French conjugation (explanation sheet)

April 07, 2017

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In this attached sheet, we are going to give you an overview of French conjugation. You will see a simple way of conjugating some French verbs, the three most frequently used tenses: present, future and simple past tenses.

- In French, there are three categories of verbs: those of the first group, those of the second group and those of the third group. They have slightly different conjugation.

- The verbs of the 1st group are the easiest to conjugate. These are the verbs that end with the "-er" suffix in the infinitive, with the exception of the verb "to go" (aller), which is irregular.

- The verbs in the 2nd group are verbs that end in "-ir" in the infinitive. They are the ones which have the "-issons" ending when conjugated in the present and first person plural. For example, you say "we are finishing" (nous finissons), so "to finish" (finir) is a verb in the second group.

- All other French verbs are the verbs in the 3rd group. The vast majority of the 3rd group verbs end with either "-ir", "-oir" or "-re".

This sheet summarises how to conjugate verbs of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd group, the most frequently used tenses, with examples. We also mention some particular cases, for the most common verbs.

Thanks to this explanation sheet, you will better understand French conjugation. It will help you express yourself in French, while being understood. You can also understand conversations if you understand what tense people are speaking.

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