All About 'Dormir,' an Irregular French Verb Like 'Partir,' 'Sortir'

'Dormir' ('to sleep') shares conjugations with other irregular verbs

Dormir ("to sleep") is a very common, irregular -ir verb in the French language. The verb is part of an important set of irregular -ir verbs that share conjugation patterns.

Within irregular -ir verbs, two groups exhibit similar characteristics and conjugation patterns. Then there is a final, large category of extremely irregular -ir verbs that follow no pattern.

Dormir lies in the first group of irregular -ir verbs that display a pattern.

It includes dormir, partirsortirsentirservirmentir, and all their derivatives, such as endormir

Below is a comparison chart showing present-tense conjugations of this group. The side-by-side comparison illustrates that the conjugations are identical. Generally speaking, most French verbs ending in -mir, -tir, or -vir are conjugated this way. 

Scroll down to the to bottom to see a full set of dormir's simple conjugations; the compound tenses consist of a form of the auxiliary verb avoir with the past participle dormi.

Side-by-Side Comparison of Present-Tense Conjugations

 Dormir (to sleep)Sortir (to go out)Partir (to leave)
 Je dors sur un matelas dur. 
I sleep on a hard mattress.
Je sors tous les soirs.
I go out every night.
Je pars à midi.
I'm leaving at noon.
 Dormez-vous d'un sommeil
léger ?

Do you sleep lightly?
Sortez-vous maintenant?
Are you going out now?
Partez-vous bientôt?
Are you leaving soon?
jedors sorspart 
tudors sorspars 
ildort sortpart 
nous  dormons sortonspartons 
vousdormez sortezpartons 
ilsdorment sortentpartent 

Expressions With 'Dormir'

  • avoir envie de dormir > to feel sleepy / to feel like sleeping
  • dormir d'un sommeil profond / lourd / de plomb > to be a heavy sleeper / to be fast asleep, to be sound asleep, to be in a deep sleep
  • dormir à poings fermés > to be fast asleep, to be sleeping like a baby
  • dormir comme un ange > to be sound asleep / to sleep like a baby
  • dormir comme une bûche / un loir / une marmotte / une souche / un sabot > to sleep like a log
  • Tu dors debout. > You can't (even) keep awake. / You are dead on your feet.
  • Tu peux dormir sur tes deux oreilles. > There's no reason for you to worry, you can sleep [soundly] at night.
  • Je ne dors que d'un œil. > I sleep with one eye open. / I can hardly sleep. / I hardly get a wink of sleep.
  • Qui dort dîne. (proverbe) >  He who sleeps forgets his hunger.
  • Ils ont laissé dormir le projet. > They left the project on the back burner.
  • Ce n'est pas le moment de dormir ! > This is the moment for action. / Now's the time for action ! 


 Present Future Imperfect Present participle
ildortdormiradormaitPassé composé
nousdormonsdormironsdormions   Auxiliary verb avoir
vousdormezdormirezdormiez   Past participledormi
 Subjunctive Conditional Passé simple Imperfect subjunctive
(nous) dormons 

Additional Resources

'Dormir' all tenses
Using 'Sortir'
'Partir' all tenses
Using 'Partir'
'Partir' vs. 'Sortir'