How to Conjugate "Demander" (to Ask) in French

"Ask" Yourself to Learn These Verb Conjugations

Simply reading or hearing the French verb demander may tell you that it means "to ask." It's very similar to the English "demand," and that makes learning this word considerably easier than most. Conjugating it into the present, future, or past tense is almost as simple. This short lesson will show you how that's done.

Conjugating the French Verb Demander

Demander is a regular -ER verb. It follows the standard verb conjugation rules of similar words like déjeuner (to have lunch)durer (to last), and countless other verbs. Memorizing every one of these conjugations becomes a little easier than the last.

To conjugate demander, begin by identifying the verb stem: demand-. To this, we add a series of infinitive endings to match both the subject pronoun as well as the tense of the sentence. For instance, "I ask" is "je demande" and "we will ask" is "nous demanderons."

Practice these conjugations in common expressions with demander to help you remember each.

Subject Present Future Imperfect
je demande demanderai demandais
tu demandes demanderas demandais
il demande demandera demandait
nous demandons demanderons demandions
vous demandez demanderez demandiez
ils demandent demanderont demandaient

The Present Participle of Demander

Adding -ant to the verb stem of demander creates the present participle demandant. It can be used as an adjective, gerund, or noun as well as a verb.

The Past Participle and Passé Composé 

The passé composé is a common way to form the past tense "asked" in French. To form it, begin by conjugating the auxiliary verb avoir to match the subject pronoun, then attach the past participle demandé.

As an example, "I asked" becomes "j'ai demandé" and "we asked" is "nous avons demandé." Notice how ai and avons are conjugates of avoir and that the past participle remains the same.

More Simple Demander Conjugations

When the action of asking is not guaranteed, you might use either the subjunctive or the conditional form of demander. Specifically, the conditional verb mood applies when the action will only happen if something else occurs.

In literature and formal writing, you will likely find the passé simple or the imperfect subjunctive. While not vital to your French memory bank, it's a good idea to be able to recognize these.

Subject Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
je demande demanderais demandai demandasse
tu demandes demanderais demandas demandasses
il demande demanderait demanda demandât
nous demandions demanderions demandâmes demandassions
vous demandiez demanderiez demandâtes demandassiez
ils demandent demanderaient demandèrent demandassent

Using the imperative form of demander is extremely easy. Because these are used in short demands and requests, there's no need to include the subject pronoun. Rather than saying, "tu demande," simplified it to "demande."

(tu) demande
(nous) demandons
(vous) demandez
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Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate "Demander" (to Ask) in French." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). How to Conjugate "Demander" (to Ask) in French. Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate "Demander" (to Ask) in French." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 28, 2023).