Conjugating "Apparaître" (to Appear)

eye looking down
PeopleImages / Getty Images

As you learn French, you quickly come to understand that the conjugating of verbs is a major part of the language. It's important to learn how to do this and verbs like apparaître are good practice for your studies.

Meaning "to appear," apparaître is an irregular verb so it can be a bit tricky. This lesson will show you how to conjugate it.

Conjugating the French Verb Apparaître

There are times when conjugating French verbs is easy and times when it's a little tougher. Apparaître falls into the latter category because it does not follow the patterns of regular verbs.

Yet, there is a pattern here and it follows through with almost all other French verbs ending in -aître. This means that once you study apparaître, you can move on to similar irregular verbs.

When conjugating apparaître, you will need to match the subject pronoun -- the I, you, we, etc. or in French, j', tu, nous -- with the tense needed for the sentence. This chart will help with that. For instance, to translate "I appear," you will say "j'apparais" or for "we will appear," you will use "nous apparaîtrons."

Subject Present Future Imperfect
j' apparais apparaîtrai apparaissais
tu apparais apparaîtras apparaissais
il apparaît apparaîtra apparaissait
nous apparaissons apparaîtrons apparaissions
vous apparaissez apparaîtrez apparaissiez
ils apparaissent apparaîtront apparaissaient

The Present Participle of Apparaître 

When you give apparaître an -ant ending, you will be using the present participle. It can be used as a verb, but also an adjective, gerund, and noun when needed. The present participle of apparaître is apparaissant

The Past Tense of Apparaître 

You can use the imperfect to express having appeared in the past, but it's more common (and easier) to use the passé composé. This allows you to use a single past participle for every subject, no matter if it's "I appeared" or "we appeared."

The catch to this is that you have to conjugate and use the auxiliary verb for apparaître, which is avoirThe past participle of apparaître is apparu.

To put these together, you will say "j'ai apparu" for "I appeared."

More Conjugations of Apparaître 

Those are not the only conjugations associated with apparaître. While you should be aware of them, the passé simple and imperfect subjunctive are used in formal writing.

The subjunctive and conditional forms of apparaître are a little more important. You will use the subjunctive when the verb mood implies uncertainty and the conditional when it may or may not be depending on conditions.

Subject Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
j' apparaisse apparaîtrais apparus apparusse
tu apparaisses apparaîtrais apparus apparusses
il apparaisse apparaîtrait apparut apparût
nous apparaissions apparaîtrions apparûmes apparussions
vous apparaissiez apparaîtriez apparûtes apparussiez
ils apparaissent apparaîtraient apparurent apparussent

The final conjugation for apparaître is the imperative. This verb mood allows you to drop the subject pronoun and use only the verb form. It applies to the tu, nous, and vous uses, so instead of "nous apparaissons," you can just say "apparaissons."

(tu) apparais
(nous) apparaissons
(vous) apparaissez

The Pattern to Conjugating -aître Verbs

With one exception, all French verbs that end in -aître are conjugated the same way as apparaître. Compare the conjugations above to those for disparaître (to disappear) and paraître (to seem) and you will see the similarities.

These same rules apply to the following verbs:

  • comparaître - to appear in court
  • connaître - to know, be familiar with
  • méconnaître - to be unaware of
  • reconnaître - to recognize
  • reparaître - to reappear
  • transparaître - to show through

The exception to the pattern is naître, which means "to be born." You will have to memorize that one on its own.

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Team, ThoughtCo. "Conjugating "Apparaître" (to Appear)." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). Conjugating "Apparaître" (to Appear). Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "Conjugating "Apparaître" (to Appear)." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 31, 2023).