French Present Tense – Part 1

French Present Tense.

We have regular and irregular forms, in this first part, we are going to see the regular forms.
They are 2, for 3 different groups of verbs:

  • First group: verbs with infinitive -er
  • Second group: verbs with infinitive -ir
  • Third group: irregular verbs

Example:

– Chanter (infinitive form = to sing) = chant + er, the ending is the only part that has different forms, the first part or stem does not change.

1. First Group: -er verbs

Parler (to speak, to talk) = parl+er, the ending is: -e, -es, -e, -ons, -ez, -ent

Je
Tu
Il, elle, on
Nous
Vous
Ils, elles
parl
parl
parl
parl
parl
parl
e
es
e
ons
ez
ent
Let’s explain the subjects: Je= I, Il = he, elle= she.

Tu means you for people you know, what we call ‘informal’.
Vous means several things:
1. Plural of tu (several friends)
 2. You, formal way, people you don’t know or you want to show respect.
3. You, plural formal.
On means we (most of the times and is very common)
Ils and elles are the masculine and feminine forms of they.

More examples:

Chanter (to sing) = chant+er
Je chante, tu chantes, il chante, elle chante, on chante, nous chantons, vous chantez, ils chantent, elles chantent.
Écouter (to listen) = écout+er
J’écoute, tu écoutes, il écoute, elle écoute, on écoute, nous écoutons, vous écoutez, ils écoutent, elles écoutent.
The verb ALLER (to go) is irregular.

2. Second group: -ir verbs

Finir (to end, to finish) = fin+ir, the endings are -is,-is,-it, -issons, -issez, -issent

Je
Tu
Il, elle, on
Nous
Vous
Ils, elles
 fin
fin
fin
fin
fin
fin
is
is
it
issons
issez
issent

More examples:

Obéir à (to obey) = obé+ir:
J’obéis, tu obéis, il obéit, elle obéit, on obéit, nous obéissons, vous obéissez, ils obéissent, elles obéissent
Fournir (to furnish, to provide) = fourn + ir:
Je fournis, tu fournis, il fournit, elle fournit, on fournit, nous fournissons, vous fournissez, ils fournissent, elles fournissent.

In this second group, there are about 300 verbs but the difficulty is that some verbs in -ir are irregular and part of the third group, we are going to see in the next lesson.

3. When to use the French Present tense:

For a current event instead of the present continuous
For future events: Demain, Paul chante à l’opéra
Instead of the Present Perfect Continuous: il chante depuis une heure
And like in English to describe something, an habit, a repetition.

Go to the PART 1A

Fill The blanks

present tense french

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