How to Conjugate "Brûler" (to Burn)

Burning Magazines
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When you want to say "to burn" in French, use the verb brûler. In order to express "burning" or "burned," you will need to conjugate the verb to match the present, future, or past tense. Don't worry, this is a rather simple one and a quick French lesson will show you how it's done.

Conjugating the French Verb Brûler

Brûler is a regular -er verb. This means that it follows a common verb conjugation pattern for the endings. Just as we add -ed or -ing to English verbs, French verbs have multiple endings as well. Yet, it's a bit complicated because there is a new ending needed for each subject.

You will find the chart to be very helpful when studying the various forms of brûler. Find your subject pronoun (je, tu, nous, etc.) and match it to the proper tense. For instance, "I burn" is "je brûle" while "we will burn" is "nous brûlerons."

Subject Present Future Imperfect
je brûle brûlerai brûlais
tu brûles brûleras brûlais
il brûle brûlera brûlait
nous brûlons brûlerons brûlions
vous brûlez brûlerez brûliez
ils brûlent brûleront brûlaient

The Present Participle of Brûlant

The present participle of brûler is brûlant. This was as simple as replacing the -er ending with -ant. It works as a verb, of course, though you may also find it useful as an adjective, gerund, or noun.

The Passé Composé of Brûlant

The passé composé is another way to express the past tense of brûler. To form it, you must conjugate the auxiliary verb avoir and add the past participle brûlé.

As an example, "I burned" is "j'ai brûlé" and "we burned" is "nous avons brûlé."

More Brûlant Conjugations

There may also be times in your French studies when the following verb conjugations are necessary. They're a bit less frequent than the previous forms but are important to know or, at least, recognize.

You may run across the passé simple and imperfect subjunctive in French writings. The subjunctive and conditional are more common and used when the act of burning has some uncertainty to it.

Subject Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
je brûle brûlerais brûlai brûlasse
tu brûles brûlerais brûlas brûlasses
il brûle brûlerait brûla brûlât
nous brûlions brûlerions brûlâmes brûlassions
vous brûliez brûleriez brûlâtes brûlassiez
ils brûlent brûleraient brûlèrent brûlassent

​The imperative form of brûler is used in direct demands and requests. When using it, skip the subject pronoun completely because the imperative implies the whom. Use "brûlons" rather than "nous brûlons," for example.

(tu) brûle
(nous) brûlons
(vous) brûlez
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Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate "Brûler" (to Burn)." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). How to Conjugate "Brûler" (to Burn). Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate "Brûler" (to Burn)." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 6, 2023).