Attendre: To Wait (For)

Simple Conjugations for the French Verb Attendre

Waiting for date
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Attendre—to wait (for)—is a regular Fench -re verb. There are five main kinds of verbs in French: In addition to re, the other four are -er, -ir, stem-changing, and irregular. The smallest category of regular French verbs is the group of -re verbs, such as attendre.

The verb form that ends in -re is called the infinitive. In English, the infinitive is the verb preceded by the word "to." In French, by contrast, -re is the infinitive ending.

The verb with the infinitive ending removed is called the stem or radical. To conjugate -re verbs, remove the infinitive ending to find the stem and add the endings listed in the tables below.

Conjugating 'Attendre'

The tables contain the conjugations for the present, future, imperfect, and simple past tenses for attendre, as well as the present participle, subjunctive, conditional, and imperative moods. You can memorize the conjugations as they are listed in these tables or simply learn the general rules for conjugating regular French -re verbs and then scan the tables to double check your knowledge and accuracy. 

 Present  Future  Imperfect Present participle
ilattendattendraattendaitPassé composé
nousattendonsattendronsattendions   Auxiliary verb avoir
vousattendezattendrezattendiez   Past participle attendu
 Subjunctive Conditional Passé simple Imperfect subjunctive
(tu)attends Verb conjugation pattern
Attendre is a regular -re verb
(nous) attendons 

Note that to conjugate attendre, or any regular-re verb in the present tense, you remove the infinitive ending and then add the appropriate endings. When conjugating attendre or any other regular -re verb in the conditional, drop the silent e and add the conditional endings, as shown in the second table above.

Using 'Attendre' in Everday Fench

It may help you in your studies to see how attendre is used in normal French conversation. The table of suggested sentences below, from duolingo, provides a few examples. Following the table, read on for explanations of the conjugation for each sentence.



J'attends mes enfants.

I am waiting for my children.

Le tigre attend le repas.

The tiger is waiting for the meal.

Ils ont attendu leur professeur.

They waited for their teacher.

Je sais que je dois attendre mon tour.

I know that I have to wait for my turn.

The first sentence is an example of a conjugation for j'  (I), so you would use the conjugation for the first-person singular. In the second sentence, tigre  (tiger) is the subject. Simply substitute il (he) for tigre, and use the third-person singular conjugation. The third sentence features ils (they) as the subject, so you would use the conjugation for the third-person plural.

The fourth sentence also contains a first-person singular subject. But, in this case, you would use je (I) instead of j'. This is because in French when je is followed with a word beginning with a vowel—as in J'attends mes enfants—you omit the e. By contrast, when je is followed by a consonant—as in Je sais que je doiss attendre mon tour—retain the e, giving you Je sais (I know) in this sentence.