Regular -ier Verbs

Verbes du premier groupe

Skier - French -ier verb
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French verbs that end in –ier are regular -er verbs, but that -i- in front of the infinitive ending can be a little confusing, so here’s a closer look.

ier verbs take the regular -er verb endings:

je -e   nous   -ons
tu -es   vous -ez
il -e   ils -ent

Once you remove the -er ending from the infinitive, you’re left with a stem that ends in -i, so of course that letter must be maintained in all the conjugations.

Par exemple…

copier (to copy)

je copie   nous   copions
tu copies   vous copiez
il/elle/on copie   ils/elles copient

Easy enough, right? You’ll note that the nous and vous forms end in –ions and –iez, respectively, which might remind you of the imperfect and subjunctive. Just remember that for –ier verbs, the -i- is part of the stem, not the ending, so a single i before the ending indicates the present tense.

 Here’s where it gets confusing. You know that the stem ends in -i, and you know that the nous and vous imperfect and subjunctive endings begin with -i, so what happens when you want to conjugate them into those verb forms? You end up with -ii-.

  imperfect subjunctive
je copiais copie
tu copiais copies
il/elle/on copiait copie
nous   copiions copiions
vous copiiez copiiez
ils/elles copiaient copient

That -ii- in the nous and vous forms does more than just look weird; it also has to be pronounced.


[kuh pyo(n)]
[kuh pi yo(n)]
[kuh pyay]
[kuh pi yay]

So there you have it – just a bit of weirdness to add to all that French verb conjugation fun.  🙂

French -ier verbs

allier to ally
amplifier to amplify
apprécier to appreciate
approprier to suit, adapt
associer to associate
balbutier to stammer, babble
bénéficier to benefit
certifier to certify
châtier to chastise
confier to confide
copier to copy
crier to scream
dédier to dedicate
défier to challenge
licencier to lay off, dismiss
identifier to identify
justifier to justify
s’écrier to exclaim
étudier to study
lier to bind, link
marier to marry
se méfier to mistrust
modifier to modify
multiplier to multiply
négocier to negotiate
nier to deny
oublier to forget
pallier to overcome, compensate for
parier to bet, wager
plier to fold, bend
prier to pray
rassasier to satisfy
rectifier to rectify
remercier to thank
répudier to repudiate
scier to saw
simplifier to simplify
signifier to signify, mean
skier to ski
se soucier to care
spécifier to specify
strier to streak, ridge
vérifier to verify

 Related lessons

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French -ier verbs
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