How to Conjugate the French '-re' Verb 'Mordre' ('to Bite')

Mordre, pronounced "mohr dra," is a French -re verb that means "to bite, grip, eat into, mesh, be taken in by, make a dent in, overlap." Mordre is a regular transitive verb. Scroll down to see a table showing all simple conjugations of mordre; the table does not include compound tenses, which consist of the conjugated auxiliary verb avoir and the past participle mordu.

Expressions and Usage

  • mordre un fruit > to bite into a piece of fruit
  • se faire mordre > to get bitten
  • il s'est fait mordre à la main > he was bitten on the hand
  • mordre la ligne > to cross the white line
  • Ça ne mord pas beaucoup par ici. > The fish aren't biting much around here.
  • mordre (à l'appât) / à l'hameçon > to rise (to the bait), to bite
  • il / ça n'a pas mordu. > He wasn't taken in. / He didn't fall for it.
  • Mordre à > to be hooked by, to be taken in by, to fall
  • Mordre dans > to bite into
  • Mordre sur > to cross a line, to make a dent in your bills, to overlap periods
  • Le stage mordra sur la deuxième semaine de mars. > The course will continue into the second week in March.
  • se mordre (transitive pronominal) la langue > to bite one's tongue
  • Je m'en suis mordu les doigts. (figurative) > I could have kicked myself.
  • Il va s'en mordre les doigts. > He'll be sorry he did it. / He'll live to regret it.
  • se mordre la queue > to chase one's tale, to go around in circles

How to Conjugate 'Mordre'

Mordre is conjugated like all other regular -re verbs, which are a small group of French verbs that share conjugation patterns in all tenses and moods.


There are five main kinds of verbs in French: regular -er, -ir, -re; stem-changing; and irregular.  The smallest category of regular French verbs is -re verbs.

How to Conjugate '-re' Verbs

Remove the -re ending of the infinitive to reveal the verb's stem, then add the regular -re endings to the stem.

For instance, to conjugate an -re verb in the present tense, remove the infinitive ending and add the present-tense endings to the stem.

Other Common French '-re' Verbs

Here are some of the most common regular -re verbs:

  • attendre > to wait (for)
  • défendre > to defend
  • descendre > to descend
  • entendre > to hear
  • étendre > to stretch
  • fondre > to melt
  • pendre > to hang, suspend
  • perdre > to lose
  • prétendre > to claim
  • rendre > to give back, return
  • répandre > to spread, scatter
  • répondre > to answer
  • vendre > to sell

Simple Conjugations of the French Regular '-re' Verb 'Mordre

Present  Future  Imperfect Present participle
ilmordmordramordaitPassé composé
nousmordonsmordronsmordions   Auxiliary verb avoir
vousmordezmordrezmordiez   Past participle mordu
 Subjunctive Conditional Passé simple Imperfect subjunctive
(nous) mordons