How to Conjugate "Fumer" (to Smoke) in French

Simple Verb Conjugations to Say "Smoked" or "Smoking"

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How would you say "to smoke" in French? If you answered with the verb fumer, then you'd be correct. It's an easy one to remember if you associate it with the English "fume." It might also be helpful to know that when you need "to extinguish" a flame, you'll use the verb expliquer

Conjugating the French Verb Fumer

Admittedly, French verb conjugations can be a challenge for French students. That's because there are more words to remember since we conjugate for all the subject pronouns within each tense. Yet, fumer is a regular -ER verb and this is the most common conjugation pattern in French. This makes it a little easier if you've worked with a few verbs before.

As with all conjugations, we need to identify the verb stem, which is fum-. Then we can begin to add the many endings and form a complete sentence. For example, "I smoke" is "je fume" and "we will smoke" is "​nous fumerons." Study this chart and practice the forms in context to make memorization a little quicker.

Subject Present Future Imperfect
je fume fumerai fumais
tu fumes fumeras fumais
il fume fumera fumait
nous fumons fumerons fumions
vous fumez fumerez fumiez
ils fument fumeront fumaient

The Present Participle of Fumer

The present participle of fumer is fumant. Notice how this was as simple as adding -ant to the verb stem. It's a very useful word as it can be a verb, adjective, gerund, or noun depending on the context.

The Past Participle and Passé Composé

Beyond the imperfect, another common form of the past tense "smoked" is the passé composé. This is formed using the past participle fumé along with a conjugate of the auxiliary verb avoir. For example, "I smoked" is "j'ai fumé" while "we smoked" is "nous avons fumé."

More Simple Fumer Conjugations to Learn

Those are the most important forms of fumer and should be the top priority for memorization. There are more simple conjugations you may need at times and they're used in special circumstances. For instance, in a conversation when the act of smoking is not guaranteed, the subjunctive or the conditional verb mood may be used.

If you do much reading in French, you will also encounter the passé simple. This form, as well as the imperfect subjunctive, may not be widely used, but they are good to know anyway.

Subject Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
je fume fumerais fumai fumasse
tu fumes fumerais fumas fumasses
il fume fumerait fuma fumât
nous fumions fumerions fumâmes fumassions
vous fumiez fumeriez fumâtes fumassiez
ils fument fumeraient fumèrent fumassent

In short and direct commands and requests, we can drop the subject pronoun and simplify things in the imperative form. Rather than saying "tu fume," you can just use "fume."

(tu) fume
(nous) fumons
(vous) fumez
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Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate "Fumer" (to Smoke) in French." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). How to Conjugate "Fumer" (to Smoke) in French. Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate "Fumer" (to Smoke) in French." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 20, 2023).