How to Conjugate "Désirer" (to Desire)

You'll Find This Quick French Verb Conjugation Lesson "Desirable"

Close-Up Of Couple Kissing Against Wall

 Getty Images/Piotr Marcinski/EyeEm

"To desire" in French is the verb désirer. This one's easy to remember because it's similar to the English word. When you want to say "desired" or "desiring," a verb conjugation is required. A quick lesson will show you how to use the most common French verb conjugations of this very desirable word.

Conjugating the French Verb Désirer

Many French verb conjugations follow standard patterns through which common endings are added to the verb stem. Désirer is one of the easier ones because it is a regular -ER verb, the most used in the French language.

To change désirer to the present, future, or imperfect past tense, begin by identifying the verb stem: désir-. To this, various endings are added to match the subject pronoun with the appropriate tense for your sentence. For example, "I desire" is "je désire" while "we will desire" is "nous désirerons." 

Subject Present Future Imperfect
je désire désirerai désirais
tu désires désireras désirais
il désire désirera désirait
nous désirons désirerons désirions
vous désirez désirerez désiriez
ils désirent désireront désiraient

The Present Participle of Désirer

When you add -ant to the verb stem of désirer, the present participle désirant is created. It can be an adjective, gerund, or noun as well as a verb.

The Past Participle and Passé Composé

A common way to form the past tense "desired" is to use the passé composé. To construct this, begin by conjugating the auxiliary verb avoir to match the subject pronoun, then attach the past participle désiré.

As an example, "I desired" becomes "j'ai désiré" and "we desired" is "nous avons désiré."

More Simple Désirer Conjugations to Know

When the action of desiring is somehow questionable or uncertain, use the subjunctive verb mood. Similarly, when the action is dependent on something else also happening, the conditional verb mood is employed.

It's likely that you will only come across the passé simple in literature and formal French writing. The same goes for the imperfect subjunctive, though it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with these forms.

Subject Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
je désire désirerais désirai désirasse
tu désires désirerais désiras désirasses
il désire désirerait désira désirât
nous désirions désirerions désirâmes désirassions
vous désiriez désireriez désirâtes désirassiez
ils désirent désireraient désirèrent désirassent

To use désirer in commands and requests, the imperative form can be used. When doing so, the subject pronoun is not required, so "tu désire" becomes "désire."

(tu) désire
(nous) désirons
(vous) désirez
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate "Désirer" (to Desire)." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). How to Conjugate "Désirer" (to Desire). Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate "Désirer" (to Desire)." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 31, 2023).