French! A romantic language! Poetic while listening. While listening to a French song or watching a French movie or even visiting France, it is mostly impossible not to be impressed. But verb conjugations? La conjugaison! It might be a nightmare when you start learning French.
English Verb Conjugations Were Easy
When I started learning French I realized that French verbs are the major struggle. French articles or numbers over 20 are rather manageable. But French verb conjugations are not that easy. This is why I believe that this situation needs a solution. This is why I would like to discuss Conjugaison Game
As you may know, in English, verb conjugations are quite simple. For example, if the word is a past tense you add -ed at the end or if it is a simple present tense, you add -s at the end only if the subject is he/she/it. Irregular verbs for past tense and present perfect tense are mostly stated only in one page at the end of an English Learning textbook. And that’s it. Memorize them, and you are good.
However, unlike English verbs, French verbs are far more complicated. And why? Let’s list them!
Different Verb Conjugations for All Subjects
For starters, there are 6 different subject types in French too: Je, tu, il/elle, nous, vous, ils/elles. For each verb, the verb conjugation is different. So you need to memorize all the 6 forms of the verb for only one verb to express yourself only in one tense.
Let’s analyze a regular verb for Indicatif Présent : chanter (to sing)
- Je chante
- Tu chantes
- Il/Elle chante
- Nous chantons
- Vous chantez
- Ils/Elles chantent
Different Regular Verb Groups
In French, the regular verb concept is quite challenging. There are 3 groups of verbs with different conjugation rules. The first two of them are regular and 3rd group is classified as irregular. The example above is the most common verb group as stated in Verb Group 1.
The verb groups are differentiated by the last 2 letters. Let’s see the difference:
|Group||1st group: -er||2nd group: -ir|
|Subject/Verb||chanter (to sing)||finir (to finish)|
|Je||Je chante||Je finis|
|Tu||Tu chantes||Tu finis|
|Il/Elle||Il/Elle chante||Il/Elle finit|
|Nous||Nous chantons||Nous finissons|
|Vous||Vous chantez||Vous finissez|
|Ils/Elles||Ils/Elles chantent||Ils/Elles finissent|
You need to memorize all those two cases as regular verbs. This requires memorizing the rules of course. In addition this requires too much practice specialized for verbs. This is why Conjugaison Game might help to improve French. Also, daily practices during social media visits would give you a quick daily practice for the French verbs, so follow the Conjugaison Game’s Instagram Page 🙂
Some Verbs Seem Regular but…
Memorizing the verb conjugation for regular verbs is not always enough. There are also rules for those verbs that create exceptions. Classifying the verb by checking the last 2 letters is not enough. There are exceptional cases.
Let’s analyze the 1st group verbs ending with -ger and -cer for Indicatif Présent. They are still regular verbs, but they have exceptions:
|Group||1st group: -ger||1st group: -cer|
|Subject/Verb||manger (to eat)||commencer (to start)|
|Je||Je mange||Je commence|
|Tu||Tu manges||Tu commences|
|Il/Elle||Il/Elle mange||Il/Elle commence|
|Nous||Nous mangeons||Nous commençons|
|Vous||Vous mangez||Vous commancez|
|Ils/Elles||Ils/Elles mangent||Ils/Elles commencent|
You may realize the small differences for the subject “nous” for both cases. For verbs ending with “-ger” we keep the “e” and end the verb with “-eons” rather than “-ons”. For the verbs ending with “-cer”, we convert the letter “c” to the letter “ç”.
There are other examples of verbs that change forms like verbs above.
- Verbs ending with -yer (such as payer, envoyer, etc.)
- Verbs having “e” vowel before a consonant and -er (such as acheter, amener, enlever, etc.)
- Verbs having “t” or “l” consonant before -er (appeler, jeter etc.)
As a bonus, verb “aller” seems a perfect 1st group verb, but unfortunately, it is not. It is an irregular verb. Let’s check out the conjugation for verb “aller” for Indicatif Présent:
- Je vais
- Tu vas
- Il/Elle va
- Nous allons
- Vous allez
- Ils/Elles vont
Completely irrelevant with the 1st group.
So What To Do With French Verb Conjugations?
Unfortunately, the rules above are not the whole list of rules for verb conjugations. There are other rules. However, if you want or need to learn French, you should cope with this situation wisely.
Learning the grammar from an instructor by taking a course and practicing the knowledge from a textbook is essential. All the applications and webpages are mostly supportive.
I strongly recommend spending extra effort on verb conjugations while studying French. Conjugaison Game website will be useful for this purpose. There are too many exercises to practice. Also it is user-friendly.
In addition, while learning a language, changing the phone’s language and following social media accounts that teach French is quite useful way to increase the exposure to the French language. You may follow Conjugaison Game French Instagram Page to practice French.
If you like this post, you may want to check out the post for Irregular French Verb Conjugations.