How to Conjugate the French Verb "Voyager" (to Travel)

A French Lesson in a Simple Verb Conjugation

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In French, the verb voyager means "to travel." This is easy to remember if you associate traveling with a voyage. When you want to say things such as "I traveled" or "we are traveling" in French, the verb needs to be conjugated. A short lesson will introduce you to the most basic conjugations of voyager.

The Basic Conjugations of Voyager

Some French verb conjugations are easier than others and voyager falls in the middle.

It follows the rules of all verbs that end in -ger and is classified as a spelling change verb.

As you study these conjugations, you'll notice that the e after the g is retained in many places where it would be dropped in others, such as the regular -er verbs. This is because the e is vital to retaining the soft g sound when the infinitive ending begins with an or o. Without that e, the would sound like it does in the word gold and that is not a proper pronunciation.

Other than that small change in some of the forms, you'll find that conjugating voyager is rather standard. Begin by committing the basic present, future, and imperfect past tenses to memory as these will be the most useful forms you'll need.

Using the chart, pair the subject pronoun with the appropriate tense for your subject. For instance, "I am traveling" is je voyage and "we will travel" is nous voyagerons.

 Present Future Imperfect

The Present Participle of Voyager

Once again, the e remains attached to the verb stem when forming voyager's present participle. The ending -ant is added to create the word voyageant.

Voyager in the Compound Past Tense

You also have the option of using the French compound past tense, known as the passé composé.

It can be easier than memorizing all those imperfect forms, though you will need the auxiliary verb avoir and the past participle voyagé.

For this construction, you only need to conjugate avoir in the present tense to fit the subject pronoun. The past participle remains the same no matter the subject and implies that the action happened in the past. For example, "I traveled" is j'ai voyagé and "we traveled" is nous avons voyagé.

More Simple Conjugations of Voyager

While the conjugations above should be every French student's first priority, there are a few more simple conjugations you might need as well. For example, when you want to imply that the action of traveling is uncertain, use the subjunctive. If, however, someone's travels are dependent on something else, you'll use the conditional.

There may also be times when you encounter the passé simple or the imperfect subjunctive. These are most often found in more formal French but are good to know.

 SubjunctiveConditionalPassé SimpleImperfect Subjunctive

Should you find yourself wanting to use voyager in direct commands or short requests, the imperative is useful. This is also easier because there's no need to include the subject pronoun: simplify tu voyage to voyage.

(nous) voyageons
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ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate the French Verb "Voyager" (to Travel)." ThoughtCo, Feb. 26, 2018, ThoughtCo. (2018, February 26). How to Conjugate the French Verb "Voyager" (to Travel). Retrieved from ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate the French Verb "Voyager" (to Travel)." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 17, 2018).