Conjugating the Verb Fuir (to Flee)

Don't Flee From This Irregular French Verb

Cropped shot of young man running in field
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When you want "to flee" in French, the verb fuir is used. This is a very simple word, though conjugating it to the past tense "fled" or the future tense "will flee" is not so simple. Don't worry. We'll walk you through the most common conjugations in this short lesson.

Conjugating the French Verb Fuir

Fuir is an irregular verb and is similar to s'enfuir (to run away) in both meaning and the conjugations. It's a good idea to study both simultaneously because it will make each a little easier to learn.

The verb stem of fuir is understandably short: fu-. To this, we add a new ending for each subject pronoun within each tense. Do pay attention to these conjugations because there are many times when a "Y" is used rather than an "I."

Study this table and commit these forms of fuir to memory. For instance, "I am fleeing" is "je fuis" while "we will flee" is "nous fuirons." Using them in some context helps with memorization. 

Subject Present Future Imperfect
je fuis fuirai fuyais
tu fuis fuiras fuyais
il fuit fuira fuyait
nous fuyons fuirons fuyions
vous fuyez fuirez fuyiez
ils fuient fuiront fuyaient

The Present Participle of Fuir

As a present participle, fuir can be used as an adjective, gerund, or noun as well as a verb. To form this very useful word, add -yant to the verb stem to create fuyant.

The Past Participle and Passé Composé

The passé composé can be used instead of the imperfect to express the past tense "fled." It's very common in French and makes use of the past participle fui along with a conjugate of the auxiliary verb avoir. As an example, "I fled" is "j'ai fui" and "we fled" is "nous avons fui."

More Simple Fuir Conjugations to Learn

Should you need to imply some degree of uncertainty to the verb fuir, use the subjunctive verb mood. In a similar fashion, the conditional verb mood says that the action of fleeing is dependent on something else.

Those are great for casual conversation and within formal writing, you will find the passé simple in use. The imperfect subjunctive is another literary tense you should be able to at least recognize.

Subject Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
je fuie fuirais fuis fuisse
tu fuies fuirais fuis fuisses
il fuie fuirait fuit fuît
nous fuyions fuirions fuîmes fuissions
vous fuyiez fuiriez fuîtes fuissiez
ils fuient fuiraient fuirent fuissent

Short and sometimes assertive statements like demands can use the imperative verb form of fuir. When using this, it's perfectly acceptable to skip the subject pronoun: use "fuis" instead of "tu fuis."

Imperative
(tu) fuis
(nous) fuyons
(vous) fuyez