Learn Simple Conjugates of "Souhaiter" (to Wish)

A Simple French Verb Conjugation Lesson

Make a wish
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The French verb souhaiter means "to wish." There's no really good association or memory trick for an English counterpart, so you'll simply have to remember it's meaning.

Conjugating the verb to mean things such as "she is wishing" or "we wished" is not too difficult. It's a regular verb so French students with some experience in conjugations will find this lesson relatively easy.

The Basic Conjugations of Souhaiter

All French verbs must be conjugated. Unlike English, which offers only a few forms based on the present, past, or future tense, French changes the word for every subject pronoun within each tense. This means you have more memorization work to do, but it does get easier with practice.

Souhaiter is a regular -er verb, so it follows the patterns of the majority of French verbs. Consider studying a few at a time to make each a little easier to memorize. Words like rêver (to dream) and trouver (to find) would be excellent study companions.

With any conjugation, the indicative mood is the easiest and most useful. This includes the basic present, future, and imperfect past tenses which you will use frequently. Begin by finding the verb stem ( souhait-), then study the chart to find the ending that fits the subject and the tense. This gives us things like je souhaite for "I am wishing" and nous souhaitions for "we wished."

Present Future Imperfect
je souhaite souhaiterai souhaitais
tu souhaites souhaiteras souhaitais
il souhaite souhaitera souhaitait
nous souhaitons souhaiterons souhaitions
vous souhaitez souhaiterez souhaitiez
ils souhaitent souhaiteront souhaitaient

The Present Participle of Souhaiter

As with most regular verbs, the present participle is an easy conjugation. Simply add -ant to the radical and you have souhaitant.

Souhaiter in the Compound Past Tense

For the compound past tense (passé composé) in French, you'll need an auxiliary verb. For souhaiter that is avoir, which needs to be conjugated in the present according to the subject. You will then simply add the past participle souhaité to ensure the action's interpreted as having already happened.

It's actually quite easy to form. For example, "I wished" is j'ai souhaité and "we wished" is nous avons souhaité.

More Simple Conjugations of Souhaiter

The subjunctive forms of souhaiter can be used to question whether the act of wishing actually happens. The conditional says that the act is dependent on certain conditions. You should only need the passé simple and the imperfect subjunctive if you read or write in French as these are literary tenses.

Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
je souhaite souhaiterais souhaitai souhaitasse
tu souhaites souhaiterais souhaitas souhaitasses
il souhaite souhaiterait souhaita souhaitât
nous souhaitions souhaiterions souhaitâmes souhaitassions
vous souhaitiez souhaiteriez souhaitâtes souhaitassiez
ils souhaitent souhaiteraient souhaitèrent souhaitassent

The French imperative is used for short statements and there's no need to include the subject pronoun. Simplify tu souhaite to souhaite and you're good to go.


(tu)       souhaite

(nous)  souhaitons

(vous)  souhaitez​

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Team, ThoughtCo. "Learn Simple Conjugates of "Souhaiter" (to Wish)." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, thoughtco.com/souhaiter-to-wish-1370905. Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). Learn Simple Conjugates of "Souhaiter" (to Wish). Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/souhaiter-to-wish-1370905 Team, ThoughtCo. "Learn Simple Conjugates of "Souhaiter" (to Wish)." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/souhaiter-to-wish-1370905 (accessed June 6, 2023).