Devoir – Pouvoir – Vouloir Conjugation Pattern

3 Irregular French Verbs

with a similar conjugation pattern

Devoir pouvoir vouloir conjugations
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In the present tense, the irregular –ir verbs devoir (to have to), pouvoir (to be able to), and vouloir (to want) are conjugated according to a similar pattern:

1. Like boot verbs, these three verbs have two stems: one for the singular and third person plural conjugations, and another for the nous and vous conjugations.

2. The nous / vous stems are the infinitive minus –oir: dev-, pouv-, and voul-, respectively.

3. The stems for the other four conjugations are doi-, peu-, and veu-, respectively, but

  • For the first and second person singular, the ending for devoir is –s, while it’s –x for the other two verbs.
  • The third person plural keeps the consonant from the middle of the infinitive.
Endings Devoir Pouvoir Vouloir
-s je dois
tu dois
-x   je peux
tu peux
 je veux
tu veux
-t il doit il peut il veut
-ons nous devons nous pouvons nous voulons
-ez vous devez vous pouvez vous voulez
-ent ils doivent ils peuvent ils veulent

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French verb conjugations

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