How to Conjugate "Établir" (to Establish)

"Establish" These French Verb Conjugations in Your Vocabulary

The French verb établir means "to establish." This is a relatively easy one to remember because it resembles the English word and the conjugations aren't terribly difficult, either.

Conjugating the French Verb Établir

Verb conjugations are required when we want to change the tense. In English, we add -ed or -ing to do this, but it's more complex in French. That's because there's a new verb ending for ​every subject pronoun as well as every tense.

Établir is a regular -IR verb and it follows the verb conjugation rules of similar verbs like convertir (to convert)chérir (to cherish), and many others. This makes learning each new verb a little easier than the last.

To conjugate these verbs, we must first recognize the verb stem. For établir, that is établ-. Then we need to add the appropriate ending. For instance, "I establish" is "j'établis" and "we will establish" is "nous établirons."

Subject Present Future Imperfect
j' établis établirai établissais
tu établis établiras établissais
il établit établira établissait
nous établissons établirons établissions
vous établissez établirez établissiez
ils établissent établiront établissaient

The Present Participle of Établir

Adding -ant to the verb stem of établir creates the present participle of établissant. This is a verb, yet it can also be used as an adjective, gerund, or noun in certain circumstances.

The Past Participle and Passé Composé

The past tense "established" can be formed using either the imperfect or the passé composé. To construct the latter, begin with the subject pronoun, conjugate the auxiliary verb avoir to match it, then add the past participle établi.

It comes together quickly: "I established" is "j'ai établi" and "we established" is "nous avons établi." You will notice that ai and avons are conjugates of avoir and that the past participle does not change. Apply these rules to other subjects as well.

More Simple Établir Conjugations

Practicing all of the above forms of établir should be the focus of your studies at first. When you're comfortable with those, consider adding the following to your vocabulary. Even if you don't use them personally, it's important to be able to recognize these and associate them with établir.

When the act of "establishing" has some question or uncertainty to it, the subjunctive form or the conditional verb can be used. It's likely that you will only encounter the passé simple and imperfect subjunctive in formal writing. 

Subject Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
j' établisse établirais établis établisse
tu établisses établirais établis établisses
il établisse établirait établit établît
nous établissions établirions établîmes établissions
vous établissiez établiriez établîtes établissiez
ils établissent établiriez établirent établissent

For short statements that directly request or demand something to be established, use the imperative verb form. When doing so, the subject pronoun is not required: use "établis" rather than "tu établis."

(tu) établis
(nous) établissons
(vous) établissez
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Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate "Établir" (to Establish)." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). How to Conjugate "Établir" (to Establish). Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate "Établir" (to Establish)." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 30, 2023).