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The present tense is used to just like English to express what happens in the present time. The present tense is regularly formed by dropping the ending of the infinitive and adding a personal ending to the stem: the stem of the verb (to speak/ parler) is (parl) now that we have the stem/ root of the verb, we will add the endings to it, since to speak/ parler belongs to the (-er) verbs we need to add the endings accordingly. The appropriate endings would be : je -e, tu -es, il -e, nous -ons, vous -ez, ils -ent :

 

                                                 French Present Tense

Example of (-er) verbs endings

singular

plural

je parle (I speak)
tu (familiar) parles (you speak)
il, elle parle (he, she speaks)

nous parlons (we speak)
vous parlez (you guys speak)
ils, elles parlent (they speak)

 

The appropriate endings for the second category (-ir) are: je -is, tu -is, il -it, nous -issons, vous -issez, ils -issent. Let’s take (to finish/ finir) the stem is fin:

Example of (-ir) verbs endings

singular

plural

je finis (I finish)
tu (familiar) finis (you finish)
il, elle finit (he, she finishes)

nous finissons (we finish)
vous finissez (you guys finish)
ils, elles finissent (they finish)

 

The appropriate endings for the 3rd category (-re ending) are: je -s, tu -s, il -, nous -ons, vous -ez, ils -ent. For example the stem for (to lose/ perdre)
is perd:

                                                 French Present Tense

Example of (-re) verbs endings

singular

plural

je perds (I lose)
tu (familiar) perds (you lose)
il, elle perd (no ending) (he, she loses)

nous perdons (we lose)
vous perdez (you guys lose)
ils, elles perdent (they lose)

 

The forth categories is about verbs changing their stem while keeping the same regular endings that the first category (-er) has, for example the stem of the verb (to know/savoir) will be (sai) in the singular and (sav) in the plural, plus the regular endings:  je -s, tu -s, il -t, nous -ons, vous -ez, ils -ent.

Example of (-er) verbs with irregular stem

singular

plural

je sais (I know)
tu (familiar) sais (you know)
il, elle sait (he, she knows)

nous savons (we know)
vous savez (you guys know)
ils, elles savent (they know)

 

This kind of verbs needs to be memorized or at least memorize their stem.

 

The 5th group contains the kind of verbs that have irregular stems and irregular endings, for example the verb (to come/ venir) ends in (-ir) but doesn’t take the endings of the (-ir) categories, venir takes the following endings instead: je -s, tu -s, il -t, nous -ons, vous -ez, ils -ent. Also its stem is not simply (ven) but (vien) in the singular, (ven) in the plural, and add an extra (n) in the third person plural.

                                                 French Present Tense

Example of (-er) verbs with irregular stem

singular

plural

je viens (I come)
tu (familiar) viens (you come)
il, elle vient (he, she comes)

nous venons (we come)
vous venez (you guys come)
ils, elles viennent (they come)

 

The last category contains the toughest verbs and should be memorized by heart; it appears that they’re used a lot, so it may come handy if you memorize them.

 

 

 

French Present Tense, present tense endings

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Articles
Adjectives
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Verbs
Present Tense
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Future Tense
Imperfect
Imperative
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Pronouns
Conjunction
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Subjunctive
Conditional
Comparative
Prepositions

 

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