How to Conjugate the Irregular French Verb 'Construire' ('to Build')

All French verbs ending in '-uire' are conjugated like 'construire'

New house under construction
New house under construction. nncontracting/pixabay

Construire, meaning "to build," "to construct," "to develop," "to manufacture," is a highly irregular French -re verb that doesn't follow major conjugation patterns. The table below shows the irregular simple conjugations of construire. Note that the table does not include compound conjugations, which consists of a form of the auxiliary verb avoir and the past participle construit. 

Within irregular French -re verbs, there are a few verbs that demonstrate patterns, including verbs conjugated like prendre, battre, mettre and rompre, and verbs ending in -craindre, -peindre, and -oindre.

Construire, to the contrary, is one of those highly irregular French verbs with unusual and unwieldy conjugations. They are so irregular you just have to memorize them to use them correctly. 

Very irregular -re verbs such as construire also include: absoudre, boire, clore, conclure, conduire, confire, connaître, coudre, croire, dire, écrire, faire, inscrire, lire, moudre, naître, plaire, rire, suivre, and vivre. 

There is hope for the student, though, because all of the very irregular verbs ending in -uire are conjugated the same.


Highly irregular verbs ending in -uire are all conjugated like construire. They include:

  • s'autodétruire > to self-destruct 
  • conduire > to drive
  • coproduire > to coproduce 
  • cuire > to cook 
  • déconstruire > to deconstruct 
  • détruire > to destroy 
  • éconduire > to get rid of, jilt, reject 
  • enduire > to coat, cover, plaster 
  • induire > to incite, induce 
  • instruire > to instruct, teach, instruct, educate 
  • introduire > introduce 
  • méconduire > to misbehave 
  • nuire > to harm  
  • produire > to produce 
  • recuire > to cook longer, to soak 
  • réduire > to reduce 
  • reconduire > to escort, renew, show to the door 
  • reconstruire > to reconstruct 
  • réintroduire > to reintroduce 
  • reproduire > to reproduce 
  • séduire > to seduce 
  • surproduire > to overproduce 
  • traduire > translate 

'Construire': Examples and Expressions

Construire can be used as a transitive verb that takes a direct object or as a passive pronominal verb.

  • construire quelque chose a partir de rien > to build something from scratch
  • une maison récemment construite > a recently built house / a new house
  • L'immeuble s'est construit très vite. > The building went up very quickly. / The building was constructed very quickly.  
  • Comment ça se construit ? > How is it built? 
  • un permis de construirepermis de construire modificatif > building permit (US), planning permission (UK)  
  • délivrance d'un permis de construire > issuance of a building permit
  • retrait de permis de construire > revocation of a building permit
  • construire en dur > to build a permanent structure
  • construire en maçonnerie > to build in masonry (stones or brick)
  • construire des châteaux en Espagne > to build castles in Spain / to build castles in the air
  • construire des logements bon marché > to build cheap housing
  • se faire construire une maison > to have a house built
  • Leur rêve, c'est de pouvoir faire construire. > They dream of having their own house built.
  • se construire > to build oneself
  • se construire une morale > to build a moral code to live by
  • construire une alliance (figurative) > to build an alliance, a theory
  • Tous ensemble pour construire l'Europe ! (motto) >  All united to build a new Europe!
  • Construire correctement une phrase (grammar) > to construct a sentence properly
  • On construit "vouloir" avec le subjonctif. > Vouloir takes the subjunctive.​
  • ​Ça se construit par ici ! (familiar) > A lot of stuff is going up. / A lot of building is going on around here !
  • se construire avec (grammar) > to be constructed with, to take

Simple Conjugations of the Irregular French '-re' Verb 'Construire'

 PresentFutureImperfectPresent participle
ilconstruitconstruiraconstruisaitPassé composé
nousconstruisonsconstruironsconstruisions   Auxiliary verb avoir
vousconstruisezconstruirezconstruisiez   Past participleconstruit
 SubjunctiveConditionalPassé simpleImperfect subjunctive
tuconstruisesconstruirais construisisconstruisisses
(nous) construisons