How to Conjugate the Irregular French Verb 'Servir' ('to Serve')

'Servir' is an irregular verb conjugated like other verbs ending in '-vir'

waiter pouring wine for men at restaurant
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Servir ("to serve," "to be useful") is an irregular French -ir verb. Below are the simple conjugations of the verb servir; they do not include the compound tenses, which consist of a form of the auxiliary verb with the past participle.

Within irregular -ir verb conjugations, there are some patterns. Two groups exhibit similar characteristics and conjugation patterns. Then there is a final, large category of extremely irregular -ir verbs that follow no pattern.

'Servir' is an Irregular '-ir- Verb

Servir lies in the first group of irregular -ir verbs that display a pattern. It includes dormir, mentir, partir, sentir, servir, sortir, and all of their derivatives, such as repartir. All of these verbs share this characteristic: They all drop the last letter of the stem in the singular conjugations. For instance, first person singular of servir is je sers (no v) and first person plural is nous servons (retains the from the stem). The more you recognize these patterns, the easier it will be to remember conjugations.

'Servir is Conjugated Like French Verbs Ending in '-mir,' '-tir,' '-vir' 

Generally speaking, most French verbs ending in -mir, -tir, or -vir are conjugated this way. Such verbs include:

Expressions and Usage

  • C'est difficile de se faire servir ici. /  It's difficult to get served here.
  • Sers le café. > Pour the coffee.
  • Puis-je te servir du poulet ? > Can I serve you some chicken ?
  • Le dîner est servi ! > Dinner is ready / served !
  • Sers-moi à boire. > Give / pour me a drink.
  • Ils nous servent toujours les mêmes histoires aux informations. > They always dish out the same old stories on the news
  • Servir la patrie / une cause > to serve country/ a cause
  • On n'est jamais si bien servi que par soi-même. (proverb) > If you want something done right, do it yourself.
  • Servir les intérêts d'une dette > to service a debt
  • servir la messe > to say / hold mass
  • Il a servi, ce manteau. > I got a lot of use out of this coat !
  • Ça n'a jamais servi. >  It's never been used
  • À toi de servir. (tennis) > Your serve.
  • servir à > to be used for
  • Ça ne sert à rien de lui en parler. > It's useless to talk to him / It's no use talking to him about it.
  • Crier ne sert à rien. > There's no point in shouting.
  • servir de > to act as, to be
  • Je lui ai servi d'interprète. > I acted as his interpreter.
  • se servir [pronominal reflexive] > to help oneself
  • Servez-vous de / en légumes. > Help yourself to vegetables.
  • Je me suis servi un verre de lait. > I poured myself a glass of milk.
  • se servir [pronominal passive] > to be served
  • Le vin rouge se sert chambré. > Red wine should be served at room temperature.
  • se servir de quelque chose > to use something
  • Il ne peut plus se servir de son bras droit. > He can't use his right arm anymore.
  • C'est une arme dont on ne se sert plus. > It's a weapon that is no longer used / in use.
  • se servir de quelque chose comme > to use something as
  • se servir de quelqu'un > to make use of / to use somebody

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

 Present Future Imperfect Present participle
ilsertserviraservaitPassé composé
nousservonsservironsservions   Auxiliary verb avoir
vousservezservirezserviez   Past participleservi
 Subjunctive Conditional Passé simple Imperfect subjunctive
(nous) servons 
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Your Citation
Lawless, Laura K. "How to Conjugate the Irregular French Verb 'Servir' ('to Serve')." ThoughtCo, Jul. 31, 2017, Lawless, Laura K. (2017, July 31). How to Conjugate the Irregular French Verb 'Servir' ('to Serve'). Retrieved from Lawless, Laura K. "How to Conjugate the Irregular French Verb 'Servir' ('to Serve')." ThoughtCo. (accessed October 19, 2017).