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How To Conjugate ER Verbs In French

French ER verbs

Every French student should start with ER verb conjugation.

The majority of French verbs fall in this category and they are by far the easiest and most logical group to conjugate.

Here's how it's done.

French ER verb conjugation rules

First step: 

Take the French verb that ends in –er (e.g. garer/to park). 

Remove the –er ending from the infinitive form. 

This gives you the essential root we’ll be using to conjugate.  Do this for all French verbs in this group. 

In this case, the root is [gar].

Second step: 

Add to the root the endings in the table below that correspond to the appropriate tense and person.

Think of it as language lego blocks.

Je/ITu/youIl,elle,on/he,she,it
Présentgaregaresgare
Imparfaitgaraisgaraisgarait
Passé simplegaraigarasgara
Futur simplegareraigarerasgarera
†Subjonctif présentgaregaresgare
Sujonctif Imparfaitgarassegarassesgarât
Impératifgare
Infinitifgarer--
Participe présentgarant--
Participe passégaré--
Nous/weVous/youIls,elles/they
Présentgaronsgarezgarent
Imparfaitgarionsgariezgaraient
Passé simplegarâmesgarâtesgarèrent
Futur simplegareronsgarerezgareront
†Subjonctif présentgarionsgariezgarent
†Sujonctif Imparfaitgarassionsgarassiezgarassent
Impératifgaronsgarez
Infinitifgarer--
Participe présentgarant--
Participe passégaré--

Remember that the infinitif, participe présent and participe passé have no “person” in the sense that they are impersonal. 

The participe passé may be modified according to the auxiliary used. For now, just think of it as a root that can be used to conjugate other tenses.

The above cover the simple tenses in French. The temps composés (composed tenses) make use of helper verbs and will be covered later.

More examples of ER conjugations

Présent: 

Il mange les pommes (He eats the apples)

Imparfait:  

Nous jouions au footbal hier soir (We were playing soccer last night)

Passé Simple: 

Tu jetas ton ticket à l’annonce des résultats du loto (You threw away your ticket when the results of the lottery were announced)

Futur Simple: 

J’achèterai un ballon la semaine prochaine (I will buy a ball next week)

Subjonctif Présent: 

Il faut que vous peliez les patates (You must peel the potatoes)

Subjonctif Imparfait: 

Un nettoyage était requis avant qu’elles ne louassent l’appartement (A housecleaning was required before they could rent the apartment)

Impératif: 

Plonge dans l’eau! (Dive into the water!)

Infinitif: 

Il faut marcher avant de courir (One must walk before one can run)

Participe Présent: 

L’appétit vient en mangeant (Appetite comes with eating)

Participe Passé: 

Il a lancé la balle (He has thrown the ball)

See also: How To Conjugate French IR Verbs


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