Commonly Used Ir Verbs in French

Valorie Delp
Partir.jpg
Partir means to leave.

There are not many commonly used -ir verbs in French compared to -er verbs; however, some of the most frequently used verbs in French are -ir verbs. Worlds like partir and sortir for example, are used on a daily basis.

Commonly Used -Ir Verbs in French

The best way to learn the most commonly used -ir verbs in French is to group them into like categories so that you can properly conjugate them.

Regular -ir verbs

The following are high frequency, regular -ir verbs. They are conjugated by dropping the "-ir" and adding the following endings: je -is
tu -is
il-it
nous-issons
vous-issez
ils-issent

Commonly used regular -ir verbs include:

  • affaiblir - to weaken
  • accueillir - to welcome
  • choisir - to choose
  • établir - to establish
  • finir - to finish
  • grandir - to grow
  • jouir - to enjoy
  • obéir - to obey
  • punir - to punish
  • ralentir - to slow down
  • réfléchir - to reflect
  • remplir -to fill up
  • réussir - to succeed
  • rougir - to blush
  • vieillir - to grow old

Venir

'Venir' means to come. It is one of the most frequently used irregular verbs and is conjugated as follows:

je viens
tu viens
il vient
nous venons
vous venez
ils viennent

There are several verbs that are conjugated very similarly with both the "e" to "ie" stem change and the "s, s, t, endings:

  • advenir - to happen
  • appartenir - to belong
  • devenir - to become
  • entretenir - to look after
  • maintenir - to maintain
  • obtenir - to obtain
  • parvenir - to reach
  • prévenir - to prevent
  • revenir - to come back
  • se souvenir de - to remember
  • tenir - to hold
  • venir - to come

Sentir

There are a whole family of verbs that are conjugated similarly to this irregular -ir verb. While the verb is irregular, most verbs that ending in "-tir", "-mir", or "-vir" are conjugated this way:je sens
tu sens
il sent
nous sentons
vous sentez
ils sentent

Verbs that follow a similar conjugation pattern (dropping the last letter of the root verb and then following the "s, s, t" pattern) include:

  • consentir - to consent
  • dormir - to sleep
  • endormir - to fall asleep
  • mentir - to lie
  • partir - to leave
  • sortir - to go out

Ouvrir

Ouvrir means to open and is conjugated very differently than most "-ir" verbs:j'ouvre
tu ouvres
il ouvre
nous ouvrons
vous ouvrez
ils ouvrent

High frequency verbs that are conjugated just like ouvrir include:

  • couvrir - to cover
  • découvrir - to discover
  • cueillir - to pick or gather
  • offrir - to offer
  • souffrir - to suffer

Courir

Courir means "to run" and is conjugated as follows:je cours
tu cours
il court
nous courons
vous courez
ils courent

Verbs conjugated similarly (with a "s, s, t" pattern) include:

  • haïr - to hate
  • maigrir - to lose weight
  • servir - to serve

Completely Irregular -IR Verbs

The following verbs don't follow any rules regarding conjugation patterns or do not have large -ir families. They simply must be memorized:

Completely Irregular Verbs
Faillir-to lack/to need Fuir-to flee Mourir -to die
je faux je fuis je meurs
tu faux tu fuis tu meurs
il faut il fuit il meurt
nous faillons nous fuyons nous mourons
vous faillez vous fuyez vous mourez
ils faillent ils fuient ils meurent
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Commonly Used Ir Verbs in French