Verbs classification in French

French conjugation is more difficult than the English one, because lots of verbs stem is modified. So, to memorize more easily the conjugation we are going to see now the classification of the verbs according to their number of stem.

1. Verbs with one stem

The stem doesn't change, there's only to put the endings after removing the infinitive form ending.


Chanter (To sing)
Je chante
Tu chantes
Il/elle/on chante
Nous chantons
Vous chantez
Ils/elles chantent

2. Verbs with two stems

The stem changes according to the persons (subject pronoun).

There is two kind of change:

First type: Same stem for the singular pronouns and another stem for plural pronouns.


Dormir (To sleep)
Je dors
Tu dors
Il/elle/on dort
Nous dormons
Vous dormez
Ils/elles dorment

Second type: Same stem for the pronouns je, tu, il/elle/on, ils/elles and another for the pronouns nous and vous.


Appeler (To call)
Tu appelles
Il/elle/on appelle
Nous appelons
Vous appelez
Ils/elles appellent
3. Verbs with three stems

The stem changes according to the persons: one stem for je, tu and il/elle/on, the second stem for nous and vous and the third one for ils/elles.


Boire (To drink)
Je bois
Tu bois
Il/elle/on boit
Nous buvons
Vous buvez
Ils/elles boivent

Be careful!

This classification according to the number of stem is valid only with the present tense because some verbs that have two stems at the present tense can have only one at another tense.

There are commons verbs that are irregular. They don't enter in this classification because they have more than three stems:


Être (To be)            Avoir (To have)
Je suis            J'ai
Tu es            Tu as
Il/elle/on est            Il/elle/on a
Vous êtes            Vous avez
Nous sommes            Nous avons
Ils/elles sont            Ils/elles ont

Faire (To do)          Aller (To go)
Je fais            Je vais
Tu fais            Tu vas
Il/elle/on fait            Il/elle/on va
Nous faisons            Nous allons
Vous faites             Vous allez
Ils/elles font            Ils/elles vont

Related Links:
Adjective-Noun Agreement in French
Demonstrative Adjectives in French

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