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The ONE trick you need to know to conjugate easily common verbs in French in present tense


writing a list in a notebook

Have you ever heard of the 300 words in French that you need to know in order to speak? You can easily find this list online.

Actually, it's interesting and useful. I do believe that there are many common words that you use a lot in everyday communication, so it is worth knowing them.

But... (Yes, there is always a “but”).

But knowing words is not enough. In order to speak, and not just answer "oui, non, du fromage, mardi...", you need to build sentences.

And what is the main component of a sentence?


THE VERB!


I can already see how you are about to leave this post. French grammar in general and especially how to conjugate French verbs is a nightmare for anyone who learns the language. There are so many tenses, groups, exceptions...

But all is not lost. I promise. There are some small tricks that can make it easier for you.

Today, I want to share with you one of those tricks, to conjugate easily in the present tense.

First of all, it is important that you check the list of common verbs in French.


Liste des verbes fréquents / List of common verbs


ACHETER

AIMER

APPELER

APPRENDRE

ARRIVER

ATTENDRE

CHERCHER

COMMENCER

COMPRENDRE

CONNAITRE

CROIRE

DEMANDER

DIRE

DONNER

ECOUTER

ECRIRE

ENTENDRE

FAIRE

LAISSER

MANGER

METTRE

MONTRER

PARLER

PARTIR

PASSER

PAYER

PENSER

PERDRE

PRENDRE

REGARDER

RENDRE

RENTRER

RESTER

SENTIR

SORTIR

TRAVAILLER

TROUVER

VOIR


כמה פעלים אתם מכירים מתוך הרשימה?

  • כולם!

  • די הרבה

  • חצי

  • פחות מחצי



Of course, you need to add AVOIR, ETRE, ALLER (which are always out of categories) and VOULOIR, POUVOIR, DEVOIR, SAVOIR (which I recommend you study together).


So, let me tell you how easy it is to conjugate these common verbs in French present tense with the singular subjects (JE, TU, IL, ELLE, ON, the neighbour, our teacher...) – in spoken French.

Notice I said "in spoken French" (when writing, there is always at least one letter unpronounced).


Why is it easy?

Because there is only one sound to remember!


How is that?

There are 2 simple principles to follow



  1. First principle - for the verbs ending in -ER in the infinitive form (besides ALLER - Remember? I already said it is always out of categories)


The letters ER (at the end of the infinitive form) are pronounced like the é in "mon chéri" or "bébé". With a smile, yes, a smile.

For example: ACHETER = ACHET☺

In the present tense, with the singular form (I/je, you/tu, he/il, she/elle, we/on), we stop before the "smiling sound".

For example:

ACHETER - [ acheT ]

AIMER - [ aiM ]

APPELER - [ appeL ]


When you speak in French, you pronounce:

J'aiM (I like / Il love)

Il achèT (He buys)

Tu appeL (You call)



2. Second principle - for all other verbs (with an R or RE at the end of the infinitive form)

(Except for the verbs I wrote above - AVOIR, ETRE, POUVOIR, VOULOIR, DEVOIR, SAVOIR)


In the present tense, with the singular form (I/je, you/tu, he/il, she/elle, we/on), we stop before the "R sound".

For example:

CROIRE - [ croi ]

DIRE - [ di ]

FAIRE - [ fai ]


When you speak in French, you pronounce:

Je croi (I believe)

On di (we say)

Il fai (he does/he makes)



Pay attention! For the verbs ending with DRE, TRE, and TIR/MIR, you should delete the sound "D", "M", "T". at the end as well.

For example:

ATTENDRE - [ atten ]

CONNAITRE - [ connai ]

PARTIR - [ par ]

DORMIR - [ dor ]


When you speak in French, you pronounce:

J'atten (I'm waiting)

Il connai (he knows)

Tu par (You're leaving)

Elle dor (She's sleeping)


And it's the same for all the other singular subjects!

Je di, tu di, il di, elle di, on di (I say, you say, he says, she says, we say)

Je fai, tu fai, il fai, elle fai, on fai (I do, you do, he does, she does, we do)

Je par, tu par, il par, elle par, on par (I'm leaving, you're leaving, he's leaving, she's leaving, we are leaving)



Ça y est ! That's it!


French expression for That's it

I know... You were expecting something much easier. Something like "We pronounce the same all the verbs, in all tenses, for all pronouns". But you've gone a little overboard, haven't you?


I also had to learn conjugations in English, German, Hebrew, with lots of exceptions and irregular verbs, and weird tenses... So take it like my little revenge. 🙂




Now that you know the 2 principles, there's only one thing left to do: Practice!

I invite you to choose 5 verbs for the list above and record 5 simple sentences in the present tense. Send me the recording by clicking on the button below, and I promise to send you a personal and professional feedback.








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