Lesson Transcript

Hey, guys! Welcome back for more videos on French learning. It's Pierre from France and today's video will be about verb endings and especially -er and -ir. I think those ones are the most common one and we'll explain all in details how you can detect the words and the groups of these endings. So without further ado, let's get started.
You know in French, there are three groups; first group, second group and third group. The first group is E-R, always E-R, only verbs with this ending or in this group, -er. The second group is only for -ir, I-R, but the problem is, the third group is for many different kind of verbs, but also for I-R. So this is kind of annoying because these here, the third group is known to be full of a lot of exceptions and those with I-R, you have a lot of exceptions. So we will explain how you can try to recognize verbs from the second group and from the third group even if there is just the I-R. Also, I will explain how you can use E-R verbs because there is only one exception. The verb aller which is also a third group like the exception group. So all the verbs with E-R are in the first group except aller and all the verb with E-R are from the second group or from the third group. You can say half is in the second group and the other half is in the third group.
So let's start with the first group E-R. Here, you've got some example, to speak “parler”, to eat “manger”, to walk “marcher”. So as you can see here, you have always E-R and you’ve got what we call a stem. All verbs from the first group are made of a stem and the ending which is always E-R and then you've got, if you add the stem and the ending, you've got the infinitive form of the verb. It's like when you say to speak in in English, like in the dictionary, you can find verbs with this form, parler. So this is all you have to remember. You have to know how to detect the stem and the ending and then for the most common tenses, it's quite easy so I'm going to explain just for the four more common tenses for the verbs. I'm not going to explain all the conjugation because it's not really important and it's not the purpose of this lesson. If you want to know the conjugation, you need to learn by yourself and I'm going to just repeat again the different endings for the conjugation. But what you have to remember is for présent which is “present”, you need to use the stem so here and then you had the ending of the conjugation. So here, E, you've got all the ending for all the verbs of the first group. If you know them, you can use the correct form for every verb at the present like every verb for the first group. So here, présent, you take parl. If you want to use the verb parler, you take parl and then you add the correct conjugation. So here for example if you want to say je parle “I talk / I speak”, you can use the first one, je, you take parl and then you add E and you've got parle.
So this is really easy and it's the same for the imparfait which is a bit like preterite , but the usage is a bit different, but anyway, we can say, roughly speaking that it's like the preterite. So here, imparfait, you take the stem again and you add the conjugation which is this time this list. If you know this list, you can get the correct form for every verbs.
Same for the future, but except that here, you don't add the stem, you add the infinitive so it's like the stem plus the ending. So for manger for example, you just take manger and then you add the correct ending. So if you want to say, you eat, but you want to use future so you want to say, you will eat, so you take manger, infinitive and then you add the correct ending. So I said tu “you” so I take the second one and then mangeras, manger...as, mangeras, tu mangeras. So here, you've got the correct form.
So just a quick summing up, this is je, tu, il, nous, vous, ils, like I, you, he or she, we, you like plural you and then ils or elles which is like they like plural.
Then you've got the last form which is like what we call participe which is used when you want to use something close to the past perfect in English. So here, you just take the stem. So here parl and you add É with an accent and it's the same for all verbs from this group. So you've got parlé. The participe, it’s like you use two verbs. You first use the verbs you want to express so like manger and then you add before the auxiliary and then all you need to change depending on if you use I or you or they, it's the auxiliary and this never change. That's why there is only one ending, -é, so here if I want to say, he ate like past, I would say - il a mangé. So here, a is the verb avoir “to have” like auxiliary in French and then mangé and this is just this participe, this form.
So here, I'm going to show you some examples. If I want to say je parlais, here, try to guess what is the tense and the correct termism like the correct ending. So here, you can try, for those three verbs and then I will give the answer. Okay, did you try? Okay. So here, parl, as you can see, it's the stem. So it's probably présent or imparfait. Here, you see A-I-S and you see here, A-I-S so this is imparfait. So because it's je like first column here, -e, so je parlais, you know that it’s imparfait, the stem plus the ending A-I-S. So here, it's quite easy.
Same for the next one, manger. Here, it’s not the stem, but it's the infinitive. So it's probably future like it can only be future. So you've got the infinitive and then you've got the conjugation to find. It's nous so you take the fourth column so here, ons, and you see that ons, it’s here so it’s future. So here, it's we...will eat, we will eat and for this one, was, I was speaking or I spoke depending on the sentence.
Then here, ils marchaient. Here, you've got the stem march and here, you've got the the ending here. Here, you've got the stem, it's the verb marcher without the ending, marcher so “to walk” and then it’s future, the plural sorry. Here, as you can see, it's imperfect so you've got ils marchaient “they were walking / they walked”. So it's quite easy for the first group and remember, it's like that for every verb that ends with E-R, really easy, and many, many verbs like most of the French verbs are with E-R at the end so it's super easy. If you can remember that, you will know how to to find the correct form for every verbs.
Let's now move on to the next one, the second group with a large part of I-R verbs, -ir. So here, the logic is really similar to the logic from this group. Here are some examples. “To end” finir, “to choose” choisir, and “to whiten” blanchir. Many verbs like first hint to get to manage to know if it's a second or third group. You've got a lot of verbs in English. When you can add -en at the end, it means like you want something to get a new state. So here whiten, it's like you want something to get white and you can do the same in French. So here you've got the adjective white in English and you add E-N and you've got the verb like to get white. It’s the same with harden, to harden like to get hard and you can do the same in French. So here, the translation for white, blanch without the E, it's an adjective, and the E-N in French. This ending is I-R so you've got here like you want to make something white. When you've got verbs like that, if you recognize an adjective and then the I-R, it's almost 100% sure that it’s second group. So remember that. It implies a new state like you've got a new state like you want to make something different like based on an adjective like you want to make it white or black or hard or something like that, it's probably like 100% sure that it's -ir like second group. So remember that.
For example, harden, to harden, in French, you will say durcir and as you can see here, you can see hard in French which is dur and then you see I-R, there is this C but it's not what is important. As you can see here, you see the adjective and here, you see the I-R so you know it's a second group. So remember that.
But then you've got also classic verbs like finir “to end” or choisir “to choose” that are second group and there is no specific rule. But this is a good hint if you don't know the verbs.
So as I said, it's quite similar to the first group. You've got the stem, the ending which is this time, I-R and then the infinitive form which is the addition of the stem and the ending. So here, you got fin, -ir, finir “to end”. Then it's exactly the same here that's why you can see like here, it's like for the two groups. If you know the ending associated to the second group, you know how to make the verb. You need to use the stem here. You need to remember just this one and then you add the correct form.
So here for the present, the endings are a bit different than for the first group, but if you remember just those six endings, you're good with all the second group for the present. So here it's is/is/it/issons/issez/issent. So here, you just remember that and you can do it. For example, if I want to say, choisir, je choisir “I choose”, here, you take the stem so here. The stem of here, you get rid of the ending so it's chois with the S and you add this so you've got choisis, really easy.
Same for the imparfait which is this time a bit easier. As you can see here, it's the same ending for the first group. So you just remember the same endings and you're good. What you have to do is just before this ending, add I-S-S and you've got the form. You know how to do it for the imparfait. So here, you take fin like if you want to say nous like I ended. So here, you take “to end” finir, you get rid of this, so we've got fin, you add I-S-S, so you've got finiss and then you add, as I said I, so you add here, A-I-S, so we've got je finissais “I ended”, je finissais, quite easy.
For the future, it's even more easy, same ending here and you've got infinitive so you take this, stem + ending, you've got finir and you've got all you need to do with the future. So here, if I want to say, je, let’s choose a verb, choisir “I will choose” so je choisirai, chois… Here, you take the stem and the ending so you take all the verb, infinitive, choisir and you add here so -ai, choisirai so you just say, je choisirai, quite easy.
For the participe, you just use the -é at the end so you take the stem and you add the -é. So here, in a certain way, you just get rid of the R for this one.
So let’s check those examples. Nous finissons. Vous choisissiez. Elles ont feni. Try to translate that into English to see which tense is used and which ending. Did you find it? Okay. So here, nous finissons. As you can see here, you've got the stem and as you can see, I-S-S but maybe it's imparfait, but here you can see that you've got also two endings that are with I-S-S so you need to be careful with that so you check here and you see that this and this, it's similar so its présent, nous finissons “we finished.” Nous finissons, like finish or end; we end, nous finissons.
Then the next one, vous choisissiez. So here, you can see again…. the stem and again I-S-S, but here, if you check here, it's none of those so it's probably imparfait, I-S-S and then you check for this, I-E-Z and you see here, it's is I-E-Z so it's like you, we're choosing or like you chose like the past form of choisir “to choose”. So here, it’s the plural you in French. So it's a past tense like imparfait.
Then this one, elles ont feni, quite easy because here, you’ve got the verb avoir “to have” so it’s definitely participe because this is present and then you see here, there is nothing difficult like the stem + I.
So it's really easy for the second group. You remember that for the second group and if you know the first group, the rules are really similar and quite easy, but the thing is, a lot of verbs with I-R at the end are from the third group and the rules are way different.
So far, we've seen that you need to remember the stem, but it's not something that you really need to remember because the stem is inside of the verb like the infinitive form, parl, fin. So this is the case for first and second group. But for the third group, it's like the group of all exceptions and you don't have one stem. Usually, you cannot guess the stem only based on the infinitive. So here, venir or tenir “to hold” or “to come”. The stem is not like this or this. They are one of the stems of the verb, but it's not the only one. So for this third group, you need to remember all the stems and it will change depending on the présent , imparfait, futur, but also if it's plural or singular. This is kind of messy so this you need to learn by heart.
So I'm not going to explain all the usage of all the stems, but I'm going to show you some big groups of verbs with I-R and the stems associated to those groups. So first one is venir, all verbs with E-N-I-R, venir, tenir. Those two verbs are the most common one from this category. So here, you've got four stems. The first one is this one, vien, then you've got ven, then you've got vienn and then you’ve got or viendr or viendr. You say it viendr. So here, the usage will depend on many things. So first, let's start with the easiest one, this one, viendr. In French, the mark of the future is the letter R. This letter has a kind of meaning of the future. As you can see here, for the future form, you always have the R because you take the infinitive. So this R is like future, same here, finir, infinitive so you use the R. This is the case also for verbs from this third group.
So here, you've got viendr so you can see that on this stem, there is the R. Since there is no R in venir except the final R and you see here it's a new form, but with the R, you can say, okay this is the stem for the future. Third group verbs are annoying but one thing that is cool is there is always only one stem for the future and sometimes it's close to the infinitive, but here, you see that it’s viendr. So this is the future and those ones, you need to learn. If you remember the three ones and then you learn, you see some tables of all the different forms of venir or tenir or all those verbs in -enir, you can use all the verbs, all the different verbs. So this is future and then this is the rest. You need to remember them. I'm not going to explain it because it would be too long to explain, but what you need to remember is that you've got those three different stems.
So next one is verbs with -tir, partir, but it's also the same logic for the verb dormir, just dormir “to sleep”. Partir is “to leave”. So here, you've got only two stems, one is you get rid of the ending I-R and one, you get rid of the T as well, so here and here. It's quite easy and then you learn by heart. You can use the same logic for everything. So then you need to learn. I'm not going to explain again, you just remember that verbs with -tir are not always from the third group but if they are from this third group, it's always the same logic, only two different stems so quite easy. Then you've got verbs with -frir and -vrir, -vrir, -frir, like “to open” ouvrir, “to offer” offrir. So here, ouvr or ouv, two stems, you need to remember those stems and then you need to know how to conjugate the verbs, but always two stems. One is you get rid of this and one is you get rid of the R as well. So you remember those stems and then you check the correct endings and you know how to do it. Those verbs are always from the third group so here, -vrir / -frir, it's always from the third group.
Then you've got -ourir like courir “to run”. Two stems again; one is you just get rid of the I-R and the other one is you add an R and, as you can see, there is an additional R here which means it's like here, future. This is only for the future, you've got two R. So you remember the stems and then if you remember the endings based on the different conjugations like it’s not those ones, it's different, but if you remember them, you can do it. You can conjugate this verb. But be careful with mourir which is a bit different. The logic is a bit different. It's not like our, it's quite similar except that you've got also one additional stem which is meur like it's mainly for the present. It's only for the present. So here, be careful with mourir which is a bit different but otherwise, all the verbs, the conjugation of one verb from this group, it's perfect, you know how to do it.
You've got also two other groups which are verbs with -quérir and verbs with -llir like cueillir “to pick” like when you pick flowers, cueillir so be careful. Those ones are really complicated so I would advise you to check the conjugation and if you know the conjugation of one verb with this, you know how to conjugate all the verbs with this ending, but be careful, those ones are always from the third group.
So we've seen that you've got one, two, three, four, five six, six different categories of verbs. If you see this category, there is a high chance that this verb is from the third group. It's the case for everything except for -tir where some of them are not from the third group, but some of them are from the second group. But remember if you see this rule like to get something harder, to get something white, you can guess if it's from the third group or the second group, but it's not always the case. So if you remember just one way to conjugate the form for each group, you know how to do it for all the verbs from the groups. Don't try really to remember the stems. It's not that important. Just try to remember that there is a similar logic when you use it.
To end this, I would like to talk quickly about aller. Aller has three stems; v, all and ir. So here, you see all the conjugation of the verbs quickly, like, je vais, tu vas, il va, nous allons, vous allez, ils vont. Present, future. It's like you just use this and you add this, only this, not that, but here, and then you've got here again, I-R, -ir, you add the future conjugation and you're good. Then here for the first group, participe with the accent. So it was really fast for aller, but what you need to remember is we've got three groups; all verbs with E-R are from the first group, except aller which is kind of different, you need to remember. Verbs with I-R are either from the second group or from the third group. If it's from the third group, there is a high chance that the ending is one of those endings. It's 100% sure for these these, these, these, these endings. Those endings, it's always third group except this one like sometimes it's a third group, sometimes it’s a second group, but if it's a third group, it's always the same logic. So you remember those categories and you can try to guess if it’s a third group or not and if it's a third group, you just need to remember the conjugation of one verb from this group, this subcategory and you know how to do it for all the other ones. Don't focus too much on the stems.
So that's all for this lesson about verb endings. I know it's really complicated. I didn't put all the conjugations. You need to learn by yourself, the conjugations. I cannot just establish a list of everything, but here, you've got a good overview of the divisions of the verbs in French. So it was only for E-R and I-R, but next time, we will see more endings. I guess that's all for today. Bye! See you next time.

6 Comments

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FrenchPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Please let us know if you have any questions.

FrenchPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:27 PM
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Bonjour Tish, Isaac et Linda,

Thank you all for your comments! The third group is comprised of irregular verbs only, which is why it can be quite difficult to explain, and to understand. Basically, although all of these verbs belong to the same group, they were kind of put there because they don't fit in the 1st and 2nd group, and don't follow any logical rule.

To be a bit clearer, while 1st and 2nd group verbs are conjugated following a pattern, 3rd group verbs are unique, which means that you're going to have to learn each irregular form to be able to conjugate them. Hope this helps!


Bonjour Lonh,

You won't find a lesson about gender of French words on here, as gender is random in French and doesn't obey to any grammatical rule. While there are some tips that can help you guess the gender of certain words, these don't work 100% of the time which is why we abstain from talking about them.


Bonne journée,

Marion

Team FrenchPod101

Lonh Panhaboth
Sunday at 01:36 AM
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Hello teacher, I used to see the lesson about gender of French Words in youtube, but I do not see it in this official website, so can you reveal the ways to find that video.

LINDA L RAYMOND
Monday at 01:17 PM
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Merci.

I understood groups 1 and 2, but the 3rd group was a little confusing.

The verb "to come" = venir. You come here. "Tu viens ici." I didn't see a "s" ending when the subject pronoun is "You" in the present tense. It's not making sense.

My problem is over analyzing the language. I know when the word is spoken. . . it sounds the same.

Isaac
Thursday at 07:27 AM
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You lost entirely the control of the session when you started to explain the verbs in group 3.

Tish
Monday at 04:15 AM
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Are there any tips and tricks for learning the verbs in group 3?