Auxiliary Verbs – Avoir vs Être

French auxiliary verbsAuxiliary verbs are also known as helping verbs, because they help form compound conjugations. The key thing to remember about compound conjugations is that it's the auxiliary verb which conjugates for the required tense or mood; the main verb is always a past participle.

   

Compound Subjects

French compound subjectsWhen the subject of a French verb is nous, vous, ils, or elles, it's obvious which verb conjugation you need, because those plural pronouns are included in verb tables. But it's a bit trickier with compound subjects made up of multiple names, nouns, and/or pronouns. In these cases, you need to take a moment to figure out which plural subject pronoun those items add up to, so that you know what to conjugate for.

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Imperative Mood Conjugations

French imperativeFrench imperative conjugations are relatively easy, as for most verbs they're identical to their present tense conjugations (without the subject pronoun). In addition, the imperative exists only for three grammatical persons instead of the normal six!

   

   

Imperfect Subjunctive

French imperfect subjunctiveThe imperfect subjunctive is a literary verb form, meaning that it's reserved for formal, written French - mainly literature, but also history and journalism.

   

Introduction to Verb Conjugation

French verb conjugationWhen you start learning French, it's not just French vocabulary you have to get used to - you're also introduced to a whole new world of grammatical terms. For many students, one of the most daunting of these is verb conjugations. Just what is a verb conjugation and what does it mean to conjugate a verb?

   

Irregular -er Verbs

Irregular French verb conjugationsTechnically, there is only one irregular -er verb, aller. But there are three patterns in the conjugation of so-called regular -er verbs that set them apart from the rest.