French -IR verbs (present tense)


Verbs with infinitives ending in -ir form a second group of regular verbs in French, often called 'second conjugation' verbs. To conjugate these verbs, drop the -ir from the infinitive and add the second conjugation present tense endings: -is, -is, -it, -issons, -issez, -issent.

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In Module 12 of A1.1, we learned how to conjugate regular -ER verbs. Remember that a regular verb follows a specific pattern for its conjugation. Irregular verb conjugations are unique.

Another group of regular verbs that we are going to study are -IR verbs, or verbs that end with the letters -ir. To review, the first two steps of conjugating any regular verb are:

  1. First choose the verb that makes the most sense for the context of your sentence.
  2. Take off the ending.

In this lesson, the ending we are removing from the infinitive is -ir. Finally,

  1. Add the ending to the verb’s stem that corresponds with the subject of the sentence or phrase.

Take a look at the following verb chart and example sentences with the -IR verb choisir, meaning “to choose.”

Choisir → Chois…

Subject PronounEndingStem + EndingExampleTranslation
Je-ischoisisJe choisis le café.I choose the café. I am choosing the café.
Tu-ischoisisTu choisis le musée.You choose the museum. You are choosing the museum.
Il/Elle/On-itchoisitElle choisit le parc.She chooses the park. She is choosing the park.
Nous-issonschoisissonsNous choisissons l’église.We choose the church. We are choosing the church.
Vous-issezchoisissezVous choisissez la librairie.You choose the bookstore. You are choosing the bookstore.
Ils/Elles-issentchoisissentIls choisissent le centre commercial.They choose the mall. They are choosing the mall.

See the Reading link in this lesson to review a list of some of the most common -IR verbs.

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:
Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
Specific Capabilities at this Level
I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.
Spoken Production:
I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know.
Spoken Interaction:
I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I’m trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.
I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.
I can recognize familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.