Regular Verbs (-ER)

Comparative Example:


VERB: to play VERB: jouer
SINGULAR

SINGULAR

1 Person: I play 1 Person: je joue
2 Person: you play 2 Person: tu joues
3 Person: he, she, it plays 3 Person: il, elle, on joue
PLURAL PLURAL
1 Person: we play 1 Person: nous jouons
2 Person: you play 2 Person: vous jouez
3 Person: they play 3 Person: ils, elles jouent


At the top of the table is the infinitive, jouer, which means 'to play'. Regular French verbs ending in -er belong to the first conjugation.

Every verb form begins with a pronoun, that is, 'je' meaning 'I', 'tu' meaning 'you' (singular), 'il' meaning 'he' or 'it', 'elle' meaning 'she', 'nous' meaning 'we', 'vous' meaning 'you' (plural) and 'ils' or 'elles' meaning 'they'.
The difference between 'il' and 'elle' is the same as 'he' and 'she' in English. 'They' is expressed by 'ils' if you are referring to a masculine plural noun, and 'elles' if you are referring to a feminine plural noun. If there is a mixture of masculine and feminine nouns, French uses 'ils', the masculine form.

English concept of 'it' doesn't really apply to French, because all nouns in French are either masculine or feminine.

Each verb form is made up of the stem of the verb ('jou-) and a person ending. Note that all the person endings of the verb are different (unlike in English, where all but one of the verb forms were the same). First conjugation verbs are recognized by the infinitive ending in (-er).
It is worth noting that the present tense expresses an action which is going on at the time mentioned. In English, we have three ways of expressing the present tense.

For Example:
The dog chases the cat, is chasing the cat, does chase the cat.

In French there is only the one form to express all these shades of meaning.

For Example:
'Je jouer' means 'I play', 'I am playing', and 'I do play'.

How to Form a Regular (-er) Verb in French.
To form a verb correctly in French, you need to know the number and person that you are talking about, the stem of the verb, and the ending.

To find the number and person that you need, substitute one of the personal pronouns ('I', 'you', 'he', 'she', 'it', 'we', 'you', 'they') for the subject of the verb.

For example:
In the sentence 'the girl likes the rabbits', 'the girl' can be replaced by 'she', in other words, 'she likes rabbits'. (If we use the pronoun 'they', in other words, 'they likes rabbits', the sentence doesn't make sense, because we are using a plural pronoun instead of a singular).

Next, we need to find the stem of the verb.
In French, the stem of verbs ending in -er, such as jouer, is found by taking the infinitive (jouer), and removing the -er from the end, leaving jou-. Likewise, the stem of the verb aimer (to like) is aim-.



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