How to Conjugate "Lancer" (to Throw) in French

"Throw" These Verb Conjugations Into Your Vocabulary

Similar to the English word "lance," the French verb lancer means "to throw." While that's easy enough to remember, you'll need to conjugate it to mean "throwing" or "threw." A quick lesson will demonstrate how to do that.

If you want a second option of "to throw," study the verb jeter.

Conjugating the French Verb Lancer

Lancer is a spelling change verb, which makes things a little more difficult than normal.

The change comes when the letter 'C' precedes either an 'A' or an 'O' in the infinitive endings. In these forms, the 'C' becomes a cedilla ç and this reminds us to retain the soft 'C' sound throughout the conjugations.

If you keep an eye on that, then conjugating lancer is relatively simple. Just match the subject pronoun with the appropriate tense for the context. For example, "I am throwing" is "je lance" and "we will throw" is "nous lancerons." Practicing these in context will help you memorize them.

SubjectPresentFutureImperfect
jelancelancerailançais
tulanceslanceraslançais
illancelanceralançait
nouslançonslanceronslancions
vouslancezlancerezlanciez
ilslancentlancerontlançaient

The Present Participle of Lancer

Used as either a verb, adjective, noun, or gerund, the present participle is quite useful. For lancer, the ç makes an appearance and we simply add -ant to the verb stem to form lançant.

The Past Participle and Passé Composé

The past tense of "threw" can be expressed with the imperfect or the passé composé. To form the latter, begin with a conjugate of the auxiliary verb avoir to match the subject pronoun, then attach the past participle lancé. For example, "I threw" is "j'ai lancé" and "we threw" is "nous avons lancé."

More Simple Lancer Conjugations to Learn

At first, the focus of your studies should be the forms of lancer we've discussed. Yet, you might also find some other forms helpful.

For instance, the subjunctive and the conditional are both verb "moods." Each implies that the act of throwing is not guaranteed. Likewise, if you read a lot of French, knowing the literary tenses of the passé simple and imperfect subjunctive will be useful.

SubjectSubjunctiveConditionalPassé SimpleImperfect Subjunctive
jelancelanceraislançailançasse
tulanceslanceraislançaslançasses
illancelanceraitlançalançât
nouslancionslancerionslançâmeslançassions
vouslanciezlanceriezlançâteslançassiez
ilslancentlanceraientlancèrentlançassent

When using lancer in assertive and short commands or requests, turn to the imperative form. For this, the subject pronoun is not required, so "lance" is used instead of "tu lance."

 Imperative
(tu)lance
(nous)lançons
(vous)lancez