Intermediate French For Dummies
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If the infinitive of a regular French verb ends in -er, -ir, or -re, you can follow a fixed pattern in conjugating the verb. If you learn to conjugate one verb in each of the groups, you will know how to conjugate hundreds of others. The following chart has the conjugation of the five simple tenses of three common regular verbs: parler (to speak), finir (to finish), and vendre (to sell). Just take the appropriate stem for each tense and add the required ending.

Regular -er Verb Endings
Tense (stem) je tu il/elle/on nous vous ils/elles
Present (parl) -e -es -e -ons -ez -ent
Imperfect (parl) -ais -ais -ait -ions -iez -aient
Future (parler) -ai -as -a -ons -ez -ont
Conditional (parler) -ais -ais -ait -ions -iez -aient
Subjunctive (parl) -e -es -e -ions -iez -ent
Regular -ir Verb Endings
Tense (stem) je tu il/elle/on nous vous ils/elles
Present (fini) -s -s -t -ssons -ssez -ssent
Imperfect (finiss) -ais -ais -ait -ions -iez -aient
Future (finir) -ai -as -a -ons -ez -ont
Conditional (finir) -ais -ais -ait -ions -iez -aient
Subjunctive (finiss) -e -es -e -ions -iez -ent
Regular -re Verb Endings
Tense (stem) je tu il/elle/on nous vous ils/elles
Present (vend) -s -s (nothing) -ons -ez -ent
Imperfect (vend) -ais -ais -ait -ions -iez -aient
Future (vendr) -ai -as -a -ons -ez -ont
Conditional (vendr) -ais -ais -ait -ions -iez -aient
Subjunctive (vend) -e -es -e -ions -iez -ent

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Laura K. Lawless has done graduate work in French and Spanish translation, interpretation, linguistics, and literature. She also studied French at Institut de formation internationale in Mont-St-Aignan, France, and at the Alliance française in Toulouse, France. She continues to create lessons, quizzes, listening exercises, and games for French students and teachers around the world.

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