'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 onlyCompound 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
je garde garderai gardais gardant
tu gardes garderas gardais
il garde gardera gardait
nous gardons garderons gardions
vous gardez garderez gardiez
ils gardent garderont gardaient
Subjunctive Conditional Passé simple Imperfect subjunctive
je garde garderais gardai gardasse
tu gardes garderais gardas gardasses
ils garde garderait garda gardât
nous gardions garderions gardâmes gardassions
vous gardiez garderiez gardâtes gardassiez
ils gardent garderaient gardèrent gardassent
tu garde
nous gardons
vous gardez

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.

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Team, ThoughtCo. "'Garder' ('to Keep'): Conjugate This Regular French '-er' Verb." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, thoughtco.com/garder-to-keep-1370364. Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). 'Garder' ('to Keep'): Conjugate This Regular French '-er' Verb. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/garder-to-keep-1370364 Team, ThoughtCo. "'Garder' ('to Keep'): Conjugate This Regular French '-er' Verb." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/garder-to-keep-1370364 (accessed March 29, 2023).