Conjugating the Irregular French Verb 'Vivre' ('to Live')

'Vivre' is very irregular, so to learn it you have to memorize it

French Vivre conjugation

Vivre is a highly irregular French -re verb with a conjugation that doesn't follow any pattern. French irregular verbs with infinitives ending in -re fall into five groups that display some patterns: those conjugated like prendre, battre, mettre and rompre, and those ending in -craindre, -peindre and -oindre. 

'Vivre' Is Very Irregular

Vivre doesn't fit into any of those categories. Instead, it is lumped together with -re verbs whose conjugations are so unusual or unwieldy that you have to memorize each one separately.

Try working on one verb a day until you've mastered them all: absoudre, boire, clore, conclure, conduire, confire, connaître, coudre, croire, dire, écrire, faire, inscrire, lire, moudre, naître, plaire, rire, suivre and vivre.

Verbs that end in -vivre, such as revivre and survivre are conjugated the same as vivre.

Note that the table below shows only simple conjugations. Compound conjugations, which include a form of the auxiliary verb avoir and the past participle, are not included.

'Vivre': Use and Expressions

Vivre vieux > to live to a ripe old age

Elle a vécu jusqu'à 95 ans. > She lived to 95.

Il ne lui reste plus longtemps à vivre. > He hasn't got much time left to live.

avoir vécu > to have had one's day

On ne vit plus. > This isn't a life. / This isn't what you call living.

Ils vécurent heureux et eurent beaucoup d'enfants. / And they lived happily ever after.

vivre avec quelqu'un > to live / reside with someone

être facile à vivre > to be easygoing / to be easy to live with or get along with

vivre aux crochets de quelqu'un > to sponge off someone

vivre d'amour et d'eau fraîche > to live on love alone

vivre des temps difficiles > to live through / experience difficult times

Elle a mal vécu mon départ. > She couldn't cope well after I left.

Il faut vivre l'instant présent. > We should live for the moment.

Simple Conjugations of the Irregular French '-er' Verb 'Vivre'

 Present Future Imperfect Present participle
ilvitvivravivaitPassé composé
nousvivonsvivronsvivions   Auxiliary verb avoir
vousvivezvivrezviviez   Past participlevécu
 Subjunctive Conditional Passé simple Imperfect subjunctive

(nous) vivons 
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ThoughtCo. "Conjugating the Irregular French Verb 'Vivre' ('to Live')." ThoughtCo, Feb. 26, 2018, ThoughtCo. (2018, February 26). Conjugating the Irregular French Verb 'Vivre' ('to Live'). Retrieved from ThoughtCo. "Conjugating the Irregular French Verb 'Vivre' ('to Live')." ThoughtCo. (accessed April 20, 2018).