Present Tense

French present tenseThe French present tense, also known as the present indicative, is fairly similar to the English simple present, but there are some key differences.

   

Pronominal Verbs

French pronominal verbsThe 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

French reciprocal verbsReciprocal verbs use a reflexive pronoun to indicate that the action of the verb is exchanged between two or more subjects acting upon each other.

   

Reflexive Verbs

French reflexive verbsFor 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

French semi-auxiliary verbsSemi-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.

   

   

   

Subjunctive

French subjunctiveThe 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.

   

   

The Subjunctivisor!

The Subjunctivisor!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.

   

Venir de – Recent Past

French recent pastYou 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

French verb moodVerb 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.

   

Verb Tense

French verb tensesThe 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.

   

Verb Timeline

French verb timelineThis table shows how all 24 French verb tenses and moods fit together. Click any link for a detailed lesson on that tense-mood combination.

   

Voice

French voiceThe grammatical term voice refers to the relationship between a verb and its subject: whether it is active, passive, or pronominal (reflexive).