How to Conjugate the French Verb "Bénir" (to Bless)

"Bless" Yourself By Learning the Conjugations of "Bénir"

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In order to say "to bless" in French, you will use the verb bénir. It's a simple word that will be a useful addition to your French vocabulary. When you want to say "blessed" or "blessing," a verb conjugation is necessary and this too is rather simple.

It is important to note that using bénir to say "bless you" as we often do after someone sneezes is not entirely correct. Instead, use the phrase "À tes souhaits" which technically translates to "to your wishes."

Conjugating the French Verb Bénir

Bénir is a regular -ir verb. That means that it takes on the same endings as similar verbs like accomplir (to accomplish) and définir (to define). When you learn to recognize the verb conjugation pattern, it will make learning each new regular -ir verb just a little bit easier.

The conjugations act just as they do in English. Where we use the -ing for present tense and -ed for past tense, French uses similar changes. In the present tense with an "I" subject, the -ir is replaced with -is, and with a "we" subject it becomes an -issons ending.

Because it changes with the subject pronoun, you do have more conjugations to memorize. That is why recognizing patterns is going to be key to your studies.

Using the chart, pair the subject with the present, future, or past (imperfect) tense. For instance, "I bless" is "je bénis" and "we will bless" is "nous bénirons."

SubjectPresentFutureImperfect
jebénisbéniraibénissais
tubénisbénirasbénissais
ilbénitbénirabénissait
nousbénissonsbénironsbénissions
vousbénissezbénirezbénissiez
ilsbénissentbénirontbénissaient

The Present Participle of Bénir

When you change the -ir ending of bénir to -ant, you have the present participle of bénissant. This is not just a verb, either. In the right context, bénissant can also be an adjective, gerund, or noun.

The Past Participle of Bénir

The passé composé is a more common form of the past tense than the imperfect.

It expresses "blessed" by combining an auxiliary verb (avoir) with the past participle of béni.

To put the passé composé together and say "I blessed," you will use "j'ai béni." Likewise, "we blessed" is "nous avons béni." Take note that ai and avons are conjugates of avoir.

More Simple Conjugations for Bénir

At times, you may find any of the following verb forms useful in French conversations and writing. The subjunctive and conditional imply a degree of uncertainty to the action of blessing and they're used frequently. In contrast, the passé simple and imperfect subjunctive are often reserved for formal writing.

SubjectSubjunctiveConditionalPassé SimpleImperfect Subjunctive
jebénissebéniraisbénisbénisse
tubénissesbéniraisbénisbénisses
ilbénissebéniraitbénitbénît
nousbénissionsbénirionsbénîmesbénissions
vousbénissiezbéniriezbénîtesbénissiez
ilsbénissentbéniraientbénirentbénissent

The imperative is a useful verb form and it's incredibly easy. When using it in short, assertive commands and requests, you can drop the subject pronoun. Instead of "tu bénis," simplify it to "bénis."

 Imperative
(tu)bénis
(nous)bénissons
(vous)bénissez
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ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate the French Verb "Bénir" (to Bless)." ThoughtCo, Feb. 26, 2018, thoughtco.com/benir-to-bless-1369878. ThoughtCo. (2018, February 26). How to Conjugate the French Verb "Bénir" (to Bless). Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/benir-to-bless-1369878 ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate the French Verb "Bénir" (to Bless)." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/benir-to-bless-1369878 (accessed May 21, 2018).