How to Conjugate the Irregular French Verb "Haïr"

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Haïr is a highly irregular verb in French that begins with an ​H aspiré, or aspirated H. This means the H is not mute, as most H's are in French. This irregular French -ir verb might have a difficult conjugation, but pronunciation is considerably easier because there are no contractions or liaisons in words beginning with an aspirated H.

Scroll to the end and you'll find a table with all the simple conjugations of haïr. The compound conjugations, which include a conjugated version of the auxiliary verb avoir and the past participle haï, are not included.

"Haïr": A Very Irregular French "-ir" Verb

There are essentially two groups of irregular -ir verbs:
1. The first group of includes dormir, mentir, partir, sentir, servir, sortir, and all of their derivatives.

2.The second group of verbs includes couvrir, cueillir, découvrir, offrir, ouvrir, souffrir, and their derivatives.

The rest of the irregular -ir verbs don't follow a pattern. You just have to memorize the conjugations for each verb separately: asseoir, courir, devoir, falloir, mourir, pleuvoir, pouvoir, recevoir, savoir, tenir, valoir, venir, voir, vouloir.

Haïr belongs to the last group, the irregular -ir verbs that don't follow a pattern. So, as for all of these, you'll just have to memorize the conjugation of ​haïr in order to use it correctly.

"Haïr" Begins With an Aspirated H

One overriding characteristic of haïr is its first letter. It begins with an aspirated H, which is fairly uncommon in French.

There are two different kinds of H's in French: H muet (silent) and H aspiré (aspirated). The type of H at the beginning of the word lets you know whether to make contractions and pronounce liaisons with that word. To find out whether the H in a particular word is muet or aspiré, check a good French dictionary. There will be an asterisk or some other symbol to distinguish the two kinds of H's.

1. Most French H's are mute, that is, they are not pronounced and the word acts as if it begins with a vowel. This means that contractions and liaisons are required. For example, le + homme contracts to l'homme (you can't say "le homme"). And les hommes is pronounced with a liaison: [lay zuhm].

2. The other type of French H is the H aspiré. The aspirated H is silent and represents a hiatus somewhat like a voiceless glottal stop at a word boundary, between the word's first vowel and the preceding word's last vowel. 

You'll usually find aspirated H's in French words that have been borrowed from other languages. Though the H aspiré is not pronounced, it acts like a consonant; that is, contractions are not permitted with it and liaisons are not made in front of it. For example, le + hockey does not contract to "l'hockey" but remains le hockey. And les héros (the heroes) is pronounced [lay ay ro]. If you were to pronounce this with a liaison, [lay zay ro], you would be saying les zéros (the zeros).

Simple Conjugations of the Irregular French "-ir" Verb "Haïr"

Present Future Imperfect Present participle
je hais haïrai haïssais haïssant
tu hais haïras haïssais
il hait haïra haïssait Passé composé
nous haïssons haïrons haïssions Auxiliary verb avoir
vous haïssez haïrez haïssiez Past participle haï
ils haïssent haïront haïssaient
Subjunctive Conditional Passé simple Imperfect subjunctive
je haïsse haïrais haïs haïsse
tu haïsses haïrais haïs haïsses
il haïsse haïrait haït haït
nous haïssions haïrions haïmes haïssions
vous haïssiez haïriez haïtes
ils haïssent haïraient haïrent haïssent
(tu) hais
(nous) haïssons
(vous) haïssez
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Lawless, Laura K. "How to Conjugate the Irregular French Verb "Haïr"." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, Lawless, Laura K. (2020, August 26). How to Conjugate the Irregular French Verb "Haïr". Retrieved from Lawless, Laura K. "How to Conjugate the Irregular French Verb "Haïr"." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 23, 2023).