In French, a vast majority of verbs belong to the -ER verb group, making it essential to master the conjugation patterns associated with this group. Conjugating -ER verbs is crucial for expressing actions, desires, and various other aspects of language. In this article, we will explore the conjugation rules for -ER verbs, empowering you to navigate the world of French verb conjugation with confidence and precision.

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Regular -ER Verb Conjugation:

The conjugation of regular -ER verbs follows a consistent pattern. Let’s take a closer look at the present tense conjugation of the verb “parler” (to speak) as an example:

Je parle (I speak)

Tu parles (You speak, informal)

Il/Elle/On parle (He/She/One speaks)

Nous parlons (We speak)

Vous parlez (You speak, formal/plural)

Ils/Elles parlent (They speak)

The endings of -ER verb conjugations remain fairly consistent, with slight variations based on the subject pronoun. By understanding this pattern, you can easily conjugate other regular -ER verbs such as “aimer” (to like/love), “manger” (to eat), and “chanter” (to sing).

Irregular -ER Verbs:

While most -ER verbs follow the regular conjugation pattern, there are a few irregular -ER verbs that require some additional attention. Some commonly encountered irregular -ER verbs include “aller” (to go), “avoir” (to have), and “être” (to be). These verbs have unique conjugation forms that must be memorized.

For example, the present tense conjugation of “aller” is as follows:

Je vais (I go)

Tu vas (You go, informal)

Il/Elle/On va (He/She/One goes)

Nous allons (We go)

Vous allez (You go, formal/plural)

Ils/Elles vont (They go)

Similarly, the present tense conjugation of “avoir” and “être” is as follows:


J’ai (I have)

Tu as (You have, informal)

Il/Elle/On a (He/She/One has)

Nous avons (We have)

Vous avez (You have, formal/plural)

Ils/Elles ont (They have)


Je suis (I am)

Tu es (You are, informal)

Il/Elle/On est (He/She/One is)

Nous sommes (We are)

Vous êtes (You are, formal/plural)

Ils/Elles sont (They are)

While irregular -ER verbs may require extra effort to learn their conjugation forms, they are vital in everyday communication and should be mastered to achieve fluency in French.

Verbs with Spelling Changes:

In addition to irregular -ER verbs, some -ER verbs undergo spelling changes in their conjugation to maintain pronunciation consistency. These verbs include “acheter” (to buy), “préférer” (to prefer), and “appeler” (to call), among others.

For example, in the present tense conjugation of “acheter,” the “e” in the verb stem changes to “è” before certain subject pronouns:

J’achète (I buy)

Tu achètes (You buy, informal)

Il/Elle/On achète (He/She/One buys)

Nous achetons (We buy)

Vous achetez (You buy, formal/plural)

Ils/Elles achètent (They buy)

By being aware of these spelling changes, you can accurately conjugate verbs and ensure proper pronunciation in spoken French.

In conclusion, mastering the conjugation of -ER verbs forms the foundation of French verb conjugation. By understanding the regular patterns, memorizing irregular verbs, and being aware of spelling changes, you can confidently navigate verb conjugation in the present tense and beyond. Regular practice and exposure to -ER verbs will solidify your understanding and enhance your overall proficiency in the French language. So, embrace the world of -ER verbs and unlock a key aspect of French grammar and communication.

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