The French present tense, also known as the present indicative, is fairly similar to the English simple present, but there are some key differences.
The grammatical term "pronominal" means "relating to a pronoun." You know that conjugated verbs (almost) always need a subject pronoun, but pronominal verbs need a reflexive pronoun as well.
Reciprocal verbs use a reflexive pronoun to indicate that the action of the verb is exchanged between two or more subjects acting upon each other.
For reflexive verbs, the reflexive pronoun indicates that the subject of the verb is performing the action on him/her/itself, rather than on someone or something else. The majority of reflexive verbs have to do with one's body, clothing, or relationships.
Semi-auxiliary verbs are used with infinitives to influence their meaning, tense, mood, or aspect. Some French semi-auxiliaries are equivalent to English modal verbs, and most of the top 10 French verbs can or must be used as semi-auxiliaries.
Learn how each simple conjugation of avoir serves as the auxiliary verb for a corresponding compound verb form.
Learn how each simple conjugation of être serves as the auxiliary verb for a corresponding compound tense or mood.
The French subjunctive is a special verb form, called a "mood," that is used in dependent clauses to indicate some sort of subjectivity, uncertainty, or unreality in the mind of the speaker.
Ce tableau montre la relation entre les 24 temps et modes verbaux. Cliquer sur un lien pour lire la leçon détaillée sur cette combinaison de temps et mode.
The Subjunctivisor is an interactive tool that will advise you on whether to use the subjunctive or indicative with more than 275 French verbs, expressions, and conjunctions.
You can explain what happened in the recent past with the construction venir de + infinitive; for example, Je viens de terminer ce puzzle - "I (have) just finished this puzzle."
Verb mood is all about the 'tude; that is, the speaker's attitude about the verb, whether it's a fact, an opinion, a command, or a possibility.
The grammatical term "tense" comes from Latin tempus, meaning "time." So a verb tense refers to the time that the action of a verb occurs. French has three tenses: present, past, and future.
This table shows how all 24 French verb tenses and moods fit together. Click any link for a detailed lesson on that tense-mood combination.
The grammatical term voice refers to the relationship between a verb and its subject: whether it is active, passive, or pronominal (reflexive).