Translating Simple Tenses and Moods

Traduire les temps et modes simples

Translating simple French verb conjugations
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French and English have a number of important differences in verb tenses and moods, which can make translating the various conjugations from one language to the other a bit tricky, as explained in the intro to this lesson: French verb conjugation translations.

Please be sure to keep all of that in mind as you look at the verb donner (to give) conjugated into every simple French verb form. I can’t list every possible translation, but this should give you a pretty good idea of how French and English verb conjugations fit together. For a more in-depth look, click the heading above any table for the detailed French lesson.

Present tense

  Simple presentPresent progressivePresent emphatic
je donne I giveI am givingI do give
tu donnes you giveyou are givingyou do give
il donne he giveshe is givinghe does give
elle donne she givesshe is givingshe does give
nous donnons we givewe are givingwe do give
vous donnez you giveyou are givingyou do give
ils donnent they givethey are givingthey do give


  FutureFuture progressive
je donnerai I will giveI will be giving
tu donneras you will giveyou will be giving
il donnera he will givehe will be giving
elle donnera she will giveshe will be giving
nous donnerons we will givewe will be giving
vous donnerez you will giveyou will be giving
ils donneront they will givethey will be giving


  ConditionalConditional progressive
je donnerais I would giveI would be giving
tu donnerais you would giveyou would be giving
il donnerait he would givehe would be giving
elle donnerait she would giveshe would be giving
nous donnerions we would givewe would be giving
vous donneriez you would giveyou would be giving
ils donneraient they would givethey would be giving


  Past progressive 
je donnais I was givingI used to give
tu donnais you were givingyou used to give
il donnait he was givinghe used to give
elle donnait she was givingshe used to give
nous donnions we were givingwe used to give
vous donniez you were givingyou used to give
ils donnaient they were givingthey used to give


  Present / SubjunctiveProgressive
que je donne that I givethat I am (be) giving
que tu donnes that you givethat you are (be) giving
qu’il donne that he givesthat he is (be) giving
qu’elle donne that she givesthat she is (be) giving
que nous donnions that we givethat we are (be) giving
que vous donniez that you givethat you are (be) giving
qu’ils donnent that they givethat they are (be) giving

Passé simple

  Simple pastPast emphatic
je donnai I gaveI did give
tu donnas you gaveyou did give
il donna he gavehe did give
elle donna she gaveshe did give
nous donnâmes we gavewe did give
vous donnâtes you gaveyou did give
ils donnèrent they gavethey did give

Imperfect subjunctive

  Simple pastPast progressive
que je donnasse that I gavethat I was giving
que tu donnasses that you gavethat you were giving
qu’il donnât that he gavethat he was giving
qu’elle donnât that she gavethat she was giving
que nous donnâmes that we gavethat we were giving
que vous donnâtes that you gavethat you were giving
qu’ils donnèrent that they giaethat they were giving

More about translating French verb conjugations

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Translating simple French tenses and moods

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