How to Conjugate "Essuyer" (to Wipe)

Extreme cleaning
AE Pictures Inc. / Getty Images

In French, the verb essuyer means "to wipe." Changing this into the past tense "wiped" or the future tense "will wipe" requires a verb conjugation. This lesson will show you how to transform essuyer into the simplest and most useful forms.

First, however, it should be noted that essuyer is very similar in spelling and sound to essayer, which means "to try." Watch out for these two so you don't confuse them.

Conjugating the French Verb Essuyer

The -yer ending tells us that essuyer is a stem-changing verb. In certain conjugations, the 'Y' changes to an 'I' before the infinitive ending is attached. While it doesn't change the pronunciation, it does affect the spelling, so it's important to pay attention to it.

To conjugate essuyer, begin with the verb stem of essuy-. We will then add a new ending according to the tense of the sentence as well as the subject pronoun. This means that "I wipe" is "j'essuie" and "we will wipe" is "nous essuierons."

Subject Present Future Imperfect
j' essuie essuierai essuyais
tu essuies essuieras essuyais
il essuie essuiera essuyait
nous essuyons essuierons essuyions
vous essuyez essuierez essuyiez
ils essuient essuieront essuyaient

The Present Participle of Essuyer

When we add -ant to the verb stem of essuyer, the present participle essuyant is formed. This is a verb, of course, but is also useful as an adjective, gerund, or noun in some circumstances.

The Past Participle and Passé Composé

The past participle of essuyer is essuyé. It's used to form the passé composé for the past tense "tried." Before it's complete, you must also include the subject pronoun and the appropriate conjugation of the auxiliary verb avoir.

It all comes together quite easily. For instance, "I wiped" is "j'ai essuyé" while "we wiped" is "nous avons essuyé." Notice how ai and avons are conjugates of avoir and that the past participle doesn't change.

More Simple Essuyer Conjugations to Know

We're not quite done with essuyer, though the verb forms above should be a priority in your studies. There will also be times when you want to imply uncertainty or dependency to the verb's action. In these cases, you can use the subjunctive verb mood or the conditional form

When reading French, you may encounter any of the passé simple or the imperfect subjunctive forms of essuyer as well. 

Subject Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
j' essuie essuierais essuyai essuyasse
tu essuies essuierais essuyas essuyasses
il essuie essuierait essuya essuyât
nous essuyions essuierions essuyâmes essuyassions
vous essuyiez essuieriez essuyâtes essuyassiez
ils essuient essuieraient essuyèrent essuyassent

The imperative verb form is used in assertive and short statements. When using it, keep it short and skip the subject pronoun: "tu essuie" becomes "essuie."

(tu) essuie
(nous) essuyons
(vous) essuyez
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate "Essuyer" (to Wipe)." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). How to Conjugate "Essuyer" (to Wipe). Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate "Essuyer" (to Wipe)." ThoughtCo. (accessed April 2, 2023).