulant
  • Indicative
    • Present: mouds, mouds, moud, moulons, moulez, moulent
    • Imperfect: moul+first-group endings
    • Past historic: moul+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: moudr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: moul+first-group endings
    • Imperfect: moul+second-group endings
  • Imperative:mouds, moulons, moulez

General verbs in consonant +re[edit]

These verbs, ending in -endre, -andre, -ondre and -rdre, as well as battre, foutre, rompre and vaincre, with all their derivatives differ mostly in a few minor spelling variations, usually to preserve pronunciation.

Common verbs in -dre, battre, foutre and rompre[edit]

The only variation between these three groups of verbs is in the treatment of the singular indicative present and imperative. Almost all verbs in -dre have -ds, -ds, -d, but verbs in -ttre may not have *-tts, and so have -ts, -ts, -t, while foutre has -s, -s, -t, although forms in -ts are often encountered. It is also very uncommon in the imperfect subjunctive and past historic, to the point of often being given as defective. The verb rompre is unusual in having the pattern -ps, -ps, -pt.

Rendre
  • Participle: rendu, rendant
  • Indicative
    • Present: rends, rends, rend, rendons, rendez, rendent
    • Imperfect: rend+first-group endings
    • Past historic: rend+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: rendr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: rend+first-group endings
    • Imperfect: rend+second-group endings
  • Imperative: rends, rendons rendez
Battre
  • Indicative
    • Present: bats, bats, bat, battons, battez, battent
  • Imperative: bats, battons, battez
Foutre
  • Indicative
    • Present: fous, fous, fout, foutons, foutez, foutent
  • Imperative: fous, foutons, foutez
Rompre
  • Indicative
    • Present: romps, romps, rompt, rompons, rompez, rompent
  • Imperative: romps, rompons, rompez

Vaincre and convaincre[edit]

The conjugation of vaincre is characterised by the change of c to qu before vowels (all vowels, unlike Spanish verbs in -car), except for the past participle, where this is not possible. It is otherwise that of rendre:

Vaincre
  • Participle: vaincu, vainquant
  • Indicative
    • Present: vaincs, vaincs, vainc, vainquons, vainquez, vainquent
    • Imperfect: vainqu+first-group endings
    • Past historic: vainqu+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: vaincr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: vainqu+first-group endings
    • Imperfect: vainqu+second-group endings
  • Imperative: vaincs, vainquons vainquez

Verbs in -vre[edit]

Suivre[edit]

The conjugation of this verb and its relatives are very similar to that of rendre, except for the past participle and the orthographic changes to the singular present indicative:

Suivre
  • Participle: suivi, suivant
  • Indicative
    • Present: suis, suis, suit, suivons, suivez, suivent
    • Imperfect: suiv+first-group endings
    • Past historic: suiv+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: suivr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: suiv+first-group endings
    • Imperfect: suiv+second-group endings
  • Imperative: suis, suivons, suivez

Vivre[edit]

The conjugation of vivre follows that of suivre, but for the past participle, past historic and subjunctive imperfect in vécu-

Vivre
  • Participle: vécu, vivant
  • Indicative
    • Present: vis, vis, vit, vivons, vivez, vivent
    • Imperfect: viv+first-group endings
    • Past historic: vécus, vécus, vécut, vécûmes, vécûtes, vécures
    • Future/conditional: vivr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: viv+first-group endings
    • Imperfect: vécusse, vécusses, vécût, vécussions, vécussiez, vécussent
  • Imperative: vis, vivons, vivez

Verbs in -aître and -oître[edit]

The circumflex accent in these verbs was recommended for elimination, except for the forms of croître that would become homographs of croire.

Verbs in -aître[edit]

All verbs in -aître except naître and renaître are conjugated this way. The latter two verbs have a different past participle, past historic and subjunctive imperfect.

Connaître
  • Participle: connu, connaissant
  • Indicative
    • Present: connais, connais, connaît, connaissons, connaissez, connaissent
    • Imperfect: connaiss+first-group endings
    • Past historic: connus, connus, connut, connûmes, connûtes, connurent
    • Future/conditional: connaîtr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: connaiss+first-group endings
    • Imperfect: connusse, connusses, connût, connussions, connussiez, connussent
  • Imperative: connais, connaissons, connaissez

Naître
  • Participle: né, naissant
  • Indicative
    • Past historic: naqu+second-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Imperfect: naqu+second-group endings

  • Renaître is very rare in compound forms, and uncommon in the past historic and subjunctive imperfect.

Croître and derivatives[edit]

Amongst the derivatives of croître, only recroître has a past participle with a circumflex accent. They are the only word where circumflex accents are added in revised spelling, as all the participles' forms (as opposed to only the masculine singular) would gain one to distinguish them from the forms of croire and recroire.

The verbs accroître and décroître only have the accent in the future, conditional, and third-person singular resent indicative.

Croître
  • Participle: crû, croissant
  • Indicative
    • Present: croîs, croîs, croît, croissons, croissez, croissent
    • Imperfect: croiss+first-group endings
    • Past historic: crûs, crûs, crût, crûmes, crûtes, crûrent
    • Future/conditional: croîtr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: croiss+first-group endings
    • Imperfect: crûsse, crûsses, crût. crûssions, crûssiez, crûssent
  • Imperative: croîs, croissons croissez
Accroître
  • Participle: accru, accroissant
  • Indicative
    • Present: accrois, accrois, accroît, accroissons, accroissez, accroissent
    • Imperfect: accroiss+first-group endings
    • Past historic: accrus, accrus, accrut, accrûmes, accrûtes, accrurent
    • Future/conditional: accroîtr+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: accroiss+first-group endings
    • Imperfect: accrusse, accrusses, accrût, accrussions, accrussiez, accrussent
  • Imperative: accrois, accroissons accroissez

Verbs in vowel+re[edit]

Verbs in -uire[edit]

The conjugation of these verbs is in significant flux in the past historic. Bruire is conjugated like a second-group verbs, although its original conjugation, based on fuir is still often encountered.

Regular verbs[edit]

In the past historic, forms based on the regular second conjugation are also encountered, particularly with the monosyllabic verbs such as nuire, luire and cuire. In fact, this conjugation has all but supplanted the original in the case of luire and reluire (to the point where the tense is often given as unused entirely). Reluire and the monosyllabic verbs are almost never used in the imperfect subjunctive. Nuire, luire and reluire also differ from the "regular" -uire in having a past participle in -i, not -it.

Use of the nonstandard forms varies with the ending: verbs in -duire are found in all forms, but verbs in -truire almost never use the forms in -uîmes sand -uîtes, although forms in -uirent are common for both types.

Conduire
  • Participle: conduit, conduisant
  • Indicative
    • Present: conduis, conduis, conduit, conduisons, conduisez, conduisent
    • Imperfect: conduis+first-group endings
    • Past historic: conduis+second-group endings (nonstandard: condu+second-group endings)
    • Future/conditional: conduir+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: conduis+first-group endings
    • Imperfect: conduis+second-group endings
  • Imperative: conduis, conduisons, conduisez
Nuire
  • Participle: nui, nuisant
Luire (and reluire)
  • Participle: lui, luisant
  • Indicative
    • Past historic: lu+second-group endings (archaic: luis+second-group endings)
  • Subjunctive
    • Imperfect: Unused (would be luis+second-group endings)

  • Reluire is only exceptionally applied to animates, as such it is very rare outside the third persons.

Bruire[edit]

Bruire was originally conjugated like fuir (see above) and spelled accordingly: bruir. It is now conjugated like a second-group verb and exceptional out of the third person, but the archaic indicative imperfect forms bruyait/bruyaient may be encountered in literary use.

Bruire
  • Participles: brui, bruissant
  • Indicative
    • Present: bruis, bruis, bruit, bruissons, bruissez, bruissent
    • Imperfect: bruiss+first-group endings
    • Past historic: bru+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: bruir+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: bru+second-group endings
    • Imperfect: bru+second-group endings
  • Imperative: bruis, bruissons, bruissez

Verbs in -ure[edit]

The verbs in -ure are in two groups: conclure and exclure, who have a past participle in -u, and inclure with the much rarer, practically defective perclure and reclure, whose participle is in -us. Participles and defectivity aside, these verbs have the same conjugation. Due to the homonymie of most of it with what it would be if the infinitives where in -uer, there is a tendency to reconstruct the past historic on that basis.

Conclure
  • Participle: conclu, concluant
  • Indicative
    • Present: conclus, conclus, conclut, concluons, concluez, concluent
    • Imperfect: conclu+first-group endings
    • Past historic: conclus, conclus, conclut, conclûmes, conclûtes, conclurent (nonstandard: conclu+first-group endings)
    • Future/conditional: conclur+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: conclue, conclues, conclue, concluions, concluiez, concluent
    • Imperfect: conclusse, conclusses, conclût, conclussions, conclussiez, conclussent
  • Imperative:
Inclure
  • Participle: inclus, incluant

Verbs in -oire[edit]

Croire[edit]

All verbs derived from croire are either defective or obsolete.

Croire
  • Participle: cru, croyant
  • Indicative
    • Present: crois, crois, croit, croyons, croyez, croient
    • Imperfect: croy+first group ending
    • Past historic: crus, crus, crut, crûme, crûtes, crurent
    • Future/conditional: croir+first group ending
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: croie, croies, croyions, croyiez, croient
    • Imperfect: crusse, crusses, crût, crussions, crussiez, crussent
  • Imperative:crois, croyons, croyez

Boire[edit]

As with croire, boire has no common derived verbs with a full conjugation.

  • Participle: bu, buvant
  • Indicative
    • Present: bois, bois, boit, buvons, buvez, buvent
    • Imperfect: buv+first group ending
    • Past historic: bus, bus, but, bûmes, bûtes, burent
    • Future/conditional: boir+first group ending
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: boive, boives, boive, buvions, buviez, buvent
    • Imperfect: busse, busses, bût, bussions, bussiez, bussent
  • Imperative: bois, buvons, buvez

Verbs in -aire[edit]

For raire and braire, see Appendix:French defective verbs.

Faire[edit]

Faire is the second most frequent verb in French (after être). Its two major feature are the pronunciation of forms in fais+vowel, pronounced /fəz/, as well being one of the few verbs to have a 2nd person plural that does not end in -ez outside the past historic. For this reason, both analogical refection of the second person plural present indicative and -e- spellings are common in informal speech and writing, particularly as eye dialect.

Since, unlike with dire, derivatives of faire carry the irregular second person ending, there is a tendency in many speakers to avoid that form because it is felt strange.

Faire
  • Participles: fait, faisant
  • Indicative
    • Present: fais, fais, fait, faisons, faites, font
    • Imperfect: fais+first-group endings
    • Past historic: f+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: fer+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: fass+first-group endings
    • Imperfect: f+second-group endings
  • Imperative: fais, faisons, faites

Plaire and taire[edit]

Verbs derived from plaire solely differ from taire in having an anomalous circumflex accent in the third person singular of the indicative present. Like other such accents on i, it was recommended to be dropped in the 1990 spelling reform.

Plaire
  • Participle: plu, plaisant
  • Indicative
    • Present: plais, plais, plaît, plaisons, plaisez, plaisent
    • Imperfect: plais+first-group endings
    • Past historic: plus, plus, plut, plûmes, plûtes, plurent
    • Future/conditional: plair+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: plais+first-group endings
    • Imperfect: plusse, plusses, plût, plussions, plussiez, plussent
  • Imperative: plais, plaisons, plaisez
Taire
  • Indicative
    • Present: tais, tais, tait, taisons, taisez, taisent

Verbs in -traire[edit]

Usage and traditional grammar are at odds regarding the question of whether traire and its close derived terms (distraire, retraire, extraire, soustraire, abstraire) have or not a past historic and imperfect subjunctive. In 1877, Littré bemoaned the disparition of forms in -trayi-. The word-final sequence /aji/ is uncommon in French, and these verbs are the only one that would use it. However, the form was long unused already in Littré's time (he did not, in fact, give any examples of it). Forms in -traisi- are encountered fairly often in the 19th century (for exemple in De Sade and Stendhal), but although traire still remains exceptional in the offending tenses, modern usage has shifted toward forms in -traya- for its derivatives where the tense cannot be avoided, overshadowing the occasional -trayi- that probably takes inspiration from Littré. This complex situation where no form has "official" sanction leads to other variations, such a third person plural in -airent (mirroring the form found for verbs in -uire).

Traire (traditional)
  • Participle: trait, trayant
  • Indicative
    • Present: trais, trais, trait, trayons, trayez, traient
    • Imperfect: tray+first-group ending
    • Past historic: Unused
    • Future/conditional: trair+first-group ending
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: traie, traies, traie, trayions, trayiez, traient
    • Imperfect: Unused
  • Imperative: trais, trayons, trayez
Traire (trayi-)
  • Indicative
    • Past historic: tray+second-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Imperfect: tray+second-group endings
Traire (traisi-)
  • Indicative
    • Past historic: trais+second-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Imperfect: trais+second-group endings
Traire (traya-)
  • Indicative
    • Past historic: tray+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Imperfect: tray+first-group endings

Verbs in -ore[edit]

Verbs in -ore are under a dilemma similar to traire's family. Clore has fallen completely out of spoken usage, and is phasing out of literary use too, so that it practically does lack the indicative imperfect and past historic as well as the subjunctive imperfect (though exceptional uses are often encountered); the "unused" status of the first and second person plural in the present indicative leaves more room to dispute. However, its derivative éclore remains in common use and, despite what grammars says, is alive and well in these tenses. The same applies to enclore. The major peculiarity of these verb is the presence of a circumflex in the third person singular of the present indicative. Some have expanded it to the future, but this considered incorrect.

Éclore
  • Participle: éclos, éclosant
  • Indicative
    • Present: éclos, éclos, éclôt, éclosons, éclosez, éclosent
    • Imperfect: éclos+first-group endings
    • Past historic: éclos+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: éclor+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: éclos+first-group endings
    • Imperfect: éclos+second-group endings
  • Imperative: éclos, éclosons, éclosez

Verbs in -ire[edit]

All verbs in -ire, like those in -uire, show a tendency for the third-person plural past historic to be constructed in -irent on the infinitive. This is likely due to the influence of dire and rire, which are particularly common.

Dire and derived verbs[edit]

The verbs dire and redire are the last verbs with an irregular second-person plural. Unlike with faire, all its derived verbs have a regular form in -disez, this provide further incentive for analogical refection of dire and redire. Note that maudire is conjugated like finir, but has a past participle in -it.

Dire, redire
  • Participle: dit, disant
  • Indicative
    • Present: dis, dis, dit, disons, dites (nonstandard: disez), disent
    • Imperfect: dis+first-group endings
    • Past historic: d+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: dir+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: dis+first-group endings
    • Imperfect: d+second-group endings
  • Imperative: dis, disons, dites
Interdire
  • Indicative
    • Present: interdis, interdis, interdit, interdisons, interdisez, interdisent
  • Imperative: interdis, interdisons, interdisez

Suffire, confire and circoncire[edit]

These three verbs are conjugated like a "regularized" -dire verb, but differ in their past participles: suffire's is in -i, confire's is in -it, while circoncire's in -is.

Suffire
  • Participle: suffi, suffisant
  • Indicative
    • Present: suffis, suffis, suffit, suffisons, suffisez, suffisent
    • Imperfect: suffis+first-group endings
    • Past historic: suff+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: suffir+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: suffis+first-group endings
    • Imperfect: suff+second-group endings
  • Imperative: suffis, suffisons, suffisez
Confire
  • Participle: confit, confisant
Circoncire
  • Participle: circoncis, circoncisant

Verbs in -crire[edit]

Future (and particularly conditional) forms in écriver- are often encountered.

Écrire
  • Participle: écrit, écrivant
  • Indicative
    • Present: écris, écris, écrit, écrivons, écrivez, écrivent
    • Imperfect: écriv+first-group endings
    • Past historic: écriv+second-group endings
    • Future/conditional: écrir+first-group endings (nonstandard: écriver+first-group endings)
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: écriv+first-group endings
    • Imperfect: écriv+second-group endings
  • Imperative: écris, écrivons, écrivez

Lire[edit]

Lire
  • Participle: lu, lisant
  • Indicative
    • Present: lis, lis, lit, lisons, lisez, lisent
    • Imperfect: lis+first-group ending
    • Past historic: lus, lus, lut, lûmes, lûtes, lurent
    • Future/conditional: lir+first-group ending
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: lis+first-group ending
    • Imperfect: lusse, lusses, lût, lussions, lussiez, lussent
  • Imperative: lis, lisons, lisez

Rire and sourire[edit]

Because of the same phenomenon affecting verbs in -ure, rire and sourire are often conjugated in the past historic and imperfect subjunctive as if they ended in -ier.

Rire
  • Participle: ri, riant
  • Indicative
    • Present: ris, ris, rit, rions, riez, rient
    • Imperfect: ri+first-group endings
    • Past historic: r+second-group endings (nonstandard: ri+first-group endings)
    • Future/conditional: rir+first-group endings
  • Subjunctive
    • Present: ri+first-group endings
    • Imperfect: r+second-group endings (nonstandard: ri+first-group endings)
  • Imperative:ris, rions, riez

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ This classification is roughly based on Grevisse 2008 §831.

See also[edit]