Learn How to Conjugate "Saisir" (to Seize) in French

A Lesson With the Essential Conjugations of a Regular Verb

Success and Victory in the mountains

 

vernonwiley Getty Images

A regular French verb, saisir means "to seize." It's a relatively easy verb to conjugate and this lesson will show you how to say things such as "she seized" in the past tense and "we are seizing" in the present tense.

The Basic Conjugations of Saisir

Many French students fear verb conjugations because there are so many words to remember. While these can be a challenge, a verb like saisir is just a little easier because it is a regular -ir verb. This means you can apply the same endings you learned with similar verbs to this one.

The first step in any conjugation is to identify the verb stem. For saisir, that is sais-. With that, you can find the appropriate endings to apply using the indicative mood chart. Simply find the subject pronoun you need, then match that to either the present, future, or imperfect past tense. You'll get results such as je saisis (I am seizing) and nous saisirons (we will seize).

Present Future Imperfect
je saisis saisirai saisissais
tu saisis saisiras saisissais
il saisit saisira saisissait
nous saisissons saisirons saisissions
vous saisissez saisirez saisissiez
ils saisissent saisiront saisissaient

The Present Participle of Saisir

As a regular -ir verb, you'll add -issant to the verb stem of saisir to form the present participle. This produces the word saisissant.

Saisir in the Compound Past Tense

You will use saisir's past participle saisi to form the compound past tense. In French, this is known as passé composé. The only other requirement is a present tense conjugate of the auxiliary verb avoir. For example, "I seized" is j'ai saisi and "we seized" is nous avons saisi.

More Simple Conjugations of Saisir

Should you have doubts about something being seized, you can use the subjunctive forms of saisirThe conditional, on the other hand, is used in an "if...then" sentence. You should only encounter the passé simple and the imperfect subjunctive in written French as these are literary tenses.

Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
je saisisse saisirais saisis saisisse
tu saisisses saisirais saisis saisisses
il saisisse saisirait saisit saisît
nous saisissions saisirions saisîmes saisissions
vous saisissiez saisiriez saisîtes saisissiez
ils saisissent saisiraient saisirent saisissent

The imperative is used most often in exclamations and short, direct statements. This is the one time when the subject pronoun is not required, so you can shorten tu saisis to saisis.

Imperative
(tu) saisis
(nous) saisissons
(vous) saisissez