Apprendre la Langue Française (Part 73): les verbes terminent part -ir (deuxieme groupe, conjugaison au présent)


Regular -IR verbs are the second largest category of French verbs.

The verb form that ends in -IR is called the infinitive (in English, the infinitive is the verb preceded by the word “to”), and -IR is the infinitive ending. The verb with the infinitive ending removed is called the stem or radical.

To conjugate an -IR verb in the present tense, remove the infinitive ending and then add the appropriate endings. For example, here are the present tense conjugations for the regular -IR verbs choisir (to choose), finir (to finish), and réussir (to succeed):

Pronoun Ending choisir > chois- finir > fin- ussir > réuss-
je -is choisis finis réussis
tu -is choisis finis réussis
il/elle -it choisit finit réussit
nous -issons choissisons finissisons réussisons
vous -issez choissisez finissisez réussisez
ils/elles -issent choisissent finisissent réusissent

Regular -IR verbs share conjugation patterns in all tenses and moods.

Here are just a few of the most common regular -IR verbs:

abolir – to abolish

agir – to act

avertir – to warn

bâtir – to build

bénir – to bless

choisir – to choose

établir – to establish

étourdir – to stun, deafen, make dizzy

finir – to finish

grossir – to gain weight, get fat

guérir – to cure, heal, recover

maigrir – to lose weight, get thin

nourrir – to feed, nourish

obéir – to obey

punir – to punish

réfléchir – to reflect, think

remplir – to to fill

réussir – to succeed

rougir – to blush, turn red

vieillir – to grow old

There are two groups of irregular -IR verbs:

1. The first group of irregular verbs includes dormir, mentir, partir, sentir, servir, sortir, and all of their derivations (repartir, etc). These verbs drop the last letter of the radical in the singular conjugations.

2. The second group of verbs includes couvrir, cueillir, découvrir, offrir, ouvrir, souffrir, and their derivations (recouvrir, etc). These verbs are conjugated like regular -ER verbs.

The rest of the irregular -IR verbs don’t follow a pattern – you have to memorize the conjugations for each one separately: asseoir, courir, devoir, falloir, mourir, pleuvoir, pouvoir, recevoir, savoir, tenir, valoir, venir, voir, vouloir.

Pronoun Ending dormir > dor(m)- Ending couvrir > couvr-
je -s dors -e couvre
tu -s dors -es couvres
il/elle -t dort -e couvre
nous -ons dormons -ons couvrons
vous -ez dormez -ez couvrez
ils/elles -ent dorment -ent couvrent

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