Introduction to Verbs

Initiation aux verbes

Verbs are action words that express the action (He runs) or state of being (I am tired) of a sentence. They are one of the main parts of speech.

French verbs have to be “conjugated” or “inflected”; that is, changed according to how they are used. They have five to six different conjugations for each tense and mood.

The basic form of a verb is called the infinitive and is the name of the verb. The English infinitive is “to” followed by a verb, while the French infinitive is a single word with one of three infinitive endings:

1. -er parler (to speak)  Regular -er verbs Irregular -er verbs
2. -ir finir (to finish) Regular -ir verbs Irregular -ir verbs
3. -re vendre (to sell) Regular -re verbs Irregular -re verbs

  When learning any new verb, be sure to learn its infinitive, since this is used as the basis for just about everything you do with it.

Most French verbs are conjugated by removing the infinitive ending to find the "radical" or "root" and then adding the appropriate ending. There are a total of five elements in verb conjugation:

  1. Number
  2. Person
  3. Tense
  4. Mood
  5. Voice

 French Verb Conjugations

Related lessons

French for beginners French for beginners

Self-study checklist with lessons, quizzes, and comprehension exercises.

Stay up to date with Lawless French!
Twitter Facebook Quora Instagram Pinterest YouTube RSS Newsletter
Quora

Any Questions?

 Get help on the forum.
  
 

More Lawless French

 Subscribe to my twice-weekly newsletter.
       

Support Lawless French

  This free website is created with love and a great deal of work.

If you love it, please consider making a one-time or monthly donation.

Your support is entirely optional but tremendously appreciated.