Time for some French Teaching!
The Present Tense in French: What is Le présent de l’indicatif?
Le présent is the present tense in French, and it is crucial to learn in order to understand French grammar. The present tense in French, similarly to English, is used to describe actions that are ongoing in the present. To understand the present tense, follow along our short lesson and use our free French beginner worksheets to practice!
When to use the present tense in French:
The French present tense is used when talking about:
- Ongoing actions in the present
- “Je mange” – I am eating
- Habitual actions (daily habits or common occurrences)
- “Elle rit toujours.” – She is always laughing
- Facts or general truths
- “Le train vient tous les jours.” – The train comes everyday.
- Events happening in the near future
- “Je vais à l’école demain.” – I am going to school tomorrow.
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How to Conjugate The Present Tense in French:
To conjugate a regular verb in the present tense in French grammar, you will replace their infinitive ending with the following:
Does it end in –er? Yes! Then you have to conjugate using the same endings as the verb aimer.
Does it end in –ir? Yes! Then you have to conjugate using the same endings as the verb finir.
But Wait!!! Some verbs in –ir are not conjugated like the verb finir. To know which one do not belong to this category ask yourself whether or not you can end the verb in –issons at the 1st person singular.
Ex: nourrir- nous nourrissons = same conjugation as the verb finir
Courir-nous courissons = does not conjugate like the verb finir. This verb is therefore part of the 3rd category.
1st group verbs ending in -er (verbs like aimer)
2nd group verbs ending in -ir
(verbs like finir)
3rd group other verbs
How to Conjugate Irregular Verbs in French Present Tense:
Here are some exceptions that you can encounter. The radicals and endings of these verbs change.
That’s the present tense! If you have any questions or suggestions for future Free grammar blogs, feel free to leave it in the comments and we will reply as soon as possible!