How to Conjugate the Irregular French Verb 'Recevoir' ('to Receive')

'Recevoir' is so irregular that you just need to memorize it

woman receiving gift from man
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Recevoir ("to receive, to get") is an irregular French -ir verb, so irregular that it doesn't fit in any pattern. Too bad, because there are two groups of irregular -ir verbs that do demonstrate some patterns. One group includes sortir, partir, dormir and other similar verbs; a second includes couvrir, offrir, souffrir and other similar verbs. 

'Recevoir' Is Highly Irregular

But recevoir is lumped with -ir verbs so irregular they don't fit into any pattern.

The conjugations of these verbs just have to be memorized one at a time: asseoir, courir, devoir, falloir, mourir, pleuvoir, pouvoir, recevoir, savoir, tenir, valoir, venir, voir and vouloir.

Ironically, even though recevoir doesn't fit into any larger group, it does form its own subgroup. All verbs like recevoir that end in -cevoir are conjugated the same way. These include:

  • apercevoir > to catch sight of, to foresee
  • concevoir > to conceive
  • décevoir > to disappoint
  • percevoir > to perceive
  • recevoir > to receive

The table below includes only simple conjugations of the irregular French -ir verb recevoir. It does not include compound tenses, which include a form of the auxiliary verb avoir and the past participle.

'Recevoir': Uses and Expressions

recevoir une salaire > to get paid

recevoir un prix > to be awarded a prize / to be given a prize or award

recevoir un cadeau > to get / receive / be given a gift

recevoir courrier / coup de téléphone > to get mail / to get a telephone call

Veuillez recevoir, Madame, l'expression de mes sentiments les meilleurs ou mes salutations distinguées > Yours sincerely

recevoir un coup sur la tête > to receive a blow to the head

recevoir quelqu'un à dîner > to invite someone to dinner

J'ai été mal reçu. > I was made to feel unwelcome.

La maison peut recevoir six personnes. > The house sleeps six people.

Le médecin reçoit/ne reçoit pas aujourd'hui. > The doctor is / isn't seeing patients today.

se faire recevoir > to get told off

Je n'ai de conseils à recevoir de personne ! > I don't have to take advice from anybody!

Elle sait merveilleusement recevoir. > She's a marvelous hostess. / She's marvelous at entertaining.

Simple Conjugations of the Irregular French '-ir' Verb 'Recevoir'

 Present Future Imperfect Present participle
jereçoisrecevrairecevaisrecevant
tureçoisrecevrasrecevais 
ilreçoitrecevrarecevaitPassé composé
nousrecevonsrecevronsrecevions   Auxiliary verb avoir
vousrecevezrecevrezreceviez   Past participlereçu
ilsreçoiventrecevrontrecevaient 
 
 Subjunctive Conditional Passé simple Imperfect subjunctive
jereçoiverecevraisreçusreçusse
tureçoivesrecevraisreçusreçusses
ilreçoiverecevraitreçutreçût
nousrecevionsrecevrionsreçûmesreçussions
vousreceviezrecevriezreçûtesreçussiez
ilsreçoiventrecevraientreçurentreçussent
 
 Imperative
(tu)reçois 

 
(nous) recevons 
(vous)recevez