Conjugating French Regular -ER Verbs

Woman singing into a microphone
Chanter: French for "to sing".

Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

There are five main kinds of verbs in French: regular -ER, -IR, -RE; stem-changing; and irregular. Once you've learned the rules of conjugation for each of the first three kinds of verbs, you should have no problem conjugating regular verbs in each of those categories. The majority of French verbs are regular -ER verbs.

French Regular -ER Verb Conjugations

The verb form that ends in -ER is called the infinitive, and -ER is the infinitive ending. The verb with the infinitive ending removed is called the stem or radical. To conjugate -ER verbs, remove the infinitive ending to find the stem and add the endings.

The table lists the present tense conjugations for the regular -ER verbs parler (to speak or talk), donner (to give), and visiter (to visit). To help with learning, the infinitive form is listed (such as parler) followed by the stem (such as parl-).

Pronoun

Ending

parler > parl-

donner > donn-

visiter > visit-

je

-e

parle

donne

visite

tu

-es

parles

donnes

visites

il

-e

parle

donne

visite

nous

-ons

parlons

donnons

visitons

vous

-ez

parlez

donnez

visitez

ils

-ent

parlent

donnent

visitent

Regular -ER verbs share conjugation patterns in all tenses and moods.

More -ER Verb Conjugations: Penser

The rules for conjugating regular -ER verbs remain the same throughout all tenses and moods: That's why they the are called "regular" -ER verbs. For your studies, it can be helpful, however, to view all the conjugations for all tenses of moods of a regular -ER verb, such as penser (to think). Remember that to conjugate this regular -ER verb, simply take the stem -pense and then add the appropriate endings.

Pronoun Present Future Imperfect
je pense penserai pensais
tu penses penseras pensais
il pense pensera pensait
nous pensons penserons pensions
vous pensez penserez pensiez
ils pensent penseront pensaient
Pronoun Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
je pense penserais pensai pensasse
tu penses penserais pensas pensasses
il pense penserait pensa pensât
nous pensions penserions pensâmes pensassions
vous pensiez penseriez pensâtes pensassiez
ils pensent penseraient pensèrent pensassent
Pronoun Imperative
tu pense
nous pensons
vous pensez

Some Common French Regular -ER Verbs

Take some time to familiarize yourself with the most common regular -ER verbs, because you're likely to encounter these words often when reading or speaking French. They all share the same conjugation patterns, with a few exceptions noted below.

A Few Exceptions

All regular -ER verbs are conjugated according to the regular -ER verb conjugation pattern, except for one small irregularity in verbs that end in -ger and -cer, which are known as spelling-change verbs. Examples of this kind of conjugation would be commencer (to begin), manger (to eat), nager (to swim), and skier (to ski). Though they are conjugated just like regular -ER verbs, watch out for verbs that end in -IER, such as étudier (to study).