Revision booklet for tenses

Tenses included are: present, imperfect, reflexives in present tense, most common irregular verbs in present tense, perfect tense, knowing when to use être and avoir, irregular past participles, future tense, pluperfect tense.

For anyone who easily forgets how to conjugate verbs and which ones are the special 13 and all that, like me. :)

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  • Created by: C.Gan
  • Created on: 25-03-12 12:46
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How to form the present tense (le présent)

Firstly you need to establish whether the verb is an ­er, an ­ir or an ­re verb. Your
dictionary will make this clear: if you look up `play' you will find `jouer'. This is
obviously an ­er verb.

NB if the verb…

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How to form reflexives in the present tense

It is easy to recognise a reflexive verb in your dictionary because it has `se' in front
of it. For example, to get washed = se laver

However, this `se' changes depending on the person or pronoun. You need to learn

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Some common irregular verbs in the present tense


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How to form the perfect tense (le passé composé)

This is for a completed action eg I worked/I have worked.

You always need three parts to form this tense correctly

1 the person / pronoun

2 the auxiliary verb (usually avoir, sometimes être)

3 the past participle

The past participle…

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re > u eg vendre ­ j'ai vendu


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When to use `être' instead of `avoir'

You use `être' with verbs of coming or going (often called the Special 13) ­ they can
be remembered by `draper's van mmt'

Descendre je suis descendu(e) I went down

Rester je suis resté(e) I stayed

Aller je suis allé(e) I went


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You also use `être' with reflexive verbs

Je me suis lavé(e)

Tu t' es lavé(e)

Il s' est lavé

Elle s' est lavée

On s' est lavé(e)s

Nous nous sommes lavé(e)s

Vous vous êtes lavé(e)s

Ils se sont lavés

Elles se sont lavées


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Irregular past participles

There are several verbs which have irregular past participles which you have to
learn, but here are some common ones.

Avoir j'ai eu I had (I have had)

Être j'ai été I have been

Faire j'ai fait I did/made

Lire j'ai lu I read

Boire j'ai bu…

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How to form the future tense (le futur)

This is used when we say `I shall / he will' do something

You use the infinitive (or with ­re verbs, knock off the `e') and add the following

Je ai

Tu as

Il a

Elle a

On a

Nous ons…


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