How Do I Conjugate Regular Verbs in Present Tense?

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What do I do now? – Some student in grade 8, somewhere

So many verb tenses and so little time…

Today we’re going to talk about how to conjugate regular verbs in the present tense in French.

The present tense refers to what is happening right now. It is an absolute necessity to understand how to conjugate this tense, as we use it all the time.

But what is a regular verb?

Regular verbs are verbs that have been put into categories since they all follow the same pattern.

There are three categories of regular verbs: ER/IR/RE

Each of these categories refers to the endings of the verbs.

Examples:

Marcher is a regular ER verb in present tense

Choisir is a regular IR verb in present tense

Rendre is a regular RE verb in present tense

In order to learn how to conjugate these verbs, we have to learn a little about subjects:

Here are the common subjects in French:

Je (I)

Tu (You)

Il (He)

Elle (She)

On (We)

Nous (We)

Vous (You/You all)

Ils (They)

Elles (They)

Note: The subject is the thing that does the action in the sentence.

Finally, here are the steps to conjugating a regular verb in present tense:

  1. Remove the ending (ER/IR/RE)
  2. Replace the ending with the correct ending, depending on the subject

Simple as that.

For ER Verbs, the endings are as follows:

SubjectEnding
Je-e
Tu-es
Il-e
Elle-e
On-e
Nous-ons
Vous-ez
Ils-ent
Elles-ent

Example: 

Conjugate “marcher” in present tense for the subject “il”

Il marche

For IR Verbs, the endings are as follows:

SubjectEnding
Je-is
Tu-is
Il-it
Elle-it
On-it
Nous-issons
Vous-issez
Ils-issent
Elles-issent

Example:

Conjugate “choisir” in present tense for the subject “elles”

Elles choisissent

For RE Verbs, the endings are as follows:

SubjectEnding
Je-s
Tu-s
IlNo ending
ElleNo ending
OnNo ending
Nous-ons
Vous-ez
Ils-ent
Elles-ent

Example:

Conjugate “rendre” in present tense for the subject “vous”

Vous rendez

There you have it, how the present tense works for regular verbs in French!

Extra help!

Need more practice? Here are some worksheets you can try out as extra practice.

Interested in getting all the French grammar modules? Look here.