Languages › French How to Conjugate French Regular '-IR' Verbs Learn how to use these second-conjugation verbs. Share Flipboard Email Print Cultura RM Exclusive/Frank and Helena/Cultura Exclusive/Getty Images French Grammar Pronunciation & Conversation Vocabulary Resources For Teachers by ThoughtCo Updated January 20, 2019 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. Regular -ir verbs are the second-largest category of French verbs. Indeed, these verbs are often referred to as second conjugation verbs. The verb form that ends in -ir is called the infinitive, and -ir is the infinitive ending. (In English, by contrast, the infinitive is the verb preceded by the word "to.") The French verb with the infinitive ending removed is called the stem or radical. Conjugating Regular French "-ir" Verbs To conjugate regular -ir French verbs, it's best to run through an example, step by step. Conjugate the French word choisir ("to choose"), for example, by following these steps: Remove the infinitive ending (-ir) to find the stem (also called the "radical").Note that the stem—the verb without the -ir ending—is chois.Add the appropriate simple conjugation ending/s shown in the table in the next section. Note that the conjugation table below does not include the compound tenses, which consist of a form of the auxiliary verb and the past participle. Choisir normally requires the auxiliary verb avoir ("to have") in compound tenses and moods. For example, J'ai choisi would transelate as "I have chosen." But, if you were to extend the sentence, you would delete the present perfect, as in: J'ai choisi deux légumes verts. > I picked (chose) two green vegetables. Example Conjugations To conjugate an -ir verb in the present tense, remove the infinitive ending and then add the appropriate endings. For example, here are the present tense conjugations for the regular -ir verbs choisir, finir (to finish), and réussir (to succeed): Pronoun Ending choisir > chois- finir > fin- réussir > réuss- Je -is choisis finis réussis Tu -is choisis finis réussis Il -it choisit finit réussit Nous -issons choisissons finissons réussissons Vous -issez choisissez finissez réussissez Ils -issent choisissent finissent réussissent Some Common French Regular "-ir Verbs French regular -ir verbs, the second largest group of French verbs, share a conjugation pattern. Here are just a few of the most common regular - ir verbs: Abolir > to abolishAgir > to actAvertir > to warnBâtir > to buildChoisir > to chooseétablir > to establishétourdir > to stun, deafen, make dizzyFinir > to finishGrossir > to gain weight, get fatGuérir > to cure, heal, recoverMaigrir > to lose weight, get thinNourrir > to feed, nourishObéir > to obeyPunir > to punishRéfléchir > to reflect, thinkRemplir > to fillRéussir > to succeedRougir > to blush, turn redVieillir > to grow old Exceptions: Irregular "-ir" Verbs Most of the French -ir verbs are regular verbs, which conform to the previously discussed rules for conjugation. It's important to keep in mind that there are a number of irregular -ir verbs in French. These verbs can be tricky, but there is some good news: Only about 50 irregular -ir verbs exist in French, and they have only 16 conjugations. To simplify things further, most of those fall into just three groups. The first group of irregular -ir verbs is essentially conjugated like the verb partir ("to leave"). This group includes such verbs as: Consentir > to consentDépartir > to accordDormir > to sleep Endormir > to put/send to sleep The second group consists of verbs that end in -llir, -frir, or, -vrir, and almost all are conjugated like regular -er verbs. Examples of these verbs include: Couvrir > to cover Cueillir > to pick Découvrir > to discoverEntrouvrir > to half-open In the third group, verbs such as tenir ("to hold") and venir ("to come") and their derivatives follow a shared conjugation pattern in the present tense. Note, however, a major difference in the compound tenses: Venir and most of its derivatives use être as their auxiliary verb, while tenir and its derivatives use avoir. Wild Cards The remaining irregular -ir verbs don't follow a pattern. You just have to memorize the conjugations for each of the following verbs separately. Luckily, they are among the most frequently used French verbs, so memorizing their conjugations is completely worth the trouble. They include: Acquérir > to acquire Asseoir > to sitAvoir > to haveConquérir > to conquerCourir > to run Continue Reading Conjugating the Regular French Verb 'Choisir' ('to Choose') How to Conjugate Regular -RE Verbs in French Speak Like a Native: French Irregular '-ir' Verbs How to Conjugate the French Verb Étudier ('to Study) How to Conjugate Regular -ER Verbs in French How to Conjugate the Irregular French '-ir' Verb 'Offir' How to Conjugate the Irregular French Verb 'Soutenir' ('to Support') How to Conjugate the French Verb Finir How Do you Conjugate 'Applaudir' (to Applaud, Clap) in French? 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