Common French verbs – present tense

French verbs

“I hate French!”

Language changes over time because people are lazy. They’d rather say something that’s easy than something that’s correct. That means the most common words change the most, and the verbs become ‘irregular’. In French, the ten most common verbs are ‘être’, ‘avoir’, ‘pouvoir’, ‘faire’, ‘mettre’, ‘dire’, ‘devoir’, ‘prendre’, ‘donner’ and ‘aller’, and they’re all irregular apart from ‘donner’. Here are their forms in the present tense.

Note: the irregular forms are shown in red.

Etre (to be)

Je suis          (I am)
Tu es          (You are – informal)
Il/elle est          (He/she is)
Nous sommes          (We are)
Vous êtes          (You are – formal and/or plural)
Ils/elles sont          (They are – masculine or masculine and feminine/feminine only)

Avoir (to have)

J’ai          (I have)
Tu as          (You have – informal)
Il/elle as          (He/she has)
Nous avons          (We have – formal and/or plural)
Vous avez          (You have – formal and/or plural)
Ils/elles ont          (They have – masculine or masculine and feminine/feminine only)

Pouvoir (to be able to, ‘can’)

Je peux          (I can)
Tu peux          (You can – informal)
Il/elle peut          (He/she can)
Nous pouvons          (We can – formal and/or plural)
Vous pouvez          (You can – formal and/or plural)
Ils/elles peuvent          (They can – masculine or masculine and feminine/feminine only)

Faire (to do, to make)

Je fais          (I do or make)
Tu fais          (You do or make – informal)
Il/elle fait          (He/she does or makes)
Nous faisons          (We do or make – formal and/or plural)
Vous faites          (You do or make – formal and/or plural)
Ils/elles font          (They do or make – masculine or masculine and feminine/feminine only)

Mettre (to put)

Je mets          (I put)
Tu mets          (You put – informal)
Il/elle met          (He/she puts)
Nous mettons          (You put – formal and/or plural)
Vous mettez          (You put – formal and/or plural)
Ils/elles mettent          (They put – masculine or masculine and feminine/feminine only)

Dire (to say, to tell)

Je dis          (I say or tell)
Tu dis          (You say or tell – informal)
Il/elle dit          (He/she says or tells)
Nous disons          (We say or tell – formal and/or plural)
Vous disez          (You say or tell – formal and/or plural)
Ils/elles disent          (They say or tell – masculine or masculine and feminine/feminine only)

Devoir (to have to, ‘must’)

Je dois          (I have to or must)
Tu dois          (You have to or must – informal)
Il/elle doit          (He/she has to or must)
Nous devons          (We have to or must – formal and/or plural)
Vous devez          (You have to or must – formal and/or plural)
Ils/elles doivent          (They have to or must – masculine or masculine and feminine/feminine only)

Prendre (to take)

Je prends          (I take)
Tu prends          (You take – informal)
Il/elle prend          (He/she takes)
Nous prenons          (We take – formal and/or plural)
Vous prenez          (You take – formal and/or plural)
Ils/elles prennent          (They take – masculine or masculine and feminine/feminine only)

Aller (to go)

Je vais          (I have)
Tu vas          (You have – informal)
Il/elle va          (He/she has)
Nous allons          (We have – formal and/or plural)
Vous allez          (You have – formal and/or plural)
Ils/elles vont          (They have – masculine or masculine and feminine/feminine only)

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