Irregular -re Verbs

Irregular French verbs
Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

Verbes du troisième groupe*

Even though there are more than 100 irregular -re verbs, you don’t have to learn a hundred conjugation tables. Since many of these verbs follow certain patterns, you only need to memorize about 20.

1) Verbs like rompre

Rompre and its derivations are conjugated in the present tense like regular -re verbs, with one exception: in the third person singular, the ending is a t:

Endings Par exemple : rompre
je-s   romps
tu-s  romps
il/elle/on-t  rompt
nous  -ons  rompons
vous-ez  rompez
ils/elles-ent  rompent

Common verbs

corrompre to corrupt
interrompre to interrupt
rompre to break

2) Verbs like cuire

All verbs that end in -uire, –dire, –fire and –lire are conjugated in the present tense by dropping -re and adding s to the plural forms. They take the same endings as above:

Endings Par exemple : cuire
je-s   cuis
tu-s  cuis
il/elle/on-t  cuit
nous  -ons  cuisons
vous-ez  cuisez
ils/elles-ent  cuisent

Common verbs

conduire to drive
confire to preserve, pickle, candy
construire to build
contredire to contradict
cuire to cook
se dédire to go back on one’s word
déduire to deduce, deduct
détruire to destroy
dire* to say, tell
éconduire to dismiss
élire to elect
enduire to coat
frire to fry
induire to mislead
instruire to instruct
interdire to forbid
introduire to introduce, insert
lire to read
luire to shine
médire to malign
nuire to harm
prédire to predict
produire to produce
reconduire to renew
reconstruire to rebuild
redire*  to repeat, say again
réduire to reduce
reluire to shine
reproduire to reproduce
séduire to seduce
suffire to suffice
traduire to translate

  * The second person plural forms of dire and redire in the present tense are vous dites and vous redites. All other conjugations follow the above pattern.

These verbs are all conjugated the same way in most tenses and moods. However, each ending (-dire/-fire, –lire, –uire) has a different past participle and therefore different passé simple and imperfect subjunctive conjugations.

3) Verbs like écrire

All verbs that end in -crire are conjugated in the present tense by dropping -re and adding v to the plural forms. They take the same endings as above:

Endings Par exemple : écrire
je (j’)-s   écris
tu-s  écris
il/elle/on-t  écrit
nous  -ons  écrivons
vous-ez  écrivez
ils/elles-ent  écrivent

Common verbs

circonscrire to contain, confine
décrire to describe
écrire to write
inscrire to inscribe, write down
prescrire to prescribe
proscrire to prohibit, ban
récrire to rewrite
souscrire to subscribe
transcrire to transcribe

4) Verbs like craindre

All verbs that end in -aindre, -eindre, and -oindre are conjugated in the present tense by dropping the d in all forms and adding g in front of n in the plural forms. They take the same endings as above:

Endings Par exemple : craindre
je-s   crains
tu-s  crains
il/elle/on-t  craint
nous  -ons  craignons
vous-ez  craignez
ils/elles-ent  craignent

Common verbs

adjoindre to appoint
astreindre to compel, force
atteindre to attain, reach
ceindre to don, put on
contraindre to force, compel
craindre to fear
dépeindre to depict
déteindre to bleach, leach
disjoindre to disconnect, separate
empreindre to imprint
enfreindre to infringe, break(formal)
enjoindre to enjoin (s.o. to do)(formal)
épreindre to juice(old-fashioned)
éteindre to extinguish, snuff out
étreindre to embrace, clutch(formal)
feindre to feign
geindre to groan, whine
joindre to join
oindre to anoint
peindre to paint
plaindre to pity, feel sorry for
rejoindre to rejoin, get back to
repeindre to repaint
restreindre to restrict, limit
reteindre to dye again, redye
teindre to dye

  The next two groups use the same present tense endings as regular -re verbs, but have an irregular stem.

5) Verbs like mettre

All verbs that end in –ttre are conjugated in the present tense by dropping the second t in all the singular forms:

Endings Par exemple : mettre
je-s   mets
tu-s  mets
il/elle/on  met
nous  -ons  mettons
vous-ez  mettez
ils/elles-ent  mettent

Common verbs

abattre to knock down, weaken
admettre to admit
battre to beat
combattre to combat, fight
commettre to commit
compromettre to compromise
débattre to debate
mettre to put
permettre to permit
promettre to promise
soumettre to submit
transmettre to transmit

However, be aware that verbs that end in -battre have a different past participle and therefore different passé simple and imperfect subjunctive conjugations from verbs that end in -mettre.

6) Verbs like prendre

Prendre and all of its derivations are conjugated in the present tense by dropping the d in all the plural forms and doubling the n in the third person plural, then adding the regular -re endings:

Endings Par exemple : prendre
je-s   prends
tu-s  prends
il/elle/on  prend
nous  -ons  prenons
vous-ez  prenez
ils/elles-ent  prennent

Common verbs

apprendre to learn
comprendre to understand
entreprendre to undertake
se méprendre to be mistaken
prendre to take
reprendre to take again, retake
surprendre to surprise

7) Verbs like connaître

All verbs that end in -aître (except naître) are conjugated in the present tense as follows: drop –tre in all forms and use these irregular endings. Note the addition of a circumflex in the third person singular.

Endings Par exemple : connaître
je-s   connais
tu-s  connais
il/elle/on-^t  connaît
nous  -ssons  connaissons
vous-ssez  connaissez
ils/elles-ssent  connaissent

Common verbs

apparaître to appear
comparaître to appear in court
connaître to know, be familiar with
disparaître to disappear
méconnaître to be unaware of
paraître to seem
reconnaître to recognize
reparaître to reappear
transparaître to show through

Really irregular -re verbs

Knowing the seven patterns above will allow you to conjugate the vast majority of irregular -re verbs, leaving just a few with unique or nearly unique conjugations:

  1. boire
  2. clore
  3. conclure | exclure | inclure | occlure
  4. coudre
  5. croire
  6. absoudre | dissoudre | résoudre
  7. distraire
  8. être
  9. faire | défaire | parfaire | refaire
  10. moudre
  11. naître
  12. plaire | déplaire
  13. rire | sourire
  14. suivre | poursuivre
  15. se taire
  16. vivre | survivre

*French grammarians lump all irregular verbs together in le troisième groupe.

 Related lessons

 Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

French irregular -re verbs

Any Questions?

 Ask away in the comments section below or start a conversation on any of the Lawless French social media pages.
 

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.