-AYER - French Stem-Changing Verbs

Verbes qui changent d'orthographe

Man sweeping floor inside a restaurant
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French stem-changing verbs are conjugated with the same endings as regular -ER verbs but have two different radicals or stems. Stem-changing verbs are sometimes also called boot verbs or shoe verbs because if you circle the forms that have stem changes in the conjugation table below, the resulting shape looks like a boot or shoe.

All verbs that end in -yer are stem-changing verbs, but there are two different varieties:

  1. Verbs that end in -ayer (see below) have an optional stem change
  2. Verbs that end in -oyer and -uyer have a required stem change

-ayer verbs
In the present tense, -ayer verbs have an optional stem change: y changes to i in all forms but nous and vous.

   je  paie       nous  payons
   tu  paies     vous  payez
   il  paie        ils  paient

Or they can be conjugated as regular -ER verbs:

   je  paye       nous  payons
   tu  payes     vous  payez
   il  paye        ils  payent

These two sets of conjugations for -ayer verbs are equally acceptable.

Verb conjugation group
   balayer - to sweep
   effrayer - to frighten
   essayer - to try
   payer - to pay

These stem changes are not limited to the present tense; see payer in all tenses or the lesson on -yer verbs in other tenses.

Note: Verbs that end in -oyer and -uyer have the same stem change, but it is required: -oyer and -uyer verbs.

French stem-changing verbs are conjugated with the same endings as regular -ER verbs but have two different radicals or stems.

Stem-changing verbs are sometimes also called boot verbs or shoe verbs because if you circle the forms that have stem changes in the conjugation table below, the resulting shape looks like a boot or shoe.

All verbs that end in -yer are stem-changing verbs, but there are two different varieties:

  1. Verbs that end in -ayer  have an optional stem change
  1. Verbs that end in -oyer and -uyer (see below) have a required stem change

In the present tense, French verbs that end in -oyer and -uyer must change y to i in all forms but nous and vous.

-oyer verbs

   je  nettoie       nous  nettoyons
   tu  nettoies     vous  nettoyez
   il  nettoie        ils  nettoient

These stem changes are not limited to the present tense; see nettoyer in all tenses or the lesson on -yer verbs in other tenses.

Verb conjugation group
   broyer - to grind
   employer - to employ
   envoyer - to send
   nettoyer - to clean
   se noyer - to drown
   renvoyer - to fire
   tutoyer - to use tu
   vouvoyer - to use vous (learn about tu vs vous)

-uyer verbs

   j'  ennuie       nous  ennuyons
   tu  ennuies     vous  ennuyez
   il  ennuie        ils  ennuient

Verb conjugation group
   appuyer - to lean, press
   ennuyer - to bore
   essuyer - to wipe

These stem changes are not limited to the present tense; see ennuyer in all tenses or the lesson on -yer verbs in other tenses.

Note: Verbs that end in -ayer have the same stem change, but it is optional: -ayer verbs.

French stem-changing verbs are conjugated with the same endings as regular -ER verbs but have two different radicals or stems. These stem changes occur in several French tenses and moods and moods, as shown in the following table.

Remember that the stem-change for is optional for -ayer verbs and required for -oyer and -uyer verbs.

In the present tensesubjunctive, and imperative, the stem change occurs in all conjugations except nous and vous:
 
Present
jepaienettoieennuie
tupaiesnettoiesennuies
ilpaienettoieennuie
nouspayonsnettoyonsennuyons
vouspayeznettoyezennuyez
ilspaientnettoientennuient
 
Subjunctive
jepaienettoieennuie
tupaiesnettoiesennuies
ilpaienettoieennuie
nouspayionsnettoyionsennuyions
vouspayieznettoyiezennuyiez
ilspaientnettoientennuient
 
Imperative
(tu)paienettoieennuie
(nous)payonsnettoyonsennuyons
(vous)payeznettoyezennuyez
 
 
In the future and conditional, the stem change occurs in all conjugations.

There is no stem change in the imperfectpresent participlepast participlepassé simple, or imperfect subjunctive.
 
See -yer verbs conjugated in all tenses:
 payernettoyerennuyer
 
Note: The affected conjugations of these stem-change patterns are the same for all the different types of stem-changing verbs.
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ThoughtCo. "-AYER - French Stem-Changing Verbs." ThoughtCo, Feb. 26, 2018, thoughtco.com/ayer-stem-changing-verbs-1368952. ThoughtCo. (2018, February 26). -AYER - French Stem-Changing Verbs. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/ayer-stem-changing-verbs-1368952 ThoughtCo. "-AYER - French Stem-Changing Verbs." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/ayer-stem-changing-verbs-1368952 (accessed May 24, 2018).