Conjugating Chérir in French

It's likely that you know the French expression mon chéri, meaning "my darling." Similarly, the verb chérir means "to cherish," so this should be an easy word to learn. 

Conjugating the French Verb Chérir

In French, verbs must be conjugated to express the past, present, or future tense. They must also match the subject pronoun, so the ending for "I cherish" is different than that for "we cherish." This makes French conjugations more challenging than in English, but it will get easier as you learn more verbs.

Chérir is a regular -ir verb and it follows a prescribed pattern in the conjugations. First, you must recognize the verb's stem, which is cher-. Then, you will add the appropriate ending. For instance, "I cherish" adds an -is to create "je chéris." Likewise, "we cherish" adds -issons to create "nous chérissons."

As you begin to recognize these common -ir endings, you can apply them to similar verbs like accomplir (to accomplish) and abolir (to abolish).

Subject Present Future Imperfect
je chéris chérirai chérissais
tu chéris chériras chérissais
il chérit chérira chérissait
nous chérissons chérirons chérissions
vous chérissez chérirez chérissiez
ils chérissent chériront chérissaient

The Present Participle of Chérir

The present participle of chérir is chérissant. This change is done by adding an -ant to the stem chér-. This form is very versatile because you can use it as an adjective, gerund, or noun as well as a verb.

The Passé Composé and Past Participle

A common way to express the past tense in French is with the passé composé. For this form, you will conjugate avoir, the auxiliary verb, for the subject, then attach the past participle chéri.

For example, "I cherished" is "j'ai chéri" and "we cherished" is "nous avons chéri."

More Simple Chérir Conjugations

As you learn more French, you may find uses for the subjunctive verb mood when the verb's action is uncertain. Likewise, the conditional verb mood is used when the action is dependent on something.

In rare instances, you might come across the passé simple or the imperfect subjunctive. These are primarily found in literature and you should be able to recognize them.

Subject Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
je chérisse chérirais chéris chérisse
tu chérisses chérirais chéris chérisses
il chérisse chérirait chérit chérît
nous chérissions chéririons chérîmes chérissions
vous chérissiez chéririez chérîtes chérissiez
ils chérissent chériraient chérirent chérissent

The imperative verb form is used for short exclamations. When using it, skip the subject pronoun and say the verb alone: "chéris" rather than "tu chéris."

Imperative
(tu) chéris
(nous) chérissons
(vous) chérissez