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Forming the present tense - regular verbs

There are three main types of regular verbs: -er verbs, like parler (to talk) -ir verbs, like choisir (to choose) -re verbs, like vendre (to sell) To conjugate a verb, take the ending off the infinitive and add the correct ending as shown in the grid.

Conjugating regular -er, -ir and -re verbs to form the present tense
-er verbs parler je tu parle parles -ir verbs choisir -re verbs vendre choisis choisis choisit choisissons choisissez choisissent vends vends vend vendons vendez vendent

il/elle/on parle nous vous ils/elles parlons parlez parlent

Forming the present tense - irregular verbs


Some verbs are irregular but very useful, like avoir (to have), tre (to be), aller(to go) and faire (to do) as shown in the two tables below.

Common irregular verbs in the present tense - avoir and tre


avoir j' tu ai as je tu tre suis es

il/elle/on a nous vous ils/elles

il/elle/on est sommes tes sont

avons nous avez ont vous ils/elles

Common irregular verbs in the present tense - aller and faire


aller je tu vais vas je tu il/elle/on faire fais fais fait faisons faites font

il/elle/on va nous vous ils/elles

allons nous allez vont vous ils/elles

When to use the present tense


The present tense describes what's happening now: Je suis fatigu (I'm tired) On va en ville (We're going into town) It's sometimes used with useful phrases like: maintenant (now) en ce moment (at the moment) aujourd'hui (today)