How to Conjugate "Marcher" (to Walk; to Function, Work)

A Quick Lesson in Conjugating a Simple French Verb

Young woman in Paris walking on stairs
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In French, the verb marcher means "to walk," "to function," or "to work." This is a simple word that is similar to the English "march" so it's pretty easy to remember. However, when you want to use it in the past, present, or future tense,  marcher will need to be conjugated. A quick French lesson will show you how that's done.

Conjugations of the French Verb Marcher 

Marcher is a regular -ER verb, meaning it follows the most common verb conjugation pattern in French.

If you have previously studied words like demander (to ask)embrasser (to embrace or kiss), or similar verbs, you can apply the same infinitive endings to marcher.

Using the table, you can find the appropriate conjugation for your sentence. To do this, pair the subject pronoun with the appropriate tense. For instance, "I am walking" is "je marche" and "we will walk" is "nous marcherons."


The Present Participle of Marcher 

The verb stem of marcher is march- and when we add -ant, the present participle marchant is formed. Not only is this a verb, but you can use it as an adjective, gerund, or noun in some contexts.

The Past Participle and Passé Composé

The passé composé is a familiar way to express the past tense "walked" in French.

It's an alternative to the imperfect and requires a simple construction.

To form it, begin with the subject pronoun and the appropriate conjugation of the auxiliary verb avoir. Then, attach the past participle marché. For example, "I walked" is "j'ai marché" while "we walked" is "nous avons marché."

More Simple Marcher Conjugations to Learn

The verb forms above should be your priority. Once you have memorized those, consider adding more simple conjugations of marcher to your French vocabulary.

Each of these is used in special circumstances. For instance, the subjunctive implies that there's uncertainty to the action of walking. Similarly, the conditional is a verb mood that says the walking will happen only if something else occurs as well.

The passé simple is a literary form and found primarily in formal writing. The same applies to the imperfect subjunctive. While you may not use them yourself, it's good to know that these are forms of marcher.

SubjectSubjunctiveConditionalPassé SimpleImperfect Subjunctive

The imperative verb form is used in exclamations, requests, and demands. When using it, skip the subject pronoun: " nous marchons" becomes "marchons."

(nous) marchons