Tenses and modes – What’s up with that?
French verbs are rarely used in their infinitive form – to be, to have… They are conjugated according to the subject in the sentence, often a pronoun – I, it, they, the cats… – the mode – indicative, conditional – and the tense – present, past, future.
In most French grammar, you’ll notice that French verbs are separated into 3 groups. That helps a bit in terms of conjugation pattern.
What are the French subject pronouns?
A subject is a person, an animal or a thing who is doing the action in the sentence. Often, they are used as a pronoun.
What is a mode anyway?
A mode (or mood) tells us about the point of view of the speaker. There are six modes.
And what’s a tense?
There are three tenses which are pretty straight forward. Present, past and future.
What group is my French verb in ?
A group is a way to categorize French verbs. There are 3 verb groups in French.
This course on French verbs is a work in progress – it’s on sale now (the course will remain yours even when the sale price expires) and let me know what you think, what you’d like to see here in the course to make progress in French.
single payment of $
Difficulty: All - DELF.A.B + DALF.C
Personal Pronouns - The Subject1 of 2
Les pronoms personnels - Sujets A personal pronoun is a word that replaces a noun describing a person, an animal or a thing in a sentence. A subject personal pronoun is a personal pronoun who is doing the action in…
Quiz - Personal pronouns2 of 2
Assess your understanding of French personal pronouns by taking this quiz.
Modes and Tenses
French verb modes1 of 7
What is a mode? A mode - or a mood - reflects the way the speaker or the writer presents the sentence: sometimes the sentence is a simple statement, sometimes there is a condition or sometimes, the speaker a command.…
French verb modes - Quiz2 of 7
Quiz - French verb modes Quel est l'un des 6 modes dans la phrase ? Choisissez la bonne réponse pour le verbe en majuscule. -- What's the mode used out of the French 6 verb modes? Pick the right answer…
Tenses and modes used often4 of 7
11.pluperfect – plus-que-parfait The pluperfect is used when an action occurs before another past action. I had spoken French with FRENCH HOUR. -- j’avais parlé français avec FRENCH HOUR. 12.future perfect / past future – futur antérieur The future perfect…
Less common tenses and modes5 of 7
18.literary pluperfect – passé antérieur The literary pluperfect is used as the literary equivalent of the pluperfect. I had spoken French with FRENCH HOUR. – j’eus parlé français avec FRENCH HOUR. 19.past subjunctive – subjonctif passé The past subjunctive is…
Less less common tense and mode6 of 7
24.frequentative verbal forms - les temps surcomposés: tenses twice conjugated that have a helping verb – often ‘avoir’ – with a compound tenses. Les temps surcomposés with être almost don’t exist. They are said to be used in all tenses…
200 French Verbs7 of 7
Les élèves d'IPF se reposent à la ferme . I’m not sure exactly how many French verbs there are in French. I’d say there are thousands of them. In any case, there are about 500 irregular verbs. However, some of…
Infinitive mode1 of 3
What is the infinitive mode in French? How and when is it used? The French infinitive form of a verb is actually a mode. An infinitive verb is not conjugated, it has no personal pronoun. Present infinitive mode – L’infinitif…
Subjunctive Forms1 of 5
Il faut que j'aille au supermarché. Regular verbs It's pretty easy to conjugate a verb in the subjunctive form. Just remember all the steps. If you're new at it, make sure you drill yourself. First, you take the 3rd Person…
Practice Subjunctive Forms2 of 5
To practice your knowledge of the present subjunctive in a sentence, pick a language and translate into the other language. French to English is easier than English to French. Français English Il faut que j’aie ta réponse demain. Je ne…
When to use the subjunctive3 of 5
The subjunctive mode is used a lot in French, unlike in English. It’s pretty straight forward to conjugate, a bit iffier to use. The use of the subjunctive goes all over the place in French. Sorry to open up with…
Practice - Subjunctive or indicative?5 of 5
Using the subjunctive is tricky. Sometimes, the same verb triggers the subjunctive mode or not, depending if it’s affirmative, negative or a question. For instance, « il croit que » doesn’t trigger the subjunctive, but « il ne croit pas que » and « Croit-il…