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The French present tense (2)
Here is how to build the French present tense of the verbs of the third group (see The groups of the French verbs).
For the two first groups of verbs: The French present tense (1).
If you have any questions, you can ask them on the discussion forums.

Third group

This group contains all irregular verbs. The main part of the verb is often not regular and you will have to learn it with time.

In the general case, the terminations are:
    s, s, t, ons, ez, ent.

I will present you the conjugation following the list of the subgroups that I previously gave you (see The groups of the French verbs).

  • Verbs ending with "ir" and not being part of the 2nd group:

    • The terminations are like in the general case:
      • s, s, t, ons, ez, ent.

        For example: mourir (to die)
          Je meur[s] → Je meurs
          Tu meur[s] → Tu meurs
          Il meur[t] → Il meurt or Elle meurt
          Nous mour[ons] → Nous mourons
          Vous mour[ez] → Vous mourez
          Ils meur[ent] → Ils meurent or Elles meurent

    • Some few verbs have the same terminations as the first group:
      • e, es, e, ons, ez, ent.

        For example: couvrir (to cover), offrir (to offer), ouvrir (to open), ...
          J'ouvr[e] → J'ouvre
          Tu ouvr[es] → Tu ouvres
          Il ouvr[e] → Il ouvre or Elle ouvre
          Nous ouvr[ons] → Nous ouvrons
          Vous ouvr[ez] → Vous ouvrez
          Ils ouvr[ent] → Ils ouvrent or Elles ouvrent

  • Verbs ending by "re":

    • Here are the terminations for the verbs ending with "dre" (except "oindre"):
      • ds, ds, d, ons, ez, ent.

        For example: prendre (to take)
          Je pren[ds] → Je prends
          Tu pren[ds] → Tu prends
          Il pren[d] → Il prend or Elle prend
          Nous pren[ons] → Nous prenons
          Vous pren[ez] → Vous prenez
          Ils prenn[ent] → Ils prennent or Elles prennent (2 "n" here)

      Small remark: The pronunciation is different between "prends" and "prenons" because "prends" is 1 syllable while "prenons" contains 2 syllables (pre-nons).

    • The other verbs end like in the general case, including verbs ending with "oindre":
      • s, s, t, ons, ez, ent.

        For example: joindre (to join)
          Je join[s] → Je joins
          Tu join[s] → Tu joins
          Il join[t] → Il joint or Elle joint
          Nous joign[ons] → Nous joignons (a "g" is added for the pronunciation)
          Vous joign[ez] → Vous joignez
          Ils joign[ent] → Ils joignent or Elles joignent

      Small remark: The pronunciation is different between "joins" and "joignons" because "joins" is 1 syllable while "joignons" contains 2 syllables (joi-gnons).

    • Two special verbs: dire (to say), faire (to do).

    • For these verbs, the second-person plural is very particular.

        dire (to say):
          Je di[s] → Je dis
          Tu di[s] → Tu dis
          Il di[t] → Il dit
          Nous dis[ons] → Nous disons
          Vous dites → Vous dites
          Ils dis[ent] → Ils disent

        faire (to do):
          Je fai[s] → Je fais
          Tu fai[s] → Tu fais
          Il fai[t] → Il fait
          Nous fais[ons] → Nous faisons
          Vous faites → Vous faites
          Ils font → Ils font

  • Verbs ending by "oir":

  • Here are the terminations for this group:
      x, x, t, ons, ez, ent (quite weird, isn't it?).

      For example: pouvoir (to can), savoir (to know), vouloir (to want), ...
        Je veu[x] → Je veux
        Tu veu[x] → Tu veux
        Il veu[t] → Il veut or Elle veut
        Nous voul[ons] → Nous voulons
        Vous voul[ez] → Vous voulez
        Ils veul[ent] → Ils veulent or Elles veulent

  • The verb ALLER (to go):

    • aller (to go):
        Je vais
        Tu vas
        Il va or Elle va
        Nous allons
        Vous allez
        Ils vont or Elles vont

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