How to Conjugate "Cesser" (to Stop, Cease) in French

Don't "Stop" With This Easy French Verb Conjugation

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In French, the verb cesser means "to cease" or "to stop." This is an easy one to remember because it sounds like the English "cease" even though the spelling is slightly different. French students will also find this to be a relatively simple lesson in verb conjugations.

Conjugating the French Verb Cesser

The stem for cesser is cess and it is a regular -ER verb. This means that you simply have to add the common endings used for most -er verbs to conjugate it when you want to say "stopped" or "stopping."

Verb conjugations add an infinitive ending in order to imply the present, future, or past tense. This is the same as adding an -ed or -ing in English. It is more complicated in French, though, because we change the endings to match the subject as well as the tense.

The chart will help you navigate the various endings of cesser. Simply match the subject pronoun with the proper tense: "I cease" is "je cesse" and "we will stop" is "nous cesserons."

Subject Present Future Imperfect
je cesse cesserai cessais
tu cesses cesseras cessais
il cesse cessera cessait
nous cessons cesserons cessions
vous cessez cesserez cessiez
ils cessent cesseront cessaient

The Present Participle of Cesser

Using the stem of cesser, add -ant and you have the present participle cessant. In this form, cesser can work as an adjective, gerund, or noun as well as a verb.

The Passé Composé and Past Participle

The passé composé is a common way to express the past tense in French. To use it, begin by conjugating the auxiliary verb avoir according to the subject. Then, simply add the past participle cessé.

As an example, "I stopped" is "j'ai cessé" and "we ceased" is "nous avons cessé." Notice how ai and avons are conjugates of avoir and the past participle is used for both subjects.

More Simple Cesser Conjugations to Know

There are a few more conjugations of cesser that you may use at times. The subjunctive and conditional are verb moods, imply a degree of uncertainty, and are used frequently. In contrast, the passé composé and imperfect subjunctive are primarily reserved for formal writing, so they can be rather rare.

Subject Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
je cesse cesserais cessai cessasse
tu cesses cesserais cessas cessasses
il cesse cesserait cessa cessât
nous cessions cesserions cessâmes cessassions
vous cessiez cesseriez cessâtes cessassiez
ils cessent cesseraient cessèrent cessassent

To express cesser in an exclamation, use the imperative verb form. When doing so, you can skip the subject pronoun and use the verb on its own: "cesse" rather than "tu cesse."

(tu) cesse
(nous) cessons
(vous) cessez
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Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate "Cesser" (to Stop, Cease) in French." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). How to Conjugate "Cesser" (to Stop, Cease) in French. Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate "Cesser" (to Stop, Cease) in French." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 4, 2023).