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Les verbes
(Verbs)
What is the definition of
“verb”?
Verb: (noun) a word that characteristically is the grammatical
center of a predicate and expresses an act, occurrence, or mode of
being, that in various languages is inflected for agreement with the
subject, for tense, for voice, or for mood.
Simply: It’s an action word! 
Can you think of some verbs in English?
Les Verbes
Verbs in the French language have to parts:
1. It has a root (also called a stem)
2. An ending, which is either “-er”, “-ir”, or “-re”
stem
ending
Understanding the two parts
• STEM: this part of the verb contains the action
word, for example: run, walk, talk, swim
• ENDING: the ending is what we call an
“inflectional suffix”- basically, this is the part of
the verb that is changed when we conjugate
(we’ll talk about this in a moment)
Divide these verbs into the two parts
Aimer
Aller
Chanter
Danser
Marcher
Nager
Parler
Avertir
Bénir
Choisir
Courir
Finir
Réussir
Punir
Attendre
Défendre
Descendre
Entendre
Perdre
Répondre
Vendre
Part One: The Stems
(The meaning of the verb)
Aim- like/love
All- go
Chant- sing
Dans- dance
March- walk
Nag- swim
Parl- speak
Avert- warn
Bén- bless
Chois- chose
Cour- run
Fin- finish
Réuss- suceed
Pun- punish
Attend- wait
Défend- defend
Descend- descend
Entend- hear
Perd- lose
Répond- respond
Vend- sell
Part Two: The Endings
There are only 3 types of endings for French verbs:
-er / -ir / -re
All 3 of these mean “to” in English
Therefore:
Aller- TO go
Avertir- TO warn
Attendre- TO wait
Conjugating verbs
Since we now know the parts of a verb, we need
to know how verbs are used in relation to subject
pronouns.
What are “subject pronouns” ? What are
they in English?
Les Pronoms Sujets
(Subject Pronouns):
Subject Pronouns are words which replace the
name of a person/place/thing.
In English…
SINGULAR
PLURAL
I
We
You
You all / y’all
He / she / it
They
Les Pronoms Sujets en français
Singulier
Pluriel
Je
Nous
( or, if in front of a vowel)
J’
Tu
Vous
Il / Elle / On
Ils (guys) / Elles (gals)
How to read this chart:
First person:
These subject pronouns
include yourself- you are
#1!
Second person:
The ‘you’ subject
pronouns.
Third person:
Think of these
pronouns as ‘everyone
else’:
Ex.
Singulier
Pluriel
Je
Nous
( or, if in front of a vowel)
J’
Tu
Il / Elle / On
Vous
Ils (guys) / Elles
(gals)
This middle line separates the singular
and plural subject pronouns. If you are
referring to one person- look to the
left, if more than one- look to the right
…So what does it mean to conjugate?
When we conjugate verbs, we are changing the
ending of the verb to reflect the subject pronoun
that one is talking about.
*Remember: the French verb endings are er/ir/re
and they all mean “to”
English Examples: “I speak” but it is “he speaks”
Conjugasion en français
French has specific endings for each subject
pronoun, depending on the endings of the verbs.
These require memorization!
“-er” Verb Endings
(Present Tense)
Example French verb: Parler (to speak)
Singulier
Pluriel
Je parle
Nous parlons
Tu parles
Vous parlez
Il
Ils
Elles
Elle
On
parle
parlent
“-ir” Verb Endings
(Present Tense)
Example French verb: Réussir (to suceed)
Singulier
Pluriel
Je réussisis
Nous réussisissons
Tu réussisis
Vous réussisissez
Il
Ils
Elle
On
réussisit
Elles
réussisissent
“-re” Verb Endings
(Present Tense)
Example French verb: Attendre (to wait)
Singulier
Pluriel
J’ attends
Nous attendons
Tu attends
Vous attendez
Il
Elle
On
Ils
Elles
attend_
attendent
Proper Pronunciation
Here is a little trick to help you remember which
verb endings are pronounced when speaking:
If it fits in the heel, then you don’t pronounce the
ending!
Madame Burse’s Heel:
Je parle
Nous parlons
Tu parles
Vous parlez
Il parle
Elle parle
On parle
Ils parlent
Elles parlent
Les verbes au Présent:
The endings you have just learned are for verbs in the
present tense, meaning that the subject pronoun is
currently doing the action.
So… “Je parle” can mean:
• I speak
• I am speaking
Just like… “Nous parlons” means:
• We speak
• We are speaking
Therefore:
In French we do not need to add an extra word
such as “am” or “is” or “are” like we need in
English because the French conjugation has those
words implied in the conjugation.
“Elle parle” covers both “She speaks” AND
“She is speaking”
Spelling Changes
Some French verbs require spelling changes for the
nous (we) subject pronoun in order to keep
pronunciation correct.
Verbs that end in these endings need additional letters
added to the conjugations:
-cer
-ger
-yer *
For verbs ending in –cer :
You must add a cedille- ç – in order to keep the
soft c sound:
Example: Prononcer (to pronounce)
-cer
ç
Nous
prononçons
For verbs ending in –ger :
You must add a mute e between the g and the o
in order to keep a soft g sound:
Example: Manger (to eat)
-ger
e
Nous
mangeons
Verbs ending in –yer :
The y changes to an I before the mute e. For this
change, you do it to the ‘heel’ conjugations, not
nous and vous.
Example: Nettoyer (to clean)
-yer
i
Elle
nettoie
PRATICE:
1. Divide these verbs into their two parts. Color
coding or using “ / ” is fine.
2. Conjugate these verbs for all subject pronouns
in the present tense. (You can work in your table group
to do this but each person needs them all!)
3. Create 5 original sentences using 5 different
verbs.
1. Divide these verbs into the two parts
2. Conjugate all of them for the present tense
3. Pick 5 of them and create 5 sentences using our vocabulary words.
Aimer
Aller
Chanter
Danser
Marcher
Nager
Parler
Avertir
Bénir
Choisir
Courir
Finir
Réussir
Punir
Attendre
Défendre
Descendre
Entendre
Perdre
Répondre
Vendre
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