French 1st group verbs are regular -er verbs.


What’s the present tense of regular -er verbs?


To conjugate these verbs in the present tense, just remove the -er ending and add the following present tense ending:

je          ->      -e

tu         ->      -es

il/elle/on ->  -e

nous     ->     -ons

vous      ->    -ez

ils/elles ->    -ent



Here is the conjugation of the verb chanter in the French present tense with its pronunciation.




List of useful regular -er verbs


Here are some French regular -er verbs you need to know and remember:


aimer = to like, to love

chanter = to sing

chercher = to look for

commander = to order

commencer = to begin

danser = to dance

demander = to ask

détester = to hate

donner = to give

écouter = to listen to

fermer = to close

gagner = to win, to earn

habiter = to live

montrer = to show

oublier = to forget

parler = to speak, to talk

penser = to think

regarder = to watch

rester = to stay, to remain

sembler = to seem

tomber = to fall

travailler = to work

trouver = to find



Special features of some French -er verbs


Although the endings are always perfectly regular, the radical of -er verbs can undergo many variations. Here is a list of these peculiarities:


♦ For verbs ending in -yer, the y in the radical turns into an i when it’s followed by an e.


envoyer => j’envoie / tu envoies / il envoie / elle envoie / on envoie / nous envoyons / vous envoyez / ils envoient / elles envoient

However, you have the choice for -ayer verbs.

payer => je paye / tu payes / il paye

or => je paie / tu paies / il paie


♦Verbs ending in -eler and -eter double their l and t to keep the sound è except with nous and vous.


jeter (= to throw) => je jette / tu jettes / il jette / elle jette / on jette / nous jetons / vous jetez / ils jettent / elles jettent

appeler (=to call) => j’appelle / tu appelles / il appelle / elle appelle / on appelle / nous appelons / vous appelez / ils appellent / elles appellent

However, some verbs like acheter and geler don’t double their t and l and have a grave accent instead.

acheter (=to buy) => j’achète / tu achètes / il achète / elle achète / on achète / nous achetons / vous achetez / ils achètent / elles achètent

geler (=to freeze) => je gèle / tu gèles / il gèle / elle gèle / on gèle / nous gelons / vous gelez / ils gèlent / elles gèlent


♦Verbs ending in -ecer, -emer, -ener, -eper, -erer, -eser, -ever and -evrer get a grave accent to keep the sound è except with nous and vous.


amener (=to bring) => j’amène / tu amènes / il amène / elle amène / on amène / nous amenons / vous amenez / ils amènent / elles amènent


♦Verbs ending in -ébrer, -écer, -écher, -écrer, -éder, -égler, -égner, -égrer, -éguer, -éler, -émer, -éner, -équer, -érer, -éser, -éter, -étrer, -évrer or -éyer change their é into è except with nous and vous.


espérer (=to hope) => j’espère / tu espères / il espère / elle espère / on espère / nous espérons / vous espérez / ils espèrent / elles espèrent


♦Verbs ending in -cer transform the final c of the radical into ç when it’s in front of the endings beginning with o. (It’s the same with endings beginning with a for other tenses.)


commencer (=to begin) => je commence / tu commences / il commence / elle commence / on commence / nous commençons / vous commencez / ils commencent


♦Verbs ending in -ger add the letter e to the radical to keep the sound ge in front of the letter o (or the letter a for other tenses).

manger (=to eat) => je mange / tu mange / il mange / elle mange / on mange / nous mangeons / vous mangez / ils mangent / elles mangent



Now test yourself with a quiz on the conjugation of regular -er verbs!


Quiz on the present tense of French regular -er verbs

Tu ------------ bien.
Il ------ la Marseillaise.
Nous ----------------- la télévision.
Elle --------- fatiguée.
Vous ------------ beaucoup en ce moment.
J'----------- le chocolat.
Elles ------ la radio.
Ils ------------ à Paris.
On ------ tout avec le temps.
Quiz on the present tense of French regular -er verbs
You got {{userScore}} out of {{maxScore}} correct



Related lessons on the French present tense:


=> Avoir – to have

=> être – to be

=> Regular -ir verbs

=> Aller – to go

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