A Guide to Conjugating the French Verb 'Couper' (to Cut)

Simple Conjugations for 'Couper'

He's adding a little color to his meal
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The French verb couper means "to cut," and it is a regular -er verb. Good news: That conjugation pattern is easy to learn and memorize.

How to Conjugate Couper

You start conjugation by determining the stem of the verb. With regular -er verbs like couper, the stem is constant: Remove the -er from the infinitive, leaving coup-. Then, based on the subject pronoun and the tense you're using, you add the appropriate ending.

The following tables show all the simple conjugations for couper.

 PresentFutureImperfect
jecoupecouperaicoupais
tucoupescouperascoupais
ilcoupecouperacoupait
nouscouponscouperonscoupions
vouscoupezcouperezcoupiez
ilscoupentcouperontcoupaient

 

 SubjunctiveConditionalPassé simpleImperfect subjunctive
jecoupecouperaiscoupaicoupasse
tucoupescouperaiscoupascoupasses
ilcoupecouperaitcoupacoupât
nouscoupionscouperionscoupâmescoupassions
vouscoupiezcouperiezcoupâtescoupassiez
ilscoupentcouperaientcoupèrentcoupassent

 

aImperative
(tu)coupe
(nous)coupons
(vous)coupez

How to Use Couper in the Past Tense

The most common way to render a verb in the past tense is to use the compound tense passé composé. Couper requires the auxiliary verb avoir, and the past participle is coupé. However, when using the reflexive se couper, the auxiliary verb is être.

For example:
Je lui ai coupé les cheveux.
I cut his hair.

Elle s'est coupé les cheveux.


She cut her hair.