How Is "Enseigner" (to Teach) Conjugated in French?

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You will find a few verbs that mean "to teach" in French. Among those is enseigner, which is used for the general meaning of "to teach" or when teaching a specific subject. When you want to use it in a specific tense such as "taught" or "will teach," the verb needs to be conjugated. A short lesson will demonstrate how it's done.

Conjugating the French Verb Enseigner

Enseigner is a regular -ER verb. It follows the most common verb conjugation pattern in the French language. This is great news for students because you can apply the same infinitive endings you learn here to many other verbs and each becomes a little easier.

All French verb conjugations begin with the verb stem. In this case, that is enseign-. To this, a new ending is added for each tense as well as each subject pronoun. For example, "I teach" is "j'enseigne" and "we will teach" is "nous enseignerons."

Subject Present Future Imperfect
j' enseigne enseignerai enseignais
tu enseignes enseigneras enseignais
il enseigne enseignera enseignait
nous enseignons enseignerons enseignions
vous enseignez enseignerez enseigniez
ils enseignent enseigneront enseignaient

The Present Participle of Enseigner

To form the present participle of enseigner, add -ant to the verb stem. This forms the word enseignant, which is an adjective, gerund, or noun as well as a verb depending on the usage.

The Past Participle and Passé Composé

A common way to express the past tense "taught" is with the passé composé. It's an easy construction that uses the past participle enseigné. This follows the conjugate of avoir (an auxiliary, or "helping," verb) and the subject pronoun. For instance, "I taught" is "j'ai enseigné" and "we taught" is "nous avons enseigné."

More Simple Enseigner Conjugations

Concentrate on those forms because they are used often. Once you've committed them to memory, consider studying these other forms of enseigner.

You can use the subjunctive verb mood or the conditional form when the act of teaching is not guaranteed. Each has a specific meaning and are quite useful in conversation. In contrast, the passé simple and the imperfect subjunctive are rare and most often found in French writing.

Subject Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
j' enseigne enseignerais enseignai enseignasse
tu enseignes enseignerais enseignas enseignasses
il enseigne enseignerait enseigna enseignât
nous enseignions enseignerions enseignâmes enseignassions
vous enseigniez enseigneriez enseignâtes enseignassiez
ils enseignent enseigneraient enseignèrent enseignassent

To use enseigner in the imperative form for quick statements, keep it short. There's no need to include the subject pronoun, so "tu enseigne" is simplified to "enseigne."

(tu) enseigne
(nous) enseignons
(vous) enseignez
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Team, ThoughtCo. "How Is "Enseigner" (to Teach) Conjugated in French?" ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). How Is "Enseigner" (to Teach) Conjugated in French? Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "How Is "Enseigner" (to Teach) Conjugated in French?" ThoughtCo. (accessed December 8, 2022).