How to Conjugate Verbs in French

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French verbs have the reputation to be hard to learn, even to the French speaking people. It is true. However, there is a way to ease into mastering it: learning the grammar rules step by step as easy units instead of attacking the complicated ensemble from the get go. Here is MOLKOÏ’s take on it.

A verb can take different forms as it agrees in:

Number il sert
ils servent
Person je sers
il sert
Mode je sers
je servirai
Tense je sers
je servais
Voice il sert
il est servi


This is what we call conjugation.

  • When used in the “passé composé” form, verbs agree in gender.

e.g. Le garçon est revenu. La fille est revenue.

  • Verbs are used to express an action (to walk) or a state (to become) at a given time, with indications on the length, the way it is done, etc.

e.g. Elle est en train de travailler (the present action is going to last long).

       Elle se met à travailler (the present action has just started).

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