Le Présent de l'indicatif et les groupes de verbes. Present tense in French language. Groups of verbs

Present tense in French – Présent – is similar to one Russian. Thus, Présent means an action that is taking place directly at the moment of speech and indicates simultaneity to the present.

But there is one feature - the French use some verbs in the form of the present tense, bearing in mind the past tense. These verbs and their translations are:

• amener - lead

• apporter - bring

• arriver - arrive

• venir - to come

• sortir - exit

• revenir - return, come back again

I think it is because of this feature most French men and women are so unpunctual.

Like in Russian, in French language verbs conjugate in the same persons. All French verbs are contingently divided into 4 groups.

І group

All verbs that have the ending -er in the infinitive (in an indefinite form), except aller.

For example,

chanter – to sing

parler – to talk

aimer - to love


Group II

All verbs that have the ending -ir in the infinitive

For example,

finir - to finish, to stop

choisir – to choose, to make a choice

rougir – to blush, to color in red


Group III

Irregular verbs with different endings in the infinitive.

For example,

vendre (-dre) – to sell

mettre (-tre) - to put

faire – to do, create

dire – to speak, say

pouvoir et vouloir (-ir) - can and want


Group IV

The auxiliary verbs être (to be) and avoir (to have).

There are no problems with the verbs of the 1st and 2nd groups, everything is schematic and logical. But there is a lot of trouble with the verbs of 3rd and 4th group, after all, they were not called irregular verbs for nothing. But do not worry, for some of them there are certain rules too. Also, their conjugation can always be seen in the dictionary or on the last pages of French textbooks. And yet, thanks to our teachers, you can find out which of them are the most common, in order to minimize the time spent on their memorization.

So, are you ready? We are beginning to conjugate the verbs in Présent, i.e. in present tense!

For convenience, the basis of the verb (in this article and the following) we will denote by V. How to determine the basis of the verb? Very simple! Take its dictionary form and "tear off" the ending from it: e-er, -ir. And what you have left and is the basis of the verb.

Oh, by the way, the first is read as [e], and the second as [ir]

Et voilà the table of I and II types verbs conjugation

V-er (I)


V-ir (II)


nous V-ons [õ]

je parle

nous parlons

je V-is [i]

nous V-issons


je finis

nous finissons


vous V-ez [e]

tu parles

vous parlez

tu V-is [i]

vous V-issez


tu finis

vous finissez


ils V-ent

il parle

ils parlent

il V-it [i]

ils V-issent


il finit

ils finissent


So, we have got to feature No. 1 in French. In all persons singular (je, tu, il) and the third person plural (ils) there are no phonetic changes, despite the addition of letters. Thus, these forms are pronounced as well as the base - parle [paʀl].

And the forms of the first and second persons of the plural (nous, vous) are already producing audible differences.

As example, we are going to give the conjugation of verbs III and IV groups, because they are very important for French language. The forms of their conjugation are given in the table below:

Conjugation in Présent of irregular verbs

être — to be

avoir [avwar] — to have

faire — to do

aller — to go

venir [vənir] — to come

je suis [swi]

j’ai [e]

je fais

je vais

je viens [vjε̃]

tu es (t’es)*

tu as (t’as)*

tu fais

tu vas

tu viens [vjε̃]

il est [ε]

il a

il fait

il va

il vient [vjε̃]

nous sommes [som]

nous avons [nuzavõ]

nous faisons [fəzõ]

nous allons [nuzalõ]**

nous venons [nuvnõ]**

vous êtes [vuzεt]**

vous avez [vuzave]**

vous faites [fεt]

vous allez [vuzale]**

vous venez [vuvne]**

Ils sont [sõ]

Ils ont [ilzõ]**

Ils font [fõ]

ils vont [võ]

Ils viennent [vjεn]

* Speaking Form

** These forms in the table are given with the transcription of the pronoun and the verb, since when they are combined, liaison occurs, i.e. binding.

Well now, do you understand why these verbs are called wrong? But what is to be done? How to learn French verbs? Our simple advice is to remember them! Just remember them! After all, there are only five of them now, and further along with the study of the language, there will be more and more of them.

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