French Tenses

Formation, usage, common irregulars of all the tenses you need for gcse 

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  • Created by: Aparna
  • Created on: 26-12-12 14:01
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French Tenses
Imperfect Tense
E.g. J'arrivais I was arriving/I used to arrive
je faisais I was doing/I used to do
Être j'étais. So the stem is ét.
In the present tense, verbs like manger, ranger etc. take an extra -e in the nous form to soften the g
(to make a j sound). However the -e isn't needed before -i, but it is needed before -a.
E.g. Je mangeais, Tu mangeais, Il/Elle mangeait, Nous mangions, Vous mangiez, Ils/Elles mangeaient
Perfect Conditional, Pluperfect and Perfect Tense
Regular formation with Avoir
When avoir is used to form the perfect, pluperfect or perfect conditional tense, the same past
participle is used for all personal pronouns (je, tu, il/elle).
Perfect Conditional Tense
E.g. j'aurais fait I would have done

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Pluperfect Tense
j'avais fait I had done
Perfect Tense
j'ai fait I have done/I did
Formation with Être
When forming the perfect, perfect conditional or pluperfect tense with être, the past participle
agrees with person doing the action. So an (e) is added for a feminine subject and the (s) for a plural
subject. There are about 13 such verbs using etre and we can remember them using the mnemonic.…read more

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Perfect Conditional Tense
e.g. Je serais arrivé I
would have arrived
Pluperfect Tense
e.g.…read more

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E.g. je suis arrivé I arrived
Past Participle
The past participle for all regular verbs is found using their infinitive endings.
There are similar patterns in a few irregulars, which is what the bracketed verbs represent.…read more

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Courir (tenir, venir) couru (tenu, venu)
Devoir dû
Dire (écrire) dit (écrit)
Être été
Faire fait
Mettre mis
Mourir mort
Naître né
Ouvrir ouvert
Prendre pris
Recevoir reçu
Rire ri
Vivre vécu
Vouloir voulu
Present Tense
E.g. je fais I am doing/I do
j'arrive I am arriving/I arrive
However, there are 3 sets of endings for the different infinitive endings.…read more

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Infinitive English Je Tu Il/Elle Nous Vous Ils/Elles
Mourir to die meurs meurs meurt mourons mourez meurent
Naitre to be born nais nais nait naissons naissez naissent
Ouvrir to open ouvre ouvres ouvre ouvrons ouvrez ouvrent
Partir to leave pars pars part partons partez partent
Pouvoir to be able to peux peux peux pouvons pouvez peuvent
Préférer to prefer same as
Recevoir to receive reçois reçois reçoit recevons recevez reçoivent
Savoir to know sais sais sait savons savez savent
Sortir to go out same…read more

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Future Tense and Conditional Tense
Future Tense
E.g. je ferai I will do/I am going to do
je arriverai I will arrive/I am going to arrive
Conditional Tense
E.g.…read more

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This Word document offers a comprehensive, colour-coded, visual resource that covers all the main verb tenses in French. Extremely useful for oral exam preparation as well as all other aspects of the GCSE exams.



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