How to Conjugate "Éteindre" (to Extinguish, to Snuff Out)

You'll "Snuff Out" This Verb Conjugation Lesson in No Time

Smoke rising from extinguished candle, close-up
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How would you say "to extinguish" in French? It's the verb éteindre, which can also mean "to snuff out." It's a rather fun word to say out loud and when you want to say "extinguished" or "extinguishing," a verb conjugation is necessary. This lesson will be a challenge, but a worthy one that you'll pick up with a little practice.

Conjugating the French Verb Éteindre

Éteindre is an irregular verb, meaning it does not follow one of the typical verb conjugation patterns.

Yet, you will find these same endings in all French verbs that end in -aindre-eindre, and -oindre. It's a good idea to take on a few of these at one time because it can make learning each just a little easier.

French verb conjugations are not easy because there are more words to remember than there are in English. This is because there is a new ending for every subject pronoun as well as every tense.

The table will help considerably with your studies of éteindre. For instance, you can use it to learn that "I extinguish" is "j'éteins" and that "we will extinguish" is "nous éteindrons."

SubjectPresentFutureImperfect
j'éteinséteindraiéteignais
tuéteinséteindraséteignais
iléteintéteindraéteignait
nouséteignonséteindronséteignions
vouséteignezéteindrezéteigniez
ilséteignentéteindrontéteignaient

The Present Participle of Éteindre

The present participle of éteindre is éteignant. Beyond its use as a verb, it can also become an adjective, gerund, or noun when needed.

The Past Participle and Passé Composé

The past participle éteint is used to form the passé composé, a common past tense form. When using it, be sure to conjugate the auxiliary verb avoir. As an example, "I extinguished" is "j'ai éteint" and "we extinguished" is "nous avons éteint."

More Simple Éteindre Conjugations to Know

The subjunctive verb mood implies that the action is somehow uncertain.

Similarly, the conditional verb mood says that the "extinguishing" will only happen if something else also occurs.

Those are two useful forms for conversation and the other two in this table are found in literature. Though you may not use the passé simple nor the imperfect subjunctive yourself, it's a good idea to be able to recognize them when reading.

SubjectSubjunctiveConditionalPassé SimpleImperfect Subjunctive
j'éteigneéteindraiséteigniséteignisse
tuéteigneséteindraiséteigniséteignisses
iléteigneéteindraitéteignitéteignît
nouséteignionséteindrionséteignîmeséteignissions
vouséteigniezéteindriezéteignîteséteignissiez
ilséteignentéteindraientéteignirentéteignissent

There is no need to include the subject pronoun in the imperative verb form of éteindre. That's because this is used in demands and requests that are meant to be short and direct.

 Imperative
(tu)éteins
(nous)éteignons
(vous)éteignez