How to Conjugate "Gagner" (to Win, to Earn) in French

You' "Win" If You Can Master This Verb Conjugation Lesson

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French verbs tend to be a challenge for students. While the conjugations of gagner are rather common, remembering that it means "to win" or "to earn" is a bit more difficult. Yet, by the time you're done learning how to conjugate gagner to mean "won" or "will earn," it will be implanted in your memory.

Conjugating the French Verb Gagner

Gagner is a regular -ER verb and it follows a very common verb conjugation pattern.

In fact, the majority of French verbs use the same endings you'll learn here and that makes each new one just a little easier to remember.

Whenever we begin a conjugation, it's important to recognize the verb stem. In this case, it's gagn-. With that bit of knowledge, we can add a variety of endings that match both the subject pronoun and the tense of the sentence. For instance, "I am winning" is "je gagne" and "we will win" is "nous gagnerons."

SubjectPresentFutureImperfect
jegagnegagneraigagnais
tugagnesgagnerasgagnais
ilgagnegagneragagnait
nousgagnonsgagneronsgagnions
vousgagnezgagnerezgagniez
ilsgagnentgagnerontgagnaient

The Present Participle of Gagner

The present participle of gagner is formed by adding -ant to the verb stem, giving us gagnant. It's a very useful word that stretches beyond the verb usage. You may also find it helpful as an adjective, gerund, or noun.

The Past Participle and Passé Composé

The passé composé is a common past tense form used in French.

To construct it, begin by conjugating the auxiliary verb avoir to match the subject pronoun, then attach the past participle gagné. For example, "I won" is "j'ai gagné" and "we earned" is "nous avons gagné."

More Simple Gagner Conjugations to Learn

While those forms of gagner are most important, there are a few more conjugations you should consider learning.

In conversation, for instance, you can imply a degree of uncertainty or dependency by using either the subjunctive verb mood or the conditional.

If you read a lot of French, you will encounter the passé simple. Likewise, the imperfect subjunctive is a literary tense and it's a good idea to be able to recognize these.

SubjectSubjunctiveConditionalPassé SimpleImperfect Subjunctive
jegagnegagneraisgagnaigagnasse
tugagnesgagneraisgagnasgagnasses
ilgagnegagneraitgagnagagnât
nousgagnionsgagnerionsgagnâmesgagnassions
vousgagniezgagneriezgagnâtesgagnassiez
ilsgagnentgagneraientgagnèrentgagnassent

To use gagner in short statements, use the imperative form and skip the subject pronoun. Instead of "tu gagne," use "gagne" alone.

 Imperative
(tu)gagne
(nous)gagnons
(vous)gagnez