How to Conjugate "Détruire" (to Destroy)

This French Verb Conjugation Will Not "Destroy" You

Demolished House Against Incomplete Building In City
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When you wish to speak about something being "destroyed" in French, use the verb détruire. Literally meaning "to destroy," this verb must be conjugated to take on the past tense as well as the present "destroying" or the future "will destroy." This is one of the challenging French verb conjugations, so a quick lesson is necessary.

Conjugating the French Verb Détruire

Détruire is an irregular verb, meaning it does not follow one of the more common verb conjugation patterns. However, all French verbs ending in -uire are conjugated in the same manner. You can apply the same endings you learn here to similar words like conduire (to drive) or construire (to build).

To conjugate the verb, simply pair the subject pronoun with the appropriate tense of your sentence. For instance, "I destroy" is "je détruis" and "we will destroy" is "nous détruirons."

Subject Present Future Imperfect
je détruis détruirai détruisais
tu détruis détruiras détruisais
il détruit détruira détruisait
nous détruisons détruirons détruisions
vous détruisez détruirez détruisiez
ils détruisent détruiront détruisiez

The Present Participle of Détruire

The present participle of détruire is détruisant. It may be used as an adjective, gerund, or noun as well s a verb.

The Past Participle and Passé Composé

The past tense can be expressed with the imperfect or the passé composé. To form the latter, begin by conjugating the auxiliary verb avoir, then add the past participle détruit. For instance, "I destroyed" is "j'ai détruit" and "we destroyed" is "nous avons détruit."

More Simple Détruire Conjugations to Learn

Among the simplest and most common conjugations of détruire are the verb moods that express a degree of uncertainty to the action of destroying. The subjunctive is a perfect example. When that action is dependent on something else happening, the conditional verb mood can be used instead.

You will encounter the passé simple most often in literature and other formal French writing. The ability to at least recognize it as well as the imperfect subjunctive will aid in your reading comprehension.

Subject Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
je détruise détruirais détruisis détruisisse
tu détruises détruirais détruisis détruisisses
il détruise détruirait détruisit détruisît
nous détruisions détruirions détruisîmes détruisissions
vous détruisiez détruiriez détruisîtes détruisissiez
ils détruisent détruiraient détruisirent détruisissent

Short and often assertive commands and requests require the imperative form. When using this, the subject pronoun can be dropped, leaving you with "détruis" rather than "tu détruis."

(tu) détruis
(nous) détruisons
(vous) détruisez
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Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate "Détruire" (to Destroy)." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). How to Conjugate "Détruire" (to Destroy). Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate "Détruire" (to Destroy)." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 3, 2023).