French Verb Conjugation
French verb conjugations are a real pain. There is no sugar coating it. And I don’t have a magical wand to make it all easier… except maybe I do!
How are French kids able to conjugate French verbs?
If French verb conjugations were so complicated, how come a 6 years old French child is able to conjugate most French verbs?
Because they know the sound.
They, for sure, don’t know how to spell the verb, nor do they care. They just know how to say it.
You must change the way you learn your French verb conjugations
Most French students learn French verb conjugations in books. That’s why I often hear advanced French students still pronounce the silent “ent” of the Ils/elles form.
When you actually learn French conjugation with audio, you realize that many verbs sound exactly the same for different forms:
I’ll give your some examples:
- [Chant] – is the sound of the verb chanter in the present indicative and subjunctive for je, tu, il, elle, on, ils, elles.
- [Chantè] – is the sound of the verb chanter in the imperfect indicative for je, tu, il, elle, on, ils, elles.
- [Chantrè] – is the sound of the verb chanter in the conditional present for je, tu, il, elle, on, ils, elles forms.
I bet you never learned your French conjugations this way!
Now let’s talk a bit about modern spoken French.
Modern French pronunciation and French conjugation
Many students complain they can’t understand the French when they speak. Again, it’s because they’ve learned French from books or from over enunciated traditional teaching methods.
It’s not the reality of French today – both the French language today and my company!!
Let’s take a look at the pronunciation of parler in the present indicative negative. Listen to the audio to hear the pronunciation:
- first in an overly enunciated way, like it is featured in traditional French language methods: nobody would say it this way in France today.
- in a medium spoken way: still pretty enunciated : maybe like a politician or someone “watching their language” would speak.
- in a modern spoken way: like everybody speaks nowadays in France in a relaxed situation.
- Je ne parle pas = jeun parlpa – shparlpa
- Tu ne parles pas = tune parlpa – tuparlpa
- Il ne parle pas = een parlpa – iparlpa
- elle ne parle pas = ènn parlpa – èparlpa
- Nous ne parlons pas = noonparlonpa – nooparlonpa
- Vous ne parlez pas = voon parlépa – vooparlépa
- Ils ne parlent pas = een parlpa – iparlpa
- Elles ne parlent pas = ènn parlpa – èparlpa
Quite different isn’t it?
The free French conjugation lessons you will find in this blog
So these are the kind of tips I will share in my French conjugation lessons. I won’t go over all the French irregular verb conjugations. They are all over the web now!
But I will:
- explain in-depth the French tenses – like the two French future tenses,
- find the right words and examples to help you understand difficult conjugation concepts – such as when to use passé-composé versus imparfait, or French moods like the French subjunctive,
- Give you tips to learn your French verbs efficiently.
Enjoy! Please leave me a comment and don’t hesitate to share – it’s a big help for us!