How to Conjugate "Trouver" (to Find) in French

A Quick Lesson in Essential Verb Conjugations for "Trouver"

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In French, the verb trouver means "to find." This is a little easier to remember if you think of "finding" a treasure "trove." Beyond that, you'll also need to memorize the verb's conjugations in order to say things like the present tense "finding" and the past tense "found." A quick lesson will introduce you to the essential conjugations of trouver you'll need.

The Basic Conjugations of Trouver

Verb conjugations in French are a little trickier than they are in English. Where we use -ing and -ed endings to indicate the present and past tenses, French uses a new ending for each subject pronoun within each tense. That means you have more words to memorize.

The good news for French students is that trouver is a regular -er verb. It follows the most common conjugation patterns found in the French language, so the endings you learn here can also be applied to a number of other verbs.

We'll begin the lesson with the indicative mood, which includes the basic present, future, and imperfect past tenses. Once you know that the verb's radical (or stem) is trouv-, you can apply the appropriate ending.

The chart will help you study these words. Simply pair the subject pronoun with the proper tense for your sentence. For example, "I am finding" is je trouve and "we found" is nous trouvions. Practicing these in context will speed up your memorization and there are many common expressions with trouver that can help you out.

Present Future Imperfect
je trouve trouverai trouvais
tu trouves trouveras trouvais
il trouve trouvera trouvait
nous trouvons trouverons trouvions
vous trouvez trouverez trouviez
ils trouvent trouveront trouvaient

The Present Participle of Trouver

For regular verbs, adding -ant to the verb stem forms the present participle. For trouver, that creates the word trouvant.

Trouver in the Compound Past Tense

Beyond the imperfect, you can also use the compound past tense known as the passé composé. This requires a simple construction using the auxiliary verb avoir and the past participle trouvé.

The only conjugation you need to worry about here is for avoir. You'll use the present tense that matches the subject, then attach the past participle. For example, "I found" is j'ai trouvé and "we found" is nous avons trouvé.

More Simple Conjugations of Trouver

Among the other simple conjugations you'll want to study for trouver are the subjunctive and the conditional. They both have some degree of uncertainty in the act of finding, with the conditional implying that it's dependent on something else happening.

There may also be times when you'll encounter or use the passé simple or imperfect subjunctive. However, all of the other forms should be your top priority as these are only used on occasion.

Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
je trouve trouverais trouvai trouvasse
tu trouves trouverais trouvas trouvasses
il trouve trouverait trouva trouvât
nous trouvions trouverions trouvâmes trouvassions
vous trouviez trouveriez trouvâtes trouvassiez
ils trouvent trouveraient trouvèrent trouvassent

The imperative form is the only one that doesn't require the subject pronoun. It's used in short sentences and instead of tu trouve, you can simplify it to trouve.

(tu) trouve
(nous) trouvons
(vous) trouvez
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Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate "Trouver" (to Find) in French." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). How to Conjugate "Trouver" (to Find) in French. Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate "Trouver" (to Find) in French." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 31, 2023).