Thursday, 27 September 2012

French Verbs 

French verbs may seem difficult at first to English speaking people who try to learn French, but it is not as complicated as it appears.

The verb is the most important word in a sentence. It indicates that an action is taking place, has taken place or will take place.

The most fundamental difference between French and English verbs is that French verbs have more endings.

Many French verbs are regular and conform to a particular pattern, however there are also a great number of common irregular verbs which have to be learned separately because they do not comply to any typical verb patterns.
Below are the names given in the French grammar for each of the tenses.

Verb (trouver- to find)

  Indicative                                      Indicatif          3rd Person Singular 

Present                                                               Présent                                            il trouve

Perfect                                                         Passé composé                                    il a trouvé

Imperfect                                                          Imparfait                                             il trouvait

Future                                                                   futur                                                 il trouvera

Pluperfect                                                    Plus-que-parfait                                     il avait trouvé

Future perfect                                              Futur antérieur                                       il aura trouvé

Conditional                                             Conditionnel

Present                                                             Présent                     il trouverait

Subject Pronouns

                                       Singular                                     Plural                         

First                                    Je (I)                                        Nous (we)
Second                              Tu (you)                                    Vous (you)
Third (masculine)             Il (he)                                         Ils (they)
           (feminine)           elle (she)                                       elles (they)
                                         on (one)

Note: The pronoun “tu” is used to address a child, a friend, a relative or a close associate.
The pronoun “vous” is used to address someone you do not know well or someone who is older than you.
Vous” is also used to address friends or acquaintances if there are two or more of them.

The pronoun “on” means (one, they, we or people)

eg: on prend nos repas à la cantine
eg: en France, on parle Français

“ils” means “they” and refers to male or male/female people, animals or things.

eg: Où sont Paul et Marie?  ils jouent dans le jardin.


Simple tenses are made of stems to which endings are attached

Compound tenses are made of the auxiliary verbs (avoir) or (être) plus a past participle

The indicative mood expresses a statement

The conditional mood indicates a wish or a possibility

The conjugation

The conjugation indicates the tense, the mood and the person of the verb.

French verbs are categorized into 4 groups

1) The first group include verbs whose infinitive ends in (er) except (aller – to go).

eg: donner (to give)
eg: regarder (to watch)
eg:  parler (to speak)

2) The second group is for verbs whose infinitive ends in (ir) and present participle in (issant) 

eg: finir – finissant (to finish – finishing)
    eg: choisir – choisissant (to choose – choosing)
eg: remplir - remplissant (to fill – filling)

3) The second group is for verbs whose infinitive ends in (er)
eg: vendre (to sell)
eg: attendre (to wait)
eg: descendre (to go down)

a) In this group there are also the stem-changing verbs. Their root changes depending of   the subject pronoun, but the endings are the same as regular verbs.

eg: prendre (to take)
eg: apprendre (to learn)

4) The third group concerns all other verbs

eg: partir (to leave )
eg: ouvrir (to open)
eg; conduire (to drive)

Even irregular verbs have some recognizable patterns

eg: devoir (to have to), recevoir (to receive), apercevoir (to perceive)
eg: craindre (to fear), plaindre (to pity), joindre (to join)
eg: naître (to be born), paraître (to seem), connaître (to know)

But some are completely irregular and have to be memorized

eg: être (to be)
eg: avoir (to have)
eg: allez (to go)

No comments:

Post a Comment