Conjugating the French Verb "Manger" "to Eat"

Friends eating at cafe
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Manger is a regular French -er verb, but it is also a spelling-change verb. This means that it takes all the regular -er endings, but a small spelling change is made to the stem for consistency of pronunciation. The stem: the infinitive manger minus the -er ending, which leaves the stem mang-. All endings are added to this stem.

Spelling-Change Verb

Here's how the spelling change works: Verbs like manger that end in -ger change spelling slightly before endings that begin with the hard vowels a or o. Because g followed by a or o makes a hard g sound (as in gold), an e has to be added after g to keep a soft g (like the j in je). In short, wherever the g is not followed by an e, an e must be inserted so that the g remains soft throughout the conjugations.

For example, in the present tense and the imperative, this g-to-ge spelling change is found only in the nous conjugation: mangeons. It is needed for the present participlemangeant, but not for the past participlemangé.

It occurs in the following tenses/moods:

There is no spelling change in the conditionalfuture or subjunctive. The table below summarizes the spelling change conjugations. You might want to take a look at manger conjugated in all tenses to get the full picture of how often an e is needed after each g.

Use and Expressions of Manger

The food-conscious French have plenty of expressions using manger. Note that in familiar, everyday language, people frequently use the synonym bouffer, another regular -er verb that means "to eat," as in On a bien bouffé. ("The food was great." / "We ate well.") Here are a few expressions with manger:

  • Elle mange de tout: She eats everything
  • On en mangerait: It looks good enough to eat (Notice how much meaning was conveyed here by the simple use of the conditional)
  • manger de la vache enragée: to have a hard time of it
  • Il a mangé du lion aujourd'hui: He's full of beans today
  • Il ne mange pas de ce pain-là: That's not his cup of tea
  • Elle est mignonne. On le mangerait! She's so cute; I could eat her up!
  • On peut toujours essayer; ça ne mange pas de pain: We can always try; it won't cost us anything
  • manger à sa faim: to eat one's fill
  • Je veux à manger: I want something to eat
  • As-tu eu assez à manger? Did you get enough to eat?
  • Que veux-tu que je fasse à manger ce soir? What would you like me to cook / make for dinner tonight?

Conjugations of Manger

Present Future Imperfect

Present participle


mange mangerai mangeais mangeant
tu manges mangeras mangeais
il mange mangera mangeait
nous mangeons mangerons mangions
vous mangez mangerez mangiez
ils mangent mangeront mangeaient

Passé composé

Auxiliary verb avoir

Past participle




Passé simple

Imperfect subjunctive

je mange mangerais mangeai mangeasse
tu manges


mangeas mangeasses


mange mangerait mangea mangeât
nous mangions mangerions mangeâmes mangeassions
vous mangiez mangeriez mangeâtes mangeassiez
ils mangent mangeraient mangèrent mangeassent







Other Verbs Ending in '-ger'

All verbs that end in -ger undergo this spelling change, including:

  •    arranger: to arrange
  •    bouger: to move
  •    changer: to change
  •    corriger: to correct
  •    décourager: to discourage
  •    déménager: to move
  •    déranger: to disturb
  •    diriger: to direct
  •    encourager: to encourage
  •    engager: to bind
  •    exiger: to demand
  •    juger: to judge
  •    loger: to lodge
  •    manger: to eat
  •    mélanger: to mix
  •    nager: to swim
  •    obliger: to oblige
  •    partager: to share
  •    rédiger: to write
  •    voyager: to travel
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Team, ThoughtCo. "Conjugating the French Verb "Manger" "to Eat"." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). Conjugating the French Verb "Manger" "to Eat". Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "Conjugating the French Verb "Manger" "to Eat"." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 27, 2023).