How to Conjugate "Croître" (to Grow)

By Learning This French Verb Conjugation, Your Vocabulary Will "Grow"

A Growing Girl
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In French, there are a few options for saying "to grow." One of those is croître and is the subject of this verb conjugation lesson. Yet, you may also wish to learn or use the verbs grandir (to grow) and viellier (to grow old) as well.

Conjugating the French Verb Croître

Verb conjugations are required to express the verb in the present, future, or past tense. For instance, "growing" and "grew" are English conjugations, though in French things are a little more complex. That's because we must be concerned about the subject pronoun as well as when the verb is happening.

Croître is an irregular verb, meaning that it does not follow a standard conjugation pattern. You will need to memorize these conjugations without the help of any similar verbs you may already know. Yet, once you identify the endings for croître, they can also be applied to accroître (to increase) and décroître (to decrease).

When studying these conjugations, watch out for the changes to the verb stem. Some replace the circumflex î with an 'I' and in others forms, you will find a circumflex û in its place. This is a rather tricky conjugation, so take your time.

Using the table, pair the appropriate subject pronoun with the verb's tense. For instance, "I grow" is "je croîs" while "we will grow" is "nous croîtrons."

Subject Present Future Imperfect
je croîs croîtrai croissais
tu croîs croîtras croissais
il croît croîtra croissait
nous croissons croîtrons croissions
vous croissez croîtrez croissiez
ils croissent croîtront croissaient

The Present Participle of Croître

The present participle of croître is croissant. This is a verb, though in some circumstances it's also an adjective, gerund, or noun.

A Past Tense Form of Croître

The passé composé is a common way to form the past tense in French. To create it, first conjugate the auxiliary verb avoir to match the subject, then add the past participle crû.

As an example "I grew" becomes "j'ai crû" and "we grew" is "nous avons crû."

More Simple Croître Conjugations to Know

The conjugations explained above should be the focus of your French studies at first. As you progress, you may also need or encounter one of the following forms of croître.

The subjunctive verb form will apply when the action of growing is in some way questionable or uncertain. Likewise, the conditional form is reserved for the times when the action may or may not happen because it's dependent on certain conditions.

It's likely that you will only see or use the passé simple and imperfect subjunctive in formal writing. In this case, being able to recognize these forms as croître is most important, especially with the change to û.

Subject Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
je croisse croîtrais crûs crûsse
tu croisses croîtrais crûs crûsses
il croisse croîtrait crût crût
nous croissions croîtrions crûmes crûssions
vous croissiez croîtriez crûtes crûssiez
ils croissent croîtraient crûrent crûssent

There may also be times when you need to use croître in the imperative verb form. When doing so, you do not have to include the subject pronoun: use "croîs" rather than "tu croîs."

Imperative
(tu) croîs
(nous) croissons
(vous) croissez