French -RE verbs (present tense)


Verbs with infinitives ending in -re form a third group of regular verbs, often called 'third conjugation' verbs. To form the present tense conjugations of these verbs, drop the -re from the infinitive and add the third conjugation endings (-s, -s, -, -ons, -ez,-ent) to the resulting stem. Regular -RE verbs share conjugation patterns in all tenses and moods. French regular -RE verbs are a small group of French verbs which share a conjugation pattern.

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Just like in Module 1, we will continue to study groups of regular French verbs. We will now go over how to conjugate regular -RE verbs, or verbs that end with the letters -re. To review, the first 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 -re. Finally,

  1. Add the new 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 -RE verb attendre, meaning “to wait for.”

Attendre → Attend…

Subject PronounEndingStem + EndingExampleTranslation
Je-sattendsJ’attends le train.I wait for the train. I am waiting for the train.
Tu-sattendsTu attends ta mère.You wait for your mother. You are waiting for your mother.
Il/Elle/On*attend_On attend les vols à l’aéroport.One waits for the flights at the airport. One is waiting for the flights at the airport.
Nous-onsattendonsNous attendons l’addition.We wait for the bill. We are waiting for the bill.
Vous-ezattendezVous attendez les autres personnes.You wait for the other people. You are waiting for the other people.
Ils/Elles-entattendentElles attendent les résultats.They wait for the results. They are waiting for the results.

Notes :

  • The absence of an -RE verb ending for the third person singular form (Il/Elle/On) is intentional. Adding no ending to the stem of the -RE verb for the third person singular voice is a rule in the regular -RE verb conjugation pattern.
  • There will always be some exceptions to grammatical language rules. You may learn verbs that end in -er, -ir, or -re that do not follow this exact pattern. However, knowing the general rule and practicing these verbs are the most important steps for any beginner language learner.

See the Reading link for some of the most common -RE verbs used in French.

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