How to Conjugate the Irregular French Verb 'Dormir'

The irregular '-ir' verb is conjugated like 'partir,' 'sortir'

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Dormir ("to sleep") is a very common, irregular -ir verb in French. Below are the simple conjugations of the verb dormir; they do not include the compound tenses, which consist of a form of the auxiliary verb with the past participle.

Dormir Basics

Within irregular -ir verbs, there are some patterns. Two groups exhibit similar characteristics and conjugation patterns. Then there is a final, large category of extremely irregular -ir verbs that follow no pattern.

Dormir lies in the first group of irregular -ir verbs that display a pattern. It includes dormir, mentirpartirsentir, servir, sortir, and all of their derivatives, such as repartir. All of these verbs share this characteristic: They all drop the last letter of the radical (root) in the singular conjugations. For instance, the first-person singular of dormir is je dors (no "m"), and the first-person plural is nous dormons, which retains the "m" from the root. The more you can recognize these patterns, the easier it will be to remember conjugations.

Conjugation Patterns

Generally speaking, most French verbs ending in -mir, -tir, or -vir are conjugated this way. Such verbs include:

  • Dormir > to sleep
  • Endormir > to put/send to sleep
  • Redormir > to sleep some more
  • Rendormir > to put back to sleep
  • Départir > to accord
  • Partir > to leave
  • Repartir > to restart, set off again
  • Consentir > to consent
  • Pressentir  > to have a premonition
  • Ressentir > to feel, sense
  • Sentir > to feel, to smell
  • mentir > to lie
  • Se repentir > to repent
  • Servir > to serve, to be useful
  • Sortir > to go out

Simple Conjugations of the Irregular French Verb "Dormir"

Use the chart below to learn and memorize the conjugations of dormir in its various tenses and moods.

 Present Future Imperfect Present participle
ildortdormiradormaitPassé composé
nousdormonsdormironsdormions   Auxiliary verb avoir
vousdormezdormirezdormiez   Past participledormi
 Subjunctive Conditional Passé simple Imperfect subjunctive
(nous) dormons 

Conjugating Dormir vs. Sortir vs. Partir

As noted, dormir is conjugated similarly to other French verbs ending in-mir, -tir, or -vir. Below is a side-by-side comparison of dormir versus sortir verus partir in the present tense.

 Dormir (to sleep)Sortir (to go out)Partir (to leave)
 Je dors sur un matelas dur. 
I sleep on a hard mattress.
Je sors tous les soirs.
I go out every night.
Je pars à midi.
I'm leaving at noon.
 Dormez-vous d'un sommeil
léger ?

Do you sleep lightly?
Sortez-vous maintenant?
Are you going out now?
Partez-vous bientôt?
Are you leaving soon?
jedors sorspart 
tudors sorspars 
ildort sortpart 
nous  dormons sortonspartons 
vousdormez sortezpartons 
ilsdorment sortentpartent 

Examples of Dormir

It can be helpful in your studies to see how dormir is used in phrases, as in these examples, which show the French phrase followed by the translation in English :

  • Avoir envie de dormir > to feel sleepy / to feel like sleeping
  • Dormir d'un sommeil profond / lourd / de plomb > to be a heavy sleeper / to be fast asleep, to be sound asleep, to be in a deep sleep
  • Dormir à poings fermés > to be fast asleep, to be sleeping like a baby

Review these conjugations and examples and soon you'll be en train de dormir (sleeping soundly) the night before a French language test or a meeting with a French-speaking friend.

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ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate the Irregular French Verb 'Dormir'." ThoughtCo, Mar. 5, 2018, ThoughtCo. (2018, March 5). How to Conjugate the Irregular French Verb 'Dormir'. Retrieved from ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate the Irregular French Verb 'Dormir'." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 24, 2018).