How to Conjugate the Verb "Aider" (to Help)

French students will be delighted to learn that aider is an easy verb to conjugate. This is a regular verb that follows a specific pattern, so changing it to match the subject and tense is relatively easy.

Aider is the French verb for "to help." This is easy to remember because "aid" is found inside the French word. With that said, this French lesson promises to be a quick one.

Conjugating the French Verb Aider

We conjugate verbs in English as well, just not to the extent that other languages do. In French, changing the verb to indicate and support the subject pronoun—the j', tu, il, nous, etc.—as well as the tense is necessary.

With a regular -er verb like aider, this is easy. That is because these verbs change the endings in similar ways to one another. Once you learn how to conjugate aider, doing so with a verb like accepter is performed in the same manner.

Use this chart to learn the various forms of aider. It will change according to whom you are speaking of as well as the tense. For instance, to say "I help" in French, you would say "j'aide" or for "we will help," you will use "nous aiderons."

Subject Present Future Imperfect
j' aide aiderai aidais
tu aides aideras aidais
il aide aidera aidait
nous aidons aiderons aidions
vous aidez aiderez aidiez
ils aident aideront aidaient

The Present Participle of Aider

Aider can be transformed using the present participle for uses beyond a verb. In this form, it can also be an adjective, gerund, or noun. To do so, you must use present participle, which is aidant.

The Common Past Tense of Aider

It is very common in French to use the passé composé for the past tense. This is an even easier conjugation than the imperfect.

No matter your subject, you can use passé composé with an auxiliary verb to express having "helped" in the past. For agir, the auxiliary verb is avoirYou will also need the past participle for aider, which is aidé.

This means that when you want to say "I helped," you can use the French "j'ai aidé." To say "we helped," it would simply be "nous avons aidé." It's important to note that the "ai" and "avons" in these examples are conjugates of the auxiliary verb avoir.

More Conjugations for Aider

There are other conjugations which you may use at times, though those above are the most important forms of aider.

The following table will give you the subjunctive—a form of uncertainty—as well as the conditional verb forms. You will also find the passé simple and imperfect subjunctive forms. Both of these are used in formal writing.

Subject Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
j' aide aiderais aidai aidasse
tu aides aiderais aidas aidasses
il aide aiderait aida aidât
nous aidions aiderions aidâmes aidassions
vous aidiez aideriez aidâtes aidassiez
ils aident aideraient aidèrent aidassent

You will need to know one last conjugation for aider and that is the imperative form. This is used for commands or requests, which are common uses for aider, so this is important to study. 

For the imperative, there is no need to use the subject pronoun as the imperative verb implies the "who." For example, instead of saying "il aide le" to say "help him," you would simply say "aide le." It's short and to the point, exactly what you need when you need help.

(tu) aide
(nous) aidons
(vous) aidez
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Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate the Verb "Aider" (to Help)." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). How to Conjugate the Verb "Aider" (to Help). Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate the Verb "Aider" (to Help)." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 9, 2023).