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French Grammar from RapideFrench.com

Verbs: Present Tense –er Verbs

Regular -er verbs follow this pattern:
donner (to give)
je donneI give
tu donnesYou give (singular)
il/elle donneHe/she gives
nous donnonsWe give
vous donnezYou give (plural)
ils/elles donnentThey give

Note that for the above verb we say that the infinitive is donner, donn is the stem, and the endings are -e, -es, -e, -ons, -ez, -ent (the hyphen isn't part of the ending, it just indicates that it follows the stem). Regular -er verbs are:

  • regarder (to look)
  • arrive (to arrive)
  • chanter (to sing)
  • parler (to speak)

  • Some irregular -er verbs may have just have one or two differences, and sometimes have their own patterns within groups of similar irregular verbs. Below are common ones.

    manger (to eat)
    Follows regular –er verbs except for the nous form
    je mangeI give
    tu mangesYou give (singular)
    il/elle mangeHe/she gives
    nous mangeonsWe give
    vous mangezYou give (plural)
    ils/elles mangentThey give

    The above structure also applies to changer (to exchange), charger (to charge), déranger (to disturb), interroger (to question), mélanger (to mix), nager (to swim), obliger (to compel), partager (to share), plonger (to dive) and voyager (to travel).

    commencer (to start)
    Follows regular –er verbs except for the nous form
    je commenceI start
    tu commencesYou start (singular)
    il/elle commenceHe/she starts
    nous commençonsWe start
    vous commencezYou start (plural)
    ils/elles commencentThey start

    The above structure also applies to announcer (to announce), divorcer (to divorce), se fiancer (to get engaged) and manacer (to threaten).

    jeter (to throw)
    Follows regular –er verbs except the constant t is repeated in the je, tu, il(s) and elle(s) forms.
    je jetteI throw
    tu jettesYou throw (singular)
    il/elle jetteHe/she throws
    nous jetonsWe throw
    vous jetezYou throw (plural)
    ils/elles jettentThey throw

    Most verbs ending in ter repeat the t, exceptions are acheter (to buy) and haleter (to gasp) – see espérer below

    appeler (to call)
    Follows regular –er verbs except the constant l is repeated in the je, tu, il(s) and elle(s) forms.
    j'appelleI call
    tu appellesYou call (singular)
    il/elle appelleHe/she calls
    nous appelonsWe call
    vous appelezYou call (plural)
    ils/elles appellentThey call

    Most verbs ending in ler repeat the l including s'appeler (to be called), rappeler (to call back), se rappeler (to remember) and étinceler (to twinkle). Exceptions that do not repeat the l include céler (to conceal), geler (to freeze), marteler (to hammer), modeller (to model) and peler (to peel) - see espérer below.

    espérer (to hope)
    Follows regular –er verbs except the é towards the end of the stem is changed to a è in the je, tu, il(s) and elle(s) forms.
    j'espèreI call
    tu espèresYou call (singular)
    il/elle espèreHe/she calls
    nous espéronsWe call
    vous espérezYou call (plural)
    ils/elles espèrentThey call

    The above structure applies to acheter (to buy), céler (to conceal), geler (to freeze), haleter (to gasp), lever (to lift), marteler (to hammer), mener (to lead), modeller (to model), peler (to peel), and répéter (to repeat).

    envoyer (to send) and other verbs ending in yer
    follow regular –er verbs except the y in the stem is changed to an i in the je, tu, il(s) and elle(s) forms.
    j'envoieI send
    tu envoiesYou send (singular)
    il/elle envoieHe/she sends
    nous envoyonsWe send
    vous envoyezYou send (plural)
    ils/elles envoientThey send

    The above structure also applies to assayer (to try), employer (to employ), ennuyer (to annoy), nettoyer (to clean) and payer (to pay).

    aller (to go) is very irregular in the je, tu, il(s) and elle(s) forms.
    je vaisI go
    tu vasYou go (singular)
    il/elle vaHe/she goes
    nous allonsWe go
    vous allezYou go (plural)
    ils/elles vontThey go