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Les verbes réguliers en -ER

September 19, 2012

In French, verbs which infinitive form ends in -ER (parler, aimer, habiter, étudier etc.) are REGULAR and belong to the “first conjugation” (“premier groupe“). Exception : the verb “aller” (to go), which belongs to the 3rd group.

Endings for the indicative present are : je : -e, tu : -es, il/elle/on : -e, nous : -ons, vous : -ez, ils/elles : -ent

Conjugation of the indicative present of the verb “parler” will be obtained by adding those endings to the stem parl-.

PARLER (to speak)
je parle
tu parles
il/elle/on parle
nous parlons
vous parlez
ils/elles parlent

The only endings that are pronounced are -ons and -ez. Other endings are silent.

Stem changes

The stem of a few verbs may change in order to preserve the pronunciation. Those changes are not considered as real “irregularities”.

1) Extra letter added :
  • With verbs like “appeler” (to call), “épeler” (to spell), “jeter” (to throw), the consonants “l” or “t” are doubled in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd persons of singular and 3rd person of plural, so the preceding “e” can be pronunced as “ay” (ऐ), which is easier.
  • With verbs like “manger” (to eat), “changer” (to change), “voyager” (to travel), a “e” is added before the ending to the 1st person of plural to avoid the consonant “g” to be pronounced as /g/ (ग).
  • With verbs like “commencer” (to start) or “placer” (to place), a cedilla is added to the consonant “c” for the 1st person of plural to avoid “c” to be pronounced as “k” (क).
j’appelle je mange je commence
tu appelles tu manges tu commences
il/elle/on appelle il/elle/on mange il/elle/on commence
nous appelons nous mangeons nous commençons
vous appelez vous mangez vous commencez
ils/elles appellent ils/elles mangent ils/elles commencent

2) “é”  changed to “è” :
  • With verbs like “préférer” (to prefer), “répéter” (to repeat) or “espérer” (to hope), the “é” in the last syllable of the stem changes to “è” for all persons excepted “vous” and “nous”.
je préfère
tu préfères
il/elle/on préfère
nous préférons
vous préférez
ils/elles préfèrent
3) “e” changed to “è” :
  • With verbs like “acheter” (to buy), “amener” (to bring somebody), “emmener” (to take somebody) or “lever” (to raise), the “e” in the last syllable of the stem changes to “è” for all persons excepted “vous” and “nous”.
tu achète
il/elle/on achète
nous achetons
vous achetez
ils/elles achètent
4) “y” changed to “i”
  • Verbs like “payer” (to pay) or “essayer” (to try) follow 2 patterns : a normal pattern (pay- + endings) and a pattern with modification of the stem in pai- for all the persons excepted “nous” and “vous”.
  • With verbs like “appuyer” (to press) or “employer” (to use, to employ), the vowel “y” is replaced by “i” for all persons excepted “nous” and “vous”.
je paye/paie j’appuie
tu payes/paies tu appuies
il/elle/on paye/paie il/elle/on appuie
nous payons nous appuyons
vous payez vous appuyez
ils/elles payent/paient ils/elles appuient


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