Imperfect Conjugations

French imperfect conjugations
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Conjugaisons de l’imparfait

The French imperfect is very easy to conjugate. With a single exception, every single French verb is conjugated as follows:

  1. Start with the verb’s nous form of the present tense
  2. Drop –ons
  3. Add the imperfect ending.

 The only verb that doesn’t—can’t—follow this pattern is ĂȘtre, because its nous form is sommes, so there’s no –ons to drop. Instead, it uses Ă©t– as its imperfect stem.

Par exemple…

Here are the imperfect conjugations for the regular -er verb donner (to give), the regular -ir verb choisir (to choose), the stem-changing verb lever (to lift), and the irregular verbs aller (to go) and ĂȘtre (to be).

Pronoun Ending donner > donn- choisir > choisiss- lever > lev- aller > all- ĂȘtre > Ă©t-
je / j’ -ais donnais choisissais levais allais Ă©tais
tu -ais donnais choisissais levais allais Ă©tais
il -ait donnait choisissait levait allait Ă©tait
nous -ions donnions choisissions levions allions Ă©tions
vous -iez donniez choisissiez leviez alliez Ă©tiez
ils -aient  donnaient choisissaient levaient allaient étaient

 French imperfect endings are identical to conditional endings.

 French Imperfect Quizzes

Think you’ve got it? Test yourself on the French imperfect with these fill-in-the-blanks exercises

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 Related lessons

French lesson plans French imperfect lesson plan

Learn Spanish En español

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French imperfect

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