French Verb Partir Conjugation

Partir Conjugation, Usage, and Examples

Woman waving to man leaving in car
Elle dit adieu quand il part. (She says goodbye when he leaves.). Hybrid Images / Cultura / Getty Images

Partir is one of the most common French verbs and it means "to leave," though it can take on other meanings as well. In order to use partir in conversations, you will need to learn how to conjugate it.

Partir is an irregular verb, so it does not follow the common patterns found in French. Therefore, you will have to memorize it in all its forms. With time you will learn it and, luckily, partir is so common that you'll find plenty of opportunities to practice it.

Partir is not all alone in its conjugations, however. Most French verbs ending in -mir-tir, or -vir are conjugated the same way. That means that once you learn one, each new verb becomes a little easier. 

In this article you will find the conjugations of partir in the present, present progressive, compound past, imperfect, simple future, near future indicative, the conditional, the present subjunctive, as well as the imperative and the gerund.

The Many Meanings of Partir

Partir most commonly means "to leave" in the general sense of leaving a place. It is the opposite of arriver (to arrive). For example, Je vais partir ce soir (I'm going to leave tonight) and Il n'est pas parti hier (He didn't leave yesterday).

Partir has a few other meanings as well. For example, it can be used to mean "to shoot" or "to fire": Le coup est parti tout seul (The gun went off (fired) by itself) and Le bouchon est parti au plafond (The cork shot up to the ceiling).

Partir can also mean "to start" or "to get off to": Tout ça est bien/mal parti (It got off to a good/bad start) and On est parti sur une mauvaise piste (We got off on the wrong track, to a bad start).

Partir is a semi-auxiliary, meaning that in some cases it can act in the same way as être or avoir.  In this instance, when partir is combined with an infinitive verb it means "to leave in order to do something": Peux-tu partir acheter du pain ? (Could you go and buy some bread?) and Il est parti étudier en Italie (He left to study in Italy).

As a euphemism, partir means "to die" or "to pass away": Mon mari est parti (My husband passed away).

Partir With Prepositions

Partir is intransitive, which means that it cannot be followed by a direct object. However, it may be followed by a preposition and an indefinite object (e.g., the destination or point/purpose of departure), or by a day, time, or other modifiers:

  • Ils partent de Paris demain. - They're leaving (from) Paris tomorrow.
  • Quand vas-tu partir à la chasse ? - When are you leaving to go hunting?
  • Il est parti pour l'université. - He left for college / went to college.
  • On va partir demain. - We're going to leave tomorrow.

Additionally, partir can have different meanings depending on the preposition that follows it.

  • partir à + infinitive means "to start" (doing something, usually suddenly): As in, Il est parti à pleurer (He started crying, burst into tears) or Je suis parti à rire (I started laughing, burst into laughter).
  • partir dans + noun means "to start" (doing something which interrupts something else): As in, Il est parti dans une digression sans fin (He went off into an endless tangent) and Ne pars pas dans une grande colère (Don't get all mad).
  • partir de has two meanings:
    • "to begin on" or "to start from": As in, Le contrat partira du 3 août (The contract will begin on August 3rd.) and C'est le deuxième en partant de la gauche (It's the second from the left).
    • "to come from": As in, Ça part du cœur (It comes from the heart) and D'où part ce bruit ? (Where is this noise coming from?).
  • partir pour + infinitive also means "to start" (and gives the impression of continuing for a long time): As in, Il est parti pour parler pendant une heure (He started talking and looked like he'd keep going for an hour) and Elle est partie pour nous raconter sa vie (She started telling us her life story).

    Expressions With Partir

    There are a few common French expressions that rely on partir. For many of these, you will need to conjugate the verb, using what you learn in this lesson. Practicing these in simple sentences will make them easier to remember.

    • à partir de - from (time, date, place)
    • à partir de maintenant - from now on
    • à partir de ce moment-là - from then on
    • à partir du moment où - as soon as
    • À vos marques ! Prêts ? Partez ! - On your marks! Get set! Go!
    • c'est parti - here we go, here goes

    Present Indicative

    The present indicative in French can be translated to English as the simple present tense "I leave" or as the present progressive "I'm leaving."

    Je pars Je pars tout seul. I leave by myself.
    Tu pars Tu pars de Paris. You leave Paris.
    Il/Elle/On part Elle part acheter du pain. She leaves to go buy bread.
    Nous partons Nous partons à pied. We leave on foot.
    Vous partez Vous partez avec vos amis. You leave with your friends.
    Ils/Elles partent Ils partent au Canada. They leave for Canada.

    Present Progressive Indicative

    As mentioned above, the present progressive in French can be expressed with the simple present tense, but it can also be formed with the present tense conjugation of the verb être (to be) + en train de + the infinitive verb (partir).

    Je suis en train de partir Je suis en train de partir tout seul. I am leaving by myself.
    Tu es en train de partir Tu es en train de partir de Paris. You are leaving Paris.
    Il/Elle/On est en train de partir Elle est en train de partir acheter du pain. She is leaving to go buy bread.
    Nous sommes en train de partir Nous sommes en train de partir à pied. We are leaving on foot.
    Vous êtes en train de partir Vous êtes en train de partir avec vos amis. You are leaving with your friends.
    Ils/Elles sont en train de partir Ils sont en train de partir au Canada. They are leaving for Canada.

    Compound Past Indicative

    Verbs like partir require être when used in compound tenses like the passé composé. To construct this past tense, you will need the auxiliary verb être and the past participle parti. Notice that when you form the passé composé with être, the past participle must agree in gender and number with the subject.

    Je suis parti/partie Je suis parti tout seul. I left by myself.
    Tu es parti/partie Tu es parti de Paris. You left Paris.
    Il/Elle/On est parti/partie Elle est partie acheter du pain. She left to go buy bread.
    Nous sommes partis/parties Nous sommes partis à pied. We left on foot.
    Vous êtes parti/partis/parties Vous êtes partis avec vos amis. You left with your friends.
    Ils/Elles sont partis/parties Ils sont partis au Canada. They left for Canada.

    Imperfect Indicative

    The imperfect tense is another past tense, but it is usually used to talk about ongoing events or repeated actions in the past, and is normally translated to English as "was leaving" or "used to leave".

    Je partais Je partais tout seul. I used to leave by myself.
    Tu partais Tu partais de Paris. You used to leave Paris.
    Il/Elle/On partait Elle partait acheter du pain. She used to leave to go buy bread.
    Nous partions Nous partions à pied. We used to leave on foot.
    Vous partiez Vous partiez avec vos amis. You were leaving with your friends.
    Ils/Elles partaient Ils partaient au Canada. They were leaving for Canada.

    Simple Future Indicative

    Je partirai Je partirai tout seul. I will leave by myself.
    Tu partiras Tu partiras de Paris. You will leave Paris.
    Il/Elle/On partira Elle partira acheter du pain. She will leave to go buy bread.
    Nous partirons Nous partirons à pied. We will leave on foot.
    Vous partirez Vous partirez avec vos amis. You will leave with your friends.
    Ils/Elles partiront Ils partiront au Canada. They will leave for Canada.

    Near Future Indicative

    The near future in French is formed with the present tense conjugation of the verb aller (to go) + the infinitive (partir). It can be translated to English as "going to + verb.

    Je vais partir Je vais partir tout seul. I am going to leave by myself.
    Tu vas partir Tu vas partir de Paris. You are going to leave Paris.
    Il/Elle/On va partir Elle va partir acheter du pain. She is going to leave to go buy bread.
    Nous allons partir Nous allons partir à pied. We are going to leave on foot.
    Vous allez partir Vous allez partir avec vos amis. You are going to leave with your friends.
    Ils/Elles vont partir Ils vont partir au Canada. They are going to leave for Canada.

    Conditional

    To talk about hypothetical or possible events, you can use the conditional mood.

    Je partirais Je partirais tout seul si je n'avais peur. I would leave by myself if I were not scared.
    Tu partirais Tu partirais de Paris si tu pouvais. You would leave Paris if you could.
    Il/Elle/On partirait Elle partirait acheter du pain si elle avais d'argent. She would leave to go buy bread if she had money.
    Nous partirions Nous partirions à pied si ce n'était pas loin. We would leave on foot if it were not far.
    Vous partiriez Vous partiriez avec vos amis, mais vos amis ne peuvent pas aller. You would leave with your friends, but your friends can't go.
    Ils/Elles partiraient Ils partiraient au Canada s'ils voulaient. They would leave for Canada if they wanted to.

    Present Subjunctive

    The subjunctive mood is used in situations when the action of "leaving" is uncertain.

    Que je parte Mon père suggère que je parte tout seul. My father suggests that I leave by myself.
    Que tu partes Le juge exige que tu partes de Paris. The judge demands that you leave Paris.
    Qu'il/Elle/On parte Le patron conseille qu'elle parte acheter du pain. The boss advises that she leave to go buy bread.
    Que nous partions Charles souhaite que nous partions à pied. Charles wishes that we leave on foot.
    Que vous partiez Jacques préfère que vous partiez avec vos amis. Jacques prefers that you leave with your friends.
    Qu'ils/Elles partent Le président souhaite qu'ils partent au Canada. The president wishes that they leave for Canada.

    Imperative

    When you want to say something like "Leave!" you can use the imperative verb mood. In this case, there's no need to include the subject pronoun, so simply say, "Pars !" Also, to form the negative commands, just place ne...pas around the positive command.

    Positive commands

    Tu pars ! Pars de Paris ! Leave Paris!
    Nous partons ! Partons à pied ! Let's leave on foot!
    Vous partez ! Partez avec vos amis ! Leave with your friends!

    Negative commands

    Tu ne pars pas ! Ne pars pas de Paris ! Don't leave Paris!
    Nous ne partons pas ! Ne partons pas à pied ! Let's not leave on foot!
    Vous ne partez pas ! Ne partez pas avec vos amis ! Don't leave with your friends!

    Present Participle/Gerund

    The present participle of partir is partant. This was formed by adding the ending -ant to the verb stem. One of the uses of the present participle is to form the gerund (usually preceded by the preposition en), which is often used to talk about simultaneous actions.

    Present participle/gerund of Partir partant Je pleure en partant Paris. I cry while leaving Paris.