French Er Verbs

Valorie Delp
Telephoner.jpg
Elle parle.

French -er verbs make the most common group of verbs in French. The majority of verbs in French are -er verbs and therefore tend to pose the least problems to students. As a group, there are very few irregular -er verbs as well. . .making them the most predictable, most commonly used verbs in the language.

How to Conjugate French -ER Verbs

French -er verbs follow a very basic conjugation pattern. To conjugate an -er verb, you should first drop the -er on the end. This root form is called a 'radical'. To the radical, you then add endings according to the subject of the verb:

je parle
tu parles
il parle
nous parlons
vous parlez
ils parlent

Regular French -ER Verbs

It is impossible to list all of the -er verbs in French. However, you will find that these are the most commonly used. The following verbs have no irregularities and are conjugated normally:

  • abaisser - to lower
  • accepter - to accept
  • accompagner - to accompany
  • accorder - to admit
  • admirer - to admire
  • adorer - to adore
  • aider - to help
  • aimer - to like (to love)
  • ajouter - to add
  • amuser - to amuse
  • apporter - to bring
  • approcher - to approach
  • arrêter - to stop
  • arriver - to arrive
  • assister - to attend
  • avancer - to advance
  • bavarder - to chat
  • blesser - to hurt or offend
  • brosser - to brush
  • brûler - to burn
  • cacher - to hide
  • casser - to break
  • causer - to cause or to chat (informally)
  • chanter - to sing
  • chercher - to look for
  • commander - to order
  • compter - to count
  • conseiller - to advise or to give advice
  • continuer - to continue
  • contrôler - to control
  • coucher - to put to bed (se coucher means to go to bed)
  • couper - to cut
  • coûter -to cost
  • crier - to cry out
  • danser - to dance
  • décider - to decide
  • déjeuner - to eat lunch
  • demander - to ask for
  • dépêcher - to hurry
  • détester - to hate
  • deviner - to guess
  • dîner - to dine
  • discuter - to discuss
  • donner - to give
  • douter - to doubt
  • échapper - to escape
  • écouter - to listen
  • employer - to use
  • encourager - to encourage
  • enseigner - to teach
  • entrer - to enter
  • étudier - to study
  • excuser - to excuse
  • exister - to exist
  • expliquer - to explain
  • explorer - to explore
  • fâcher - to get angry
  • fermer - to close
  • fumer - to smoke
  • gagner - to win or earn
  • garder - to keep
  • gaspiller - to waste
  • goûter - to taste
  • habiller - to dress
  • habiter - to live
  • insister -to insist
  • intéresser - to interes
  • inviter - to invite
  • jouer - to play
  • laisser - to leave
  • laver - to wash
  • monter - to climb
  • montrer - to show
  • neiger - to snow
  • occuper - to occupy
  • oublier - to forget
  • pardonner - to forgive
  • parler - to talk
  • passer to pass or spend time
  • peigner - to comb
  • penser - to think
  • pleurer - to cry
  • préparer - to prepare
  • présenter - to present
  • quitter - to leave
  • raconter - to retell
  • regarder - to look at
  • refuser - to refuse
  • remarquer - to notice
  • rencontrer - to meet
  • rentrer - to return
  • reposer - to rest
  • rester - to remain
  • sembler - to seem
  • séparer - to separate
  • souhaiter - to wish
  • tomber - to fall
  • travailler - to work

Stem-Changing -ER Verbs

Stem changing verbs still follow the regular conjugation patterns; however, they still have two different stems or radicals: one for the je, tu, il, and ils. The stem changes are as follows:

  • Verbs ending in -e_er, and -é_er change the e to è
  • Verbs ending in -eler change, have an extra l before the ending
  • Verbs ending in -yer, substitute an "i" for the "y" in the conjugation.

Some common stem changing verbs include:

  • acheter - to buy
  • achever - to achieve
  • amener - to take
  • appeler - to call
  • céder - to give up
  • compléter - to complete
  • considérer - to consider
  • ennuyer - to bore or annoy
  • envoyer - to send
  • éspérer - to hope
  • essayer - to try
  • inquiéter - to worry
  • jeter - to throw
  • lever - to lift or stand
  • nettoyer - to clean
  • payer - to pay
  • préférer - to prefer
  • promener - to walk
  • protéger - to protect
  • répéter - to repeat
  • suggérer - to suggest
  • tomber - to fall
  • travailler - to work
  • trouver - to find
  • utiliser - to use
  • visiter - to visit

Spelling Change -ER Verbs

-ER verbs that end in -ger, and -cer require a slight spelling change to maintain the soft "g" or soft "c". The easiest way to remember how to work with a spelling changing verb is to remember that the 'g' and 'c' are soft before and 'i' and before an 'e' and requires the spelling change if the 'g' or 'c' is followed by another vowel.

For example,if you want to write 'we eat,' conjugate the verb as you normally would, but instead of writing 'mangons' - add an 'e' so it reads, 'mangeons.' Likewise, -cer verbs require a "ç" if it's followed by another vowel. So instead of writing 'commencons,' you would write 'commençons.' This spelling change takes place most often in the first person plural (nous), but can also occur in the third person plural (ils) of some tenses.

  • changer - to change
  • commencer - to begin (to commence)
  • corriger - to correct
  • exiger - to demand
  • manger - to eat
  • nager - to swim

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French Er Verbs