Learn the Simple Conjugations for "Sourire" (to Smile)

A French Verb Conjugation That May Have You Smiling

Smiling Woman
Michael Rowe/Getty Images

Sourire is a great French verb because it means "to smile." When you want to say the past tense "she smiled" or the present tense "we are smiling," the verb will need to be conjugated. In order to do this, you'll need to memorize quite a few words and this lesson will introduce you to the essentials you'll need.

The Basic Conjugations of Sourire

Some French verbs are easier to conjugate than others.

Unfortunately, sourire is not one of the easy ones. That's because it's an irregular verb and it does not follow any common rules. However, a verb such as rire (to laugh) does share the same endings. If you study smiling and laughing at the same time, both will be just that much easier to remember. Who knows, you might even have a little fun!

The first step in any French verb conjugation is to identify the verb stem (or radical). In this case, that is sour-. With that, you can use the table to find the correct ending to use. Simply find the subject pronoun needed and choose either the present, future, or imperfect past tense. For example, "I am smiling" is je souris and "we smiled" is nous souriions.

 PresentFutureImperfect
jesourissouriraisouriais
tusourissourirassouriais
ilsouritsourirasouriait
noussourionssourironssouriions
voussouriezsourirezsouriiez
ilssourientsourirontsouriaient

The Present Participle of Sourire

Beyond the verb usage, the present participle of sourire can be used as an adjective or noun.

It's easy to form as well. Simply add - iant to the radical and you have souriant

Sourire in the Compound Past Tense

The passé composé is a compound past tense and it's used frequently in French. In order to construct it, you will conjugate avoir into the present tense and follow it with the past participle souri.

That gives you j'ai souri for "I smiled" and nous avons souri for "we smiled."

More Simple Conjugations of Sourire

If you need to question to the act of smiling, the subjunctive verb mood can be used. When the act is dependent on something, the conditional is useful. The passé simple and imperfect subjunctive are both literary forms, so you'll find those most often in written French.

 SubjunctiveConditionalPassé SimpleImperfect Subjunctive
jesouriesouriraissourissourisse
tusouriessouriraissourissourisses
ilsouriesouriraitsouritsourît
noussouriionssouririonssourîmessourissions
voussouriiezsouririezsourîtessourissiez
ilssourientsouriraientsourirentsourissent

The imperative is the one time when it's acceptable to skip the subject pronoun. It's useful for short sentences, such as commanding someone to "Smile!" 

 Imperative
(tu)souris
(nous) sourions
(vous)souriez
Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Lawless, Laura K. "Learn the Simple Conjugations for "Sourire" (to Smile)." ThoughtCo, Nov. 18, 2017, thoughtco.com/sourire-to-smile-1370915. Lawless, Laura K. (2017, November 18). Learn the Simple Conjugations for "Sourire" (to Smile). Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/sourire-to-smile-1370915 Lawless, Laura K. "Learn the Simple Conjugations for "Sourire" (to Smile)." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/sourire-to-smile-1370915 (accessed January 23, 2018).