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20/10/2021
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The French present tense (1)
Here is a brief explanation on how to build the present in French for the two first groups of verbs (see The groups of the French verbs).
If you have any questions, you can ask them on the discussion forums.

First and second groups

The verbs in the 1st and the 2nd groups are regular. It is quite easy.

To build the present for those verbs, you have to remove the ending "er" or "ir" from the infinitive form and add the terminations instead.

    For example: in this example, [...] represents the termination.
      aimer (to like): aim[er] → aim[...]
      finir (to end): fin[ir] → fin[...]
      établir (to establish): établ[ir] → établ[...]

  • The terminations for the verbs of the first group are:
    • e, es, e, ons, ez, ent.

    So the present tense for the verbs of the first group is:

      aimer (to like) → aim[er]

      J'aim[e] → J'aime
      Tu aim[es] → Tu aimes
      Il aim[e] → Il aime or Elle aime
      Nous aim[ons] → Nous aimons
      Vous aim[ez] → Vous aimez
      Ils aim[ent] → Ils aiment or Elles aiment

  • The terminations for the verbs of the second group are:
    • is, is, it, issons, issez, issent
    .
    So the present for the verbs of the second group is:

      finir (to end) → fin[ir]

      Je fin[is] → Je finis
      Tu fin[is] → Tu finis
      Il fin[it] → Il finit or Elle finit
      Nous fin[issons] → Nous finissons
      Vous fin[issez] → Vous finissez
      Ils fin[issent] → Ils finissent or Elles finissent

It is quite easy, however there may be some adaptations according to the last letter in the verb before the terminations.

  • For the verbs ending by "ayer", we can replace the "y" by "i" before the terminations.

    • Example:
        payer (to pay) → je paie or je paye (both correct)
        balayer (to sweep) → je balaie or je balaye


  • For the verbs ending by "oyer" or "uyer", we have to replace the "y" by "i" before the terminations.

    • Example:
        appuyer (to push) → j'appuie
        aboyer (to bark?) → J'aboie


  • For the verbs ending by "eyer", we cannot replace the "y" by "i" before the terminations.

    • Example:
        grasseyer (to pronounce R from the back of the throat) → je grasseye

      I think there are very few verbs like that because I had trouble to find an example.

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