How to Conjugate "Briller" (to Shine)

You'll "Shine" at Conjugating the French Verb "Briller"

"To shine" in French is the verb briller. It is an easy one to remember if you associate it with brilliant, as in "give it a brilliant shine." 

When you want to change briller to the past tense -- or the present or future, for that matter -- you will need to conjugate the verb. French students who have studied other verbs that end in -er will find this lesson very familiar.

Conjugating the French Verb Briller

First, a quick review of pronunciation.

Keep in mind that the double 'LL' sounds like a 'Y' when it follows an 'I.' Rather than the hard 'L' sound of [briller], it is pronounced [breeyer]. This follows through to all of the verb conjugations.

Briller is a regular -ER verb and that makes it relatively straightforward. The verb endings that replace the -er follow a specific pattern. For example, in je future tense, an -ai is added to briller and in je imperfect past tense, the -er becomes -ais.

You will find this in similar verbs like blesser (to hurt) and augmenter (to raise). That makes each new verb just a little easier to learn.

The chart lays out the primary forms of briller for you to study. To use it, pair the subject pronoun with the appropriate tense. For example, "I shine" is "je brille" and "we will shine" is "nous brillerons."

SubjectPresentFutureImperfect
jebrillebrilleraibrillais
tubrillesbrillerasbrillais
ilbrillebrillerabrillait
nousbrillonsbrilleronsbrillions
vousbrillezbrillerezbrilliez
ilsbrillentbrillerontbrillaient

Briller's Present Participle

When you want to use the present participle of briller, drop the -er and add an -ant. This gives you the word brillant. Did you notice the resemblance to "brilliant"? The present participle is where we get the correlation that can help with memorization.

Another Past Tense of Briller

The past tense of briller can be expressed using the imperfect or the passé composé.

For the latter, you will use the past participle brillé as well as the conjugate of avoir, which is an auxiliary verb.

As an example of the completed passé composé, "I moved" becomes "j'ai brillé" and "we moved" is "nous avons brillé." Note how ai and avons are conjugates of avoir and brillé does not change with the subject.

More Simple Conjugations of Briller

There may be times in your French that you will use one of the following verb forms of briller. The subjunctive and conditional are used when the action has some uncertainty to it. The passé simple and imperfect subjunctive are primarily found in literature and when you're writing.

SubjectSubjunctiveConditionalPassé SimpleImperfect Subjunctive
jebrillebrilleraisbrillaibrillasse
tubrillesbrilleraisbrillasbrillasses
ilbrillebrilleraitbrillabrillât
nousbrillionsbrillerionsbrillâmesbrillassions
vousbrilliezbrilleriezbrillâtesbrillassiez
ilsbrillentbrilleraientbrillèrentbrillassent

When you want to use briller in short commands or requests, you can turn to the imperative verb form. For this one, skip the subject pronoun and say only the verb: "brille" rather than "tu brille."

 Imperative
(tu)brille
(nous)brillons
(vous)brillez
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Your Citation
Lawless, Laura K. "How to Conjugate "Briller" (to Shine)." ThoughtCo, Jul. 28, 2017, thoughtco.com/briller-to-shine-1369902. Lawless, Laura K. (2017, July 28). How to Conjugate "Briller" (to Shine). Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/briller-to-shine-1369902 Lawless, Laura K. "How to Conjugate "Briller" (to Shine)." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/briller-to-shine-1369902 (accessed January 17, 2018).