Top French Verb Lessons

Common French verb difficulties

French verbs can be difficult, and certain verb lessons on my site get visited over and over. For some people, certain verb concepts just don't sink in the first (or second or third) time they are learned, and may continue to cause confusion even after years of study. To make it easier for you to find the French verb lessons you need, here are the most commonly visited French verb pages on my site.

If you need to review any of these, know that you are not alone!

1  Subjunctive
There's no doubt about it - the subjunctive is difficult. In addition to knowing the conjugations, you need to understand why the subjunctive is used and memorize all kinds of verbs and conjunctions that it has to follow. My only advice is to study, study, study and then practice, practice, practice.

2  Passé composé vs Imparfait
The passé composé and imparfait are actually quite different, yet students often have trouble deciding which one to use. This lesson provides detailed information about how they differ and includes a list of key words and phrases that indicate which tense is appropriate.

3  Être verbs
In the passé composé and other compound conjugations, most verbs require avoir as the auxiliary verb, but it's the ones that require être that make life difficult. Here is a list of verbs that take être as the auxiliary as well as some mnemonic devices to help you remember them.

4  Compound verbs
In addition to the choice of auxiliary verb, compound conjugations cause confusion about word order and agreement.

5  Dual-verb constructions
Dual-verb constructions, like je vais aller, can be difficult in terms of word order and whether prepositions are needed.

6  Verbs with prepositions
Which verbs are followed by which prepositions - if any - is one of the most common questions for students of all levels.

7  Reflexive verbs
Reflexive verbs are actually a sub-category of pronominal verbs but the former term is often used in place of the latter. Regardless of what you call them, verbs that require a reflexive pronoun may require some extra study.

8  Si clauses
Si clauses, known as if... then clauses or conditionals in English, are tricky only because they require a certain pairing of verb tenses.

9  Verb conjugator
Let's face it, memorizing conjugations for thousands of French verbs - even with groups of similar verbs - isn't that much fun. Sometimes you just need to look them up.

10  Verb Timeline
There are a lot of verb tenses and moods, and one of the best ways to understand them is to see how they fit together in time. This page is in French; click "in English" to see the same thing but with the names of each verb form in English.