How to Conjugate the French Verb 'Craindre' ('to Fear')

It's conjugated like all verbs ending in '-aindre,' '-eindre,' and '-oindre'

'Ne crains rien.' ('Don't be afraid.')
'Ne crains rien.' ('Don't be afraid.'). tookapic/pixabay

Craindre ("to fear") is an irregular -re verb that's conjugated like all other French verbs ending in -aindre, -eindre, and -oindreThis is evident in the conjugation table below that shows the simple conjugations of craindre; compound conjugations that consist of the conjugated auxiliary verb avoir and the past participle craint are not included in the table.

'Craindre': Conjugated Like all verbs ending in '-aindre'

Irregular -re verbs fall into a few patterns that make memorizing their conjugations a little easier: verbs conjugated like prendre, verbs conjugated like battre, verbs including mettre and all its derivatives, those including rompre and its derivatives, and a fifth group including all verbs that end in -aindre like craindre, -eindre like peindre, and -oindre like joindre.

A final group of very irregular verbs, such as dire, écrire, faire, have such unusual and unwieldy conjugations that they follow no pattern and need to be memorized in order to use them.

The fifth group of verbs ending in -aindre like craindre drops the d in the stem in both singular and plural forms and adds a g in front of the n in plural forms. Other verbs like craindre include: 

  • contraindre > to force, to compel 
  • plaindre > to pity, to feel sorry for

Usage and Expressions 

Craindre is a transitive verb that's used in numerous idiomatic expressions. It can be translated as "to fear," "to be frightened of," or "to be afraid of." The causative se faire craindre means "to intimidate."

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

Present Future Imperfect Present participle


crains craindrai craignais craignant


crains craindras craignais


craint craindra craignait


craignons craindrons craignions
vous craignez craindrez craigniez


craignent craindront craignaient
Subjunctive Conditional Passé simple Imperfect subjunctive
je craigne craindrais craignis craignisse
tu craignes craindrais craignis craignisses


craigne craindrait craignit craignît
nous craignions craindrions craignîmes craignissions
vous craigniez craindriez craignîtes craignissiez
ils craignent craindraient








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Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate the French Verb 'Craindre' ('to Fear')." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). How to Conjugate the French Verb 'Craindre' ('to Fear'). Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate the French Verb 'Craindre' ('to Fear')." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 10, 2023).