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French Grammar from RapideFrench.com

Verbs: Present Tense –ir Verbs

Regular -ir verbs follow this pattern:
finir (to finish)
je finisI finish
tu finisYou finish (singular)
il/elle finitHe/she finishs
nous finissonsWe finish
vous finissezYou finish (plural)
ils/elles finissentThey finish

We say that the infinitive is finir, fin is the stem, and the endings are -is, -is, -it, -issons, -issez, -issent (the hyphen isn't part of the ending, it just indicates that it follows the stem). Regular -ir verbs include:

  • agir (to act)
  • choisir (to choose)
  • grandir (to grow up)
  • ralentir (to slow down)
  • remplir (to fill)
  • réunir (to reunite)

  • Some irregular -ir 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.

    Other key irregular verbs

    avoir (to go) is very irregular in the je, tu, il(s) and elle(s) forms.
    je aiI have
    tu asYou have (singular)
    il/elle aHe/she has
    nous avonsWe have
    vous avezYou have (plural)
    ils/elles ontThey have
    venir (to come)
    je viensI come
    tu viensYou come (singular)
    il/elle vientHe/she comes
    nous venonsWe come
    vous venezYou come(plural)
    ils/elles viennentThey come

    The above structure also applies to tenir – to hold, abstenir – to refrain, to abstain from, advenir – to happen, appartenir – to belong to, circonvenir – to circumvent, contenir – to contain, convenir – to suit, to be suitable, détenir – to detain, devenir – to become, entretenir – to look after, to support, intrevenir – to intervene, maintenir – to maintain, obtenir – to obtain, parvenir – to reach, to achieve, prévenir – to warn, retenir – to retain, soutenir – to support, souvenir – to remember, subvenir – to provide for, survenir – to occur, to take place.

    avoir (to have) – very irregular
    je aiI have
    tu asYou have (singular)
    il/elle aHe/she has
    nous avonsWe have
    vous avezYou have (plural)
    ils/elles ontThey have
    vouloir (to want to)
    je veuxI want
    tu veuxYou want (singular)
    il/elle veutHe/she wants
    nous voulonsWe want
    vous voulezYou want(plural)
    ils/elles veulentThey want

    The above structure also applies to pouvoir - to be able to

    devoir (to have to)
    je doisI must
    tu doisYou must (singular)
    il/elle doitHe/she must
    nous devonsWe must
    vous devezYou must (plural)
    ils/elles doiventThey must
    savoir (to know)
    je saisI know
    tu saisYou know (singular)
    il/elle saitHe/she knows
    nous savonsWe know
    vous savezYou know (plural)
    ils/elles saventThey know
    sortir (to go out)
    je sorsI go out
    tu sorsYou go out (singular)
    il/elle sortHe/she goes out
    nous sortonsWe go out
    vous sortezYou go out (plural)
    ils/elles sortentThey go out
    ouvrir (to open)
    je ouvreI open
    tu ouvresYou open (singular)
    il/elle ouvreHe/she opens
    nous ouvronsWe open
    vous ouvrezYou open (plural)
    ils/elles ouvrentThey open
    voir (to see)
    je voisI see
    tu voisYou see (singular)
    il/elle voitHe/she sees
    nous voyonsWe see
    vous voyezYou see (plural)
    ils/elles voientThey see