How to Conjugate "Crier" (to Shout, to Scream) in French

You'll "Shout" With Joy After Finishing This Verb Conjugation Lesson

Girl shouting
'Crier' means 'to shout' or 'to scream'. Flashpop/Getty Images

"To shout" or "to scream" in French uses the verb crier. It's an easy one to remember if you remember that you "cry out" when you scream. Transforming it into the past, present, or future tense requires a verb conjugation and a quick lesson will show you how it's done.

Conjugating the French Verb Crier

The conjugations of French verbs are a little complicated. You must, of course, change the ending to match the tense, but there's also a new ending used for each subject pronoun. That means you have more words to commit to memory.

The good news is that crier is a regular -ER verb and it follows a very common verb conjugation pattern. The infinitive endings you see here are the same you'll find in conjugations of créer (to create)fâcher (to make angry), and countless other verbs.

To study these conjugations, pair the subject pronoun with the proper tense. For instance, "I shout" is "je crie" and "we will scream" is "nous crierons" Practicing these in various contexts will help with your memorization.

Subject Present Future Imperfect
je crie crierai criais
tu cries crieras criais
il crie criera criait
nous crions crierons criions
vous criez crierez criiez
ils crient crieront criaient

The Present Participle of Crier

Adding -ant to the verb stem cri- creates the present participle criant. This is a verb, of course, though you may also use it as an adjective, gerund, or noun in some circumstances.

The Past Participle and Passé Composé

The passé composé is another form of the past tense. It requires the past participle crié, which is attached to the subject pronoun and a conjugation of avoir (an auxiliary, or "helping," verb).

Putting the passé composé together is rather simple: "I screamed" becomes "j'ai crié" and "we shouted" is "nous avons crié."

More Simple Crier Conjugations

The subjunctive verb form is used when the action of shouting is questionable, subjective, or uncertain. Similarly, the conditional verb form implies that the action may not happen unless something else happens.

Primarily found in literature, you may not use the passé simple nor the imperfect subjunctive yourself. However, you should be able to recognize them as a form of crier.

Subject Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
je crie crierais criai criasse
tu cries crierais crias criasses
il crie crierait cria criât
nous criions crierions criâmes criassions
vous criiez crieriez criâtes criassiez
ils crient crieraient crièrent criassent

A very useful form of crier is the imperative verb form. This is used for exclamations and when using it, you can skip the subject pronoun: use "crie" rather than "tu crie."

Imperative
(tu) crie
(nous) crions
(vous) criez