'Garder' ('to Keep'): Conjugate This Regular French '-er' Verb

'Garder' Conjugation Table, Expressions and Use

Garder ("to keep, look after, guard, stay, mind, save") is a regular French -er verb that shares conjugation patterns in all tenses and moods with every other regular French verb ending in -er, by far the largest group of French verbs. To conjugate garder, remove the -er ending to reveal the stem gard-, then add the regular -er endings shown in the table at the bottom of the page.

Note that this table includes simple conjugations only

Compound conjugations, which consist of a conjugated form of the auxiliary verb avoir and the past participle participé, are not included.

'Garder': Transitive Verb

Garder is a very common French transitive verb that takes a direct object.

  • On n'a pas gardé les cochons ensemble ! (familiar) > Don't be so familiar ! 
  • garder une poire pour la soif to keep something for a rainy day 
  • Est-ce que tu as gardé toutes ses lettres? > Have you kept all his letters?  
  • Garde-le, un jour il aura de la valeur. > Keep it. One day it will be valuable.   
  • garder le silence > to keep quiet  
  • garder la ligne > to keep one's figure    
  • garder le jeûne > to observe a fast  
  • garder son calme > to stay calm 
  • garder son sérieux > to keep a straight face
  • garder ses distances  > to keep one's distance
  • garder le lit > to stay in bed , to be confined to bed, to be laid up  
  • garder la chambre > to stay indoors  
  • Ils nous ont gardés à déjeuner. > They had us stay for lunch.    
  • Je garde ma nièce les samedis. >  I look after my niece on Saturdays.  
  • Ils ont pris un gros chien pour garder la maison. > They got a big dog to guard the house.  
  • garder à vue > to keep in custody  
  • pêche gardée > private fishing     
  • garder les arrêts > to remain under arrest
  • garder le secret sur quelque chose > to keep something secret
  • Tu ferais bien de garder ça pour toi. > You'd better keep that to yourself.
  • garder rancune à quelqu'un de quelque chose > to harbour a grudge against somebody for something

'Se Garder': Pronominal Verb

se garder (pronominal passive)

se garder (pronominal reflexive)

  • Les enfants sont grands, ils se gardent tout seuls maintenant. > The children are old enough to look after themselves now.

se garder de 

  • se garder de faire > to be careful not to do, to refrain from or beware of doing  
  • Je me garderai bien de lui en parler. > I'll be very careful not to talk to him about it
  • Garde-toi bien de le vexer. > Be very careful not to offend him.

'Garder': a Regular French '-er' Verb

The majority of French verbs are regular -er verbs, as garderis. (There are five main kinds of verbs in French: regular -er, -ir, -re verbs; stem-changing verbs; and irregular verbs.)

To conjugate a regular French -er verb, remove the -er ending from the infinitive to reveal the verb's stem.

Then add the regular -er endings to the stem. Note that regular -er verbs share conjugation patterns in all tenses and moods.

You can apply the same endings in the table to any of the regular French -er verbs listed below.

Simple Conjugations of the Regular French '-er' Verb 'Garder'

 Present  Future  Imperfect Present participle
ilgardegarderagardaitPassé composé
nousgardonsgarderonsgardions   Auxiliary verb avoir
vousgardezgarderezgardiez   Past participle gardé
 Subjunctive Conditional Passé simple Imperfect subjunctive
(nous) gardons 

More Common French Regular '-er' Verbs

French regular -er verbs, by far the largest group of French verbs, share conjugation patterns. Here are just a few of the most common regular -er verbs:

  • aimer > to like, to love
  • arriver > to arrive, to happen
  • chanter > to sing
  • chercher > to look for
  • commencer* > to begin
  • danse > to dance
  • demander > to ask for
  • dépenser > to spend (money)
  • détester > to hate
  • donner > to give
  • écouter > to listen to
  • étudier** > to study
  • fermer > to close
  • goûte > to taste
  • jouer > to play
  • laver > to wash
  • manger* > to eat
  • nager* > to swim
  • parler > to talk, to speak
  • passe > to pass, spend (time)
  • penser > to think
  • porter > to wear, to carry
  • regarder > to watch, to look at
  • rêver > to dream
  • sembler > to seem
  • skier** > to ski
  • travailler > to work
  • trouve > to find
  • visiter > to visit (a place)
  • voler > to fly, to steal

*All regular -er verbs are conjugated according to the regular -er verb conjugation pattern, except for one small irregularity in verbs that end in -ger and -cer, known as spelling-change verbs.
**Though conjugated just like regular -er verbs, watch out for verbs that end in -ier.