Mastering common French verbs is essential for effective communication, as verbs form the backbone of any conversation. They enable the expression of actions, desires, and states of being, making it possible to construct meaningful and coherent sentences. Proficiency in these verbs is crucial for fluency and understanding in French.

Categories of Verbs in French

Regular Verbs

Regular verbs in French follow consistent patterns of conjugation, making them easier to learn and use. Here are examples of common regular verbs and their conjugations:

Regular ER Verbs:

Common -ER verbs are the most numerous and follow a predictable conjugation pattern. Let’s look at some examples:

  1. Parler (to speak)


  • Je parle (I speak)
  • Tu parles (You speak)
  • Il/Elle parle (He/She speaks)
  • Nous parlons (We speak)
  • Vous parlez (You speak, formal/plural)
  • Ils/Elles parlent (They speak)

Usage: “Je parle français.” (I speak french.)

  1. Habiter (to live)


  • J’habite (I live)
  • Tu habites (You live)
  • Il/Elle/On habite (He/She/One lives)                      
  • Nous habitons (We live)
  • Vous habitez (You live, formal/plural)
  • Ils/Elles habitent (They live)

Usage: “Nous habitons à Paris.” (We Live in Paris.)

Regular IR Verbs:

Regular -IR verbs also follow a specific pattern. Here are some common examples:

  1. Finir (to finish)


  • Je finis (I finish)
  • Tu finis (You finish)
  • Il/Elle finit (He/She finishes)
  • Nous finissons (We finish)
  • Vous finissez (You finish, formal/plural)
  • Ils/Elles finissent (They finish)

Usage: “Je finis mes devoirs.” (I finish my homework.)

  1. Choisir (to choose)


  • Je choisis (I choose)
  • Tu choisis (You choose)
  • Il/Elle choisit (He/She chooses)
  • Nous choisissons (We choose)
  • Vous choisissez (You choose, formal/plural)
  • Ils/Elles choisissent (They choose)

Usage: “Nous choisissons un restaurant.” (We choose a restaurant.)

Regular RE Verbs:

Regular -RE verbs are less common but still important. Here’s an example:

  1. Attendre (to wait)


  • J’attends (I wait)
  • Tu attends (You wait)
  • Il/Elle/On attend (He/She/One waits)
  • Nous attendons (We wait)
  • Vous attendez (You wait, formal/plural)
  • Ils/Elles attendent (They wait)

Usage: “J’attends le bus.” (I am waiting for the bus.)

Irregular Verbs

Irregular verbs in French do not follow standard conjugation patterns, making them unique and often more challenging to learn. Some of the most common irregular verbs include:

Irregular IR Verbs

  1. Partir (to leave)

Partir is an example of an irregular -IR verb that does not follow the -issant pattern.


  • Je pars (I leave)
  • Tu pars (You leave)
  • Il/Elle part (He/She leaves)
  • Nous partons (We leave)
  • Vous partez (You leave, formal/plural)
  • Ils/Elles partent (They leave)

Usage: “Nous partons demain.” (We leave tomorrow.)

Explanation of Gendered and Plural Conjugations: In certain tenses, especially compound tenses like the passé composé, past participles of verbs agree in gender and number with the subject when used with être as an auxiliary verb. For example:

“Elles sont parties.” (They [feminine] left.)

Irregular RE Verbs-

Demonstrates the conjugation pattern of some irregular -RE verbs.

  1. Mettre (to put)


  • Je mets (I put)
  • Tu mets (You put)
  • Il/Elle/On met (He/She/One puts)
  • Nous mettons (We put)
  • Vous mettez (You put, formal/plural)
  • Ils/Elles mettent (They put)

Usage: “Je mets la table pour le dîner.”(I set the table for dinner.)

  1. Prendre (to take):


  • Je prends (I take)
  • Tu prends (You take)
  • Il/Elle prend (He/She takes)
  • Nous prenons (We take)
  • Vous prenez (You take, formal/plural)
  • Ils/Elles prennent (They take)

Conjugating Irregular – OIR Verbs

  1. Voir (to see)


  • Je vois (I see)
  • Tu vois (You see)
  • Il/Elle voit (He/She sees)
  • Nous voyons (We see)
  • Vous voyez (You see, formal/plural)
  • Ils/Elles voient (They see)

Usage: “Nous voyons les étoiles.” (We see the stars.)

Special Irregular Verbs: Être, Avoir, Aller, and Faire

These four verbs are the most common irregular verbs in French and are essential for everyday communication.

  1. Être (to be)


  • Je suis (I am)
  • Tu es (You are)
  • Il/Elle est (He/She is)
  • Nous sommes (We are)
  • Vous êtes (You are, formal/plural)
  • Ils/Elles sont (They are)

Usage: “Je suis un étudiant.” (I am a student.)

  1. Avoir (to have)


  • J’ai (I have)
  • Tu as (You have)
  • Il/Elle a (He/She has)
  • Nous avons (We have)
  • Vous avez (You have, formal/plural)
  • Ils/Elles ont (They have)

Usage: “Ils ont une voiture.” (They have a car.)

  1. Aller (to go)


  • Je vais (I go)
  • Tu vas (You go)
  • Il/Elle va (He/She goes)
  • Nous allons (We go)
  • Vous allez (You go, formal/plural)
  • Ils/Elles vont (They go)

Usage: “Nous allons au parc.” (We go to the park.)

  1. Faire (to do/make)


  • Je fais (I do/make)
  • Tu fais (You do/make)
  • Il/Elle fait (He/She does/makes)
  • Nous faisons (We do/make)
  • Vous faites (You do/make)
  • Ils font (They do/make)

Usage: “Je fais mes devoirs.” (I do my homework.)

Reflexive Verbs

Reflexive verbs in French are used to indicate that the subject performs an action on itself. They are conjugated like regular verbs, but they include a reflexive pronoun that precedes the verb. This pronoun matches the subject of the sentence.

  • Je me
  • Tu te
  • Il/Elle/On se
  • Nous nous
  • Vous vous
  • Ils/Elles se

Examples of Reflexive Verbs in Context

  1. Se laver (to wash oneself)


  • Je me lave (I wash myself)
  • Tu te laves (You wash yourself)
  • Il/Elle se lave (He/She washes him/herself)
  • Nous nous lavons (We wash ourselves)
  • Vous vous lavez (You wash yourself, formal/plural)
  • Ils/Elles se lavent (They wash themselves)

Usage: “Je me lave les mains.” (I wash my hands.)

  1. S’appeler(to be called)


  • Je m’appelle (I am called / My name is)
  • Tu t’appelles (You are called / Your name is)
  • Il/Elle/On s’appelle (He/She/One is called / His/Her name is)
  • Nous nous appelons (We are called / Our names are)
  • Vous vous appelez (You are called / Your name is, formal/plural)
  • Ils/Elles s’appellent (They are called / Their names are)

Usage: “Je m’appelle Marie.”(My name is Marie.)

Reflexive Verbs: Regular and Irregular Categories

Just like non-reflexive verbs, reflexive verbs can be regular or irregular:

Regular Reflexive Verbs: Conjugated like regular -ER, -IR, or -RE verbs, such as “se laver” (to wash oneself) and “s’amuser” (to have fun).

Irregular Reflexive Verbs: Conjugated like irregular verbs, such as “s’asseoir” (to sit down) and “se souvenir” (to remember).

Modal Verbs

Modal verbs in French, much like in English, are auxiliary verbs used to express necessity, ability, possibility, permission, or obligation. They play a crucial role in indicating the speaker’s attitude toward the action of the main verb and are often followed by an infinitive.

Common Modal Verbs in French

  1. Devoir (to have to, must)

Role: Expresses necessity or obligation.


  • Je dois (I must)
  • Tu dois (You must)
  • Il/Elle doit (He/She must)
  • Nous devons (We must)
  • Vous devez (You must, formal/plural)
  • Ils/Elles doivent (They must)

Usage: “Je dois étudier pour l’examen.” (I must study for the exam.)

  1. Pouvoir (to be able to, can)

Role: Expresses ability or possibility.


  • Je peux (I can)
  • Tu peux (You can)
  • Il/Elle peut (He/She can)
  • Nous pouvons (We can)
  • Vous pouvez (You can, formal/plural)
  • Ils/Elles peuvent (They can)

Usage: “Nous pouvons partir maintenant.” (We can leave now.)

  1. Vouloir (to want)

Role: Expresses desire or intention.


  • Je veux (I want)
  • Tu veux (You want)
  • Il/Elle veut (He/She wants)
  • Nous voulons (We want)
  • Vous voulez (You want, formal/plural)
  • Ils/Elles veulent (They want)

Usage: “Ils veulent visiter Paris.” (They want to visit Paris.)

Action Verbs

Action verbs are crucial for dynamic communication, as they describe physical or mental actions, bringing sentences to life and providing clarity and detail to interactions. 

Importance of Action Verbs

  • Expressing Actions: Action verbs articulate what is happening, whether it’s a physical action or a mental process.
  • Enhancing Clarity: By specifying the action, they make communication more precise and understandable.
  • Adding Dynamism: They contribute to the liveliness of speech and writing, making descriptions vivid and engaging.

Regular vs. Irregular Action Verbs

Regular Action Verbs: These verbs follow standard conjugation patterns, making them predictable and easier to learn. Examples include “manger” (to eat), “parler” (to speak), and “regarder” (to watch).

Irregular Action Verbs: These verbs do not follow regular conjugation patterns and often have unique forms. Examples include “prendre” (to take), “faire” (to do/make), and “voir” (to see).


Mastering French verbs is key to effective communication, enriching your conversations and deepening your cultural understanding. Embrace the challenge and unlock new opportunities with La Forêt’s immersive language programs, guiding you every step of the way to fluency. Dive in and start your journey today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is “passer” avoir or être?

“Passer” can be conjugated with both “avoir” and “être,” depending on its usage. When used transitively (e.g., “J’ai passé une bonne journée” – I had a good day), it takes “avoir.” When used intransitively (e.g., “Je suis passé par la porte” – I passed by the door), it takes “être.” La Forêt’s language courses can help you master these nuances effortlessly.

What verb is “je suis”?

“Je suis” means “I am” and is the first-person singular form of the verb être (to be), one of the most important and irregular verbs in French. Understanding être is crucial for building basic sentences and descriptions.

How to memorize French verbs?

Memorizing French verbs requires regular practice and engaging with the language in various contexts. Techniques include flashcards, repetition, and using the verbs in sentences.

What are the super 7 verbs in French?

The “super 7” verbs in French are être (to be), avoir (to have), aller (to go), faire (to do/make), parler (to speak), pouvoir (to be able to), and vouloir (to want). These verbs are foundational and frequently used in everyday conversation. La Forêt’s structured approach will help you master these essential verbs quickly.