How to Conjugate the French Verb "Promener" (to Walk)

A Quick Lesson in Basic Verb Conjugations

People Walking
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In French, the verb promener means "to walk," which is easier to remember if you associate it with the English word "promenade." French students will also want to be able to conjugate the verb because you'll use it often. A brief lesson will introduce you to the most helpful forms of promener.

The Basic Conjugations of Promener

Verb conjugations are required to transform it from "to walk" to "walking," "walked," or "will walk." French is a little trickier though because the verb changes not only from the present, past, and future tenses but with the subject pronoun as well.

To complicate matters, promener is a stem-changing verb, but don't let that scare you off. As you study these basic conjugations you'll notice that there are times when the e in the verb's stem promen- changes to an è. This occurs in some of the present and future tenses, so do pay attention to the spelling.

To conjugate promener, simply match the subject pronoun with the proper tense of your sentence. For example, "I am walking" is je promène and "we will walk" is nous promènerons. If you practice these in simple sentences, you'll find that memorizing them is a little easier.

Present Future Imperfect
je promène promènerai promenais
tu promènes promèneras promenais
il promène promènera promenait
nous promenons promènerons promenions
vous promenez promènerez promeniez
ils promènent promèneront promenaient

The Present Participle of Promener

As with most French verbs, the present participle of promener is formed by adding -ant to the verb stem. This results in promenant.

Promener in the Compound Past Tense

Though there are other compound forms of promener, we'll concentrate on the passé composé for this lesson. It's a common form of the past tense and requires you to use the auxiliary verb avoir and the past participle promené.

To construct it, begin with the present tense conjugate of avoir that matches the subject, then attach the past participle. For example, "I walked" is j'ai promené and "we walked" is nous avons promené.

More Simple Conjugations of Promener

Among the other simple conjugations of promener that you may find useful are the subjunctive and the conditional. The subjunctive is used when someone may walk, or they might not. The conditional is used when the walking will only occur if something else does. There may be the rare occasions when you'll also need the passé simple or imperfect subjunctive as well.

Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
je promène promènerais promenai promenasse
tu promènes promènerais promenas promenasses
il promène promènerait promena promenât
nous promenions promènerions promenâmes promenassions
vous promeniez promèneriez promenâtes promenassiez
ils promènent promèneraient promenèrent promenassent

The imperative form is used for short commands such as, "Walk!" When using it, the subject pronoun is not required, so you can simply say, "Promène !"

(tu) promène
(nous) promenons
(vous) promenez
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Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate the French Verb "Promener" (to Walk)." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). How to Conjugate the French Verb "Promener" (to Walk). Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate the French Verb "Promener" (to Walk)." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 28, 2023).