What is a verb?

Verbs are action words.  You need verbs to tell what is happening at a given time, to describe feelings, or to talk about a state of being.  You can’t form a complete sentence without a verb!

The verb infinitive is the “to form” of the verb.  In French the “to” is built into the verb infinitive, for example “chanter” (to sing) or “dormir” (to sleep).  This is the form you would find in the dictionary.

Sometimes you want to use the verb infinitive in a sentence:  “I like to talk. / J’aime parler.”  But if you look more closely, you are also using a conjugated verb (like/aime) in this sentence, too.  When you conjugate a verb, you are changing it to match the subject.

In English, we only have two present tense conjugations of most verbs.  We use one form for I, you, we, and they, and a second form for he and she.  In French there are up to SIX different forms! 

Take a look at this example:

I dance, you dance, he dances, she dances, we dance, you all dance, they dance


Je danse, tu danses, il danse, elle danse, nous dansons, vous dansez, ils dansent, elles dansent

Oh là là!


This tutorial will help you learn how to use French verbs in the present tense.  A solid foundation with the present tense will help you be successful as you add to your French knowledge!