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 être, because its nous form is sommes, so there’s no –ons to drop. Instead, it uses ét– 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 être (to be).

PronounEnding donner > donn- choisir > choisiss- lever > lev- aller > all- être > ét-
je / j’-ais donnais choisissais levais allais étais
tu-ais donnais choisissais levais allais étais
il-ait donnait choisissait levait allait était
nous-ions donnions choisissions levions allions étions
vous-iez donniez choisissiez leviez alliez étiez
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

Note: You must be logged into your Progress with Lawless French account to take these tests. If you don’t have one, sign up – it’s free!

 Related lessons

French lesson plans French imperfect lesson plan

Learn Spanish En español

El imperfecto
 

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French imperfect
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