Learn to Conjugate the French Verb "Tuer" (to Kill)

man standing over body with gun
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When you want to say "killing" or "killed" in French, you'll use the verb tuer. To get it into the present or past tense, however, you will also need to know it's conjugations. A quick lesson will introduce you to the essential forms of tuer that you'll need.

The Basic Conjugations of Tuer

As with all French verb conjugations, you will have quite a few words to memorize for tuer. It is a regular -er verb, though, so if you've studied similar words, you can apply the same endings here.

The key to any conjugation is to begin with the verb stem (or radical). For tuer, this is tu-. From there, simply match the subject pronoun with the tense that's appropriate for your sentence. As an example, je tue means "I am killing" and nous tuerons means "we will kill."

Present Future Imperfect
je tue tuerai tuais
tu tues tueras tuais
il tue tuera tuait
nous tuons tuerons tuions
vous tuez tuerez tuiez
ils tuent tueront tuaient

The Present Participle of Tuer

When you add -ant to the stem of tuer, the present participle is formed. The result is tuant, which can be an adjective or noun as well as a verb.

Tuer in the Compound Past Tense

Another simple conjugation and alternative to the imperfect is the passé composé. This is a compound past tense, but it's relatively easy to construct once you know the rules.

To begin, conjugate the auxiliary verb avoir to the subject's present tense. Then attach the past participle tué, which indicates that something has already been killed. The result is, for example, j'ai tué for "I killed" and nous avons tué for "we killed."

More Simple Conjugations of Tuer

When you're unsure if any killing has happened, you can use the subjunctive of tuer. Yet, if the killing is dependent on certain conditions, you'll use the conditional. The passé simple and the imperfect subjunctive are both literary tenses and you'll find them in formal French writing.

Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
je tue tuerais tuai tuasse
tu tues tuerais tuas tuasses
il tue tuerait tua tuât
nous tuions tuerions tuâmes tuassions
vous tuiez tueriez tuâtes tuassiez
ils tuent tueraient tuèrent tuassent

To use tuer in short, direct commands or requests, the French imperative is used. In this case, the subject pronoun is dropped so tu tue becomes tue.

Imperative
(tu) tue
(nous) tuons
(vous) tuez