Learn How to Conjugate "Sécher" (to Dry)

An Introduction to Conjugations of a Stem-Changing French Verb

Vintage Linens Drying on Drying Rack
Vintage Linens Drying on Drying Rack. Sony Farrell/Photodisc/Getty Images

Meaning "to dry," the French verb sécher will be a good addition to your vocabulary. In order to say "she dried" or "we will dry," however, you will need to study its conjugations. That is the focus of this introductory French lesson.

The Basic Conjugations of Sécher

Sécher is a stem-changing verb and that does throw a wrench into the conjugations. However, it is relatively easy to handle when you know what to look for.

Pay close attention to the indicative mood forms of sécher and you'll notice that sometimes the accented é changes to è. This happens most often in the present tense and the future gives you an option between the two.

Other than that, sécher follows the conjugation rules of any regular -er verb. You can use the same endings you know for words like tomber (to fall) and apply them here. To study these, simply find the conjugation that corresponds to both the subject pronoun and the tense of your sentence. This results in je sèche for "I am drying" and nous séchiez for "we dried."

Present Future Imperfect
je sèche sécherai
tu sèches sécheras
il sèche séchera
nous séchons sécherons
vous séchez sécherez
ils sèchent sécheront

The Present Participle of Sécher

The present participle of sécher does not get the stem change. Instead, you will simply add -ant to the stem to form séchant.

Sécher in the Compound Past Tense

Passé composé is the French compound past tense. This is where you'll use the past participle séché along with the help of an auxiliary verb.

To form it, begin by conjugating avoir into the present tense, then add the past participle. This gives us j'ai séché for "I dried" and nous avons séché for "we dried."

More Simple Conjugations of Sécher

You will need to pay attention to the stem change in these forms of sécher as well, particularly in the subjunctive, which calls the act of drying into question. The conditional gives you the choice between the two forms because it implies that something will only be dried in the future if certain conditions are met.

There is no stem change in either the passé simple or the imperfect subjunctive, both of which are literary tenses.

Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
je sèche sécherais
séchai séchasse
tu sèches sécherais
séchas séchasses
il sèche sécherait
sécha séchât
nous séchions sécherions
séchâmes séchassions
vous séchiez sécheriez
séchâtes séchassiez
ils sèchent sécheraient
séchèrent séchassent

For short sentences, you may use sécher in the imperative. Beyond the stem change in the tu form, you'll also need to remember that the subject pronoun is not required here.


(tu)       sèche​​

(nous)  séchons​​

(vous)  séchez