How to Use the French Present Tense – Complete Guide
Learning French present tense made easier with a fun guide. Make and use sentences with confidence. Know the tense inside out and use it like a native.
9 November 2019
French Grammar French Lessons
How to Use the French Present Tense – Complete Guide[mashshare]
It will take you just a few weeks to learn the present tense conjugation of most French verbs, efficiently. All you need to do is have a key understanding of the common conjugation patterns.
Just go through the article and learn French present tense easily and quickly.
For further acquaintance and help, you may connect to our French tutors.
Common usage of French Present Tense
Unlike English, the French present tense is more frequently used.
Some of the common usage of French present tense include:
- What is happening and How you’re feeling
- Talking about habits and facts
- Talking about the occurrence of an event in the near future.
|Use of Present Tense||Description||Examples|
|1. What’s happening +|
|While speaking French, you can use the French present tense|
to talk about what is happening.For example, use it to convey that you are cooking spaghetti or tell the other person anything that is happening as you speak.In this way it is similar to the English present tense or the present progressive, which uses the ‘be + ing’ form.
|Qu’est-ce que tu écris? j’écris une lettre|
What are you writing? I am writing a letter
|2. Habits and facts||Whenever you are talking about habits, facts and universal truths,you must use the French Present Tense.||Quel genre de livres lis-tu?|
What kind of books you read?
J’aime beaucoup la fiction scientifique
I really like scientific fiction
|3.Occurrence of events||You can also use the French present tense to talk about any event that|
is going to happen in an hour, days or maybe weeks. You must however add a time
describing word like “demain” (tomorrow), “lundi” (Monday) or “la semaine prochaine”
(next week) for making a sentence.
|je vais au collège à partir de demain|
I’m joining college from tomorrow
Types of French verbs
1. Regular verbs: These are easy to learn verbs as they follow a definite pattern. There are three different kinds of regular verbs endings that you must learn on a priority basis
Types of French regular verbs endings:
Here is the patterns that these verbs follow:
Regular verbs with an ‘-er’ ending
About 90% of French verbs have an –er ending.
Learning conjugating verbs with er ending will enable you to conjugate almost all the French verbs. The rule of thumb for conjugating verbs with –er ending is easy. You must drop the –er ending and instead use endings like -e, -es, -e, -ons, -ez, -ent.
Parler (tu speak)
je parle nous parlons
tu parles vous parlez
il/elle/on parle ils/elles parlment
Regular verbs with an –IR ending
They count of approximately 5% of French verbs. They too follow a pattern except a few which are irregular verbs.
The thumb rule is to drop the –ir ending and replace it with -is, -is, -it, -issons, -issez, -issent endings.
|je finis||nous finissons|
|tu finis||vous finissez|
|il/elle/on finit||ils/elles finissent|
Regular verbs with a RE ending
Regular verbs with RE ending follow the below mentioned pattern:
Again just like –er & -ir ending drop the –re ending and use -s, nothing, -ons, -ez, -ent, instead.
|je vends||nous vendons|
|tu vends||vous vendez|
|il/elle/on vend||ils/elles vendent|
Attending the complicated French irregular verbs
2. Irregular French verbs enjoy special treatment and thus you need to individually attend each one of them. This nowhere means that you must go after all the French irregular words in the dictionary, but learning the most common ones will do.
Here are some of the most common French irregular verbs that you must learn:
|j’ai||je suis||je vais||je fais|
|tu as||tu es||tu vas||tu fais|
|il/elle/on a||il/elle/on est||il/elle/on va||il/elle/on fait|
|nous avons||nous sommes||nous allons||nous faisons|
|vous avez||vous êtes||vous allez||vous faites|
|ils/elles ont||ils/elles sont||ils/elles vont||ils/elles font|
Tricks to remember
You must remember that if you want to use French has a language, you must learn the French present tense, essentially. However, it does not mean that you only need to focus all your strength in reciting the table of verb all day long.
We are happy to help you with some of the tips to learn the French present tense conjugations. Here it goes:
- Stay focused on learning the regular patterns of -er, -ir and –re verb.
- The common irregular verbs listed on this page are more than enough to learn.
- Seek exposure of the French language whenever possible. The more you are practically exposed to the language, the better you learn it and use it more efficiently.