Languages › French How to Conjugate "Expliquer" (to Explain) in French A Quick Lesson Will "Explain" This Verb Conjugation Share Flipboard Email Print Westend61/Getty Images French Grammar Pronunciation & Conversation Vocabulary Resources For Teachers By ThoughtCo Updated January 27, 2019 When you want "to explain" in French, use the verb expliquer. This is a rather easy word to remember and French students will be happy that the conjugations are not as big a headache as other verbs. Conjugating the French Verb Expliquer Expliquer is a regular -ER verb. This means that it follows the most common verb conjugation pattern found in the French language. Using the same infinitive endings you learn here, you can quickly learn how to conjugate similar verbs like entrer (to enter) and écouter (to listen to), among many others. Before conjugating any verb, we must identify its stem. For expliquer, that is expliqu-. With that, we can apply the appropriate endings to match the subject pronoun as well as the present, future, or imperfect past tense. For example, "I explain" is "j'explique" and "we will explain" is "nous expliquerons." Practicing these in context will significantly help you memorize all these forms. Subject Present Future Imperfect j' explique expliquerai expliquais tu expliques expliqueras expliquais il explique expliquera expliquait nous expliquons expliquerons expliquions vous expliquez expliquerez expliquiez ils expliquent expliqueront expliquaient The Present Participle of Expliquer When needed, the present participle of expliquer is formed by adding -ant to the verb stem. This forms expliquant, which can act as an adjective as well as a verb, gerund, or noun. The Past Participle and Passé Composé The past participle expliqué is used to form the passé composé. It's a familiar way to express the past tense "explained" in French. You will also need to conjugate avoir (an auxiliary verb) and include the subject pronoun. For instance "I explained" is "j'ai expliqué" while "we explained" is "nous avons expliqué." More Simple Expliquer Conjugations to Know To imply some degree of question or uncertainty to expliquer, either the subjunctive verb mood or the conditional can be used. More specifically, the conditional mood says that the "explaining" will only happen if something else also occurs. While those two are useful in conversation, the passé simple is often found in formal writing. The same applies to the imperfect subjunctive and learning these two will aid your reading comprehension. Subject Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive j' explique expliquerais expliquai expliquasse tu expliques expliquerais expliquas expliquasses il explique expliquerait expliqua expliquât nous expliquions expliquerions expliquâmes expliquassions vous expliquiez expliqueriez expliquâtes expliquassiez ils expliquent expliqueraient expliquèrent expliquassent The one time when it's acceptable to skip the subject pronoun is when the imperative verb mood is employed. The verb implies the subject and the sentence is meant to be short, so you can use "explique" rather than "tu explique." Imperative (tu) explique (nous) expliquons (vous) expliquez How to Conjugate "Écouter" (to Listen to) in French How to Conjugate "Marier" (to Marry) How to Conjugate "Désirer" (to Desire) How to Conjugate "Inclure" (to Include) in French How to Conjugate "Confier" (to Confide) in French How to Conjugate Décider, to Decide, in French How to Conjugate "Cueillir" (to Gather, Pick Up) How to Conjugate "Marcher" (to Walk; to Function, Work) How to Conjugate "Cuisiner" (to Cook) How to Conjugate "Dépêcher" How to Conjugate "Fumer" (to Smoke) in French How to Conjugate "Dépenser" (to Spend) How to Conjugate "Espérer" How to Conjugate "Confondre" (to Confuse) in French How to Conjugate "Gagner" (to Win, to Earn) in French How Is "Enseigner" (to Teach) Conjugated in French?