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Regular French IR Verb Conjugation: Every tense and ending

Celine Segueg

From a big-picture perspective, French verb conjugation is actually relatively straightforward because there are just three main sets of conjugations to learn: -er, -ir, and -re verbs. Today’s post will cover every tense and ending for regular French ir verb conjugation, covering the French verbs in the second group.

This post is just intended as a quick-reference guide to -ir verb conjugation in French, so we won’t spend too much time on long explanations. Please refer to our detailed how-to guide to French conjugation for an in-depth beginner lesson, and to the various grammar posts we link to in the relevant sections below.

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Regular IR verbs in French: Verbes du deuxième groupe

Today we’ll focus exclusively on regular French ir verbs, which we can generally recognize by the -ir ending of their infinitives. In French grammar, the regular -ir verbs are known as les verbes du deuxième groupe, so they’re also sometimes referred to in English as second-group verbs.

Some French verbs end in -ir, but don’t follow the conjugation patterns we’ll be looking at here. As language learners, we can consider that those constitute irregular French -ir verbs. In French grammar, they’re actually lumped in with other irregular verbs as les verbes du troisième groupe. (First-group verbs in French are the -er verbs, including their irregular variations.)

At the end of our sections on regular -ir verb conjugation, we’ll include a list of the irregular -ir verb forms that fall into the troisième groupe.

For now, let’s just consider regular French -ir verb conjugation. We’ll include all of the verb endings in our -ir verb conjugation charts, which can simply be added to the stem of any regular -ir verb. To get the stem, just chop off the -ir from the infinitive. We’ll demonstrate every conjugation using finir as our typical -ir verb, which means to finish in French.

We’ll start out with the impersonal verb forms, and then work our way through the four French moods: impératif, conditionnel, subjonctif, and impératif. In our compound tenses we’ll use the auxiliary verb avoir, but don’t forget that we can also use the auxiliary verb être with verbs of movement, with reflexive verbs, and when using the passive voice.

Now let’s get started with our regular French -ir verb conjugation charts!

Impersonal forms

In addition to the standard conjugations which reflect a timeframe and a grammatical person, French verbs have several other forms that are not technically considered conjugations. We’ll start off by covering these impersonal forms of -ir verbs in French.

Infinitif

The infinitive is the unconjugated form of a verb that you’ll find in a dictionary. It’s this form that defines our French -ir verbs of the second group, since the infinitive always ends in -ir.

-ir verb ending finir
-ir finir

Infinitif passé

-ir verb ending finir
avoir -i avoir fini

Participe présent

-ir verb ending finir
-issant finissant

Participe passé

-ir verb ending finir
ayant -i ayant fini

Participe

Le participe is known in English as the past participle. Le participe cannot be used on its own, but it forms an integral part of compound verb forms while also having other uses.

-ir verb ending finir
-i fini

L’indicatif

In the indicative mood, we’ll start with the four simple tenses (présent, imparfait, passé simple, futur simple) and then move on to the compound tenses (passé composé, plus-que-parfait, passé antérieur, futur antérieur).

Remember that the compound tense conjugations all just use the -ir verb participle that we just saw above, and that for certain verbs the auxiliary verb is être, rather than avoir as we show here.

Présent indicatif conjugation: -ir verbs

Note that the first- and second-person conjugations in le présent de l’indicatif are identical for regular -ir verbs. What’s more, the pronunciation is the same for all three singular forms, as well as for the participe that we saw above, so many native speakers mix up their spellings.

subject -ir verb endings finir
je -is finis
tu -is finis
il, elle, on -it finit
nous -issons finissons
vous -issez finissez
ils, elles -issent finissent

Imparfait indicatif conjugation: -ir verbs

subject -ir verb endings finir
je -issais finissais
tu -issais finissais
il, elle, on -issait finissait
nous -issions finissions
vous -issiez finissiez
ils, elles -issaient finissaient

Passé simple conjugation: -ir verbs

subject -ir verb endings finir
je -is finis
tu -is finis
il, elle, on -it finit
nous -îmes finîmes
vous -îtes finîtes
ils, elles -irent finirent

Futur simple conjugation: -ir verbs

subject -ir verb endings finir
je -irai finirai
tu -iras finiras
il, elle, on -ira finira
nous -irons finirons
vous -irez finirez
ils, elles -iront finiront

Passé composé conjugation: -ir verbs

For the passé composé, we conjugate the auxiliary verb in the présent de l’indicatif and then add the -ir verb’s participle.

subject -ir verb endings finir
j’ ai -i ai fini
tu as -i as fini
il, elle, on a -i a fini
nous avons -i avons fini
vous avez -i avez fini
ils, elles ont -i ont fini

Plus-que-parfait conjugation: -ir verbs

For the plus-que-parfait de l’indicatif, we conjugate the auxiliary verb in the imparfait de l’indicatif and then add the -ir verb’s participle.

subject -ir verb endings finir
j’ avais -i avais fini
tu avais -i avais fini
il, elle, on avait -i avait fini
nous avions -i avions fini
vous aviez -i aviez fini
ils, elles avaient -i avaient fini

Passé antérieur conjugation: -ir verbs

For the passé antérieur, we conjugate the auxiliary verb in the passé simple and then add the -ir verb’s participle.

subject -ir verb endings finir
j’ eus -i eus fini
tu eus -i eus fini
il, elle, on eut -i eut fini
nous eûmes -i eûmes fini
vous eûtes -i eûtes fini
ils, elles eurent -i eurent fini

Futur antérieur conjugation: -ir verbs

For the futur antérieur, we conjugate the auxiliary verb in the futur simple and then add the -ir verb’s participle.

subject -ir verb endings finir
j’ aurai -i aurai fini
tu auras -i auras fini
il, elle, on aura -i aura fini
nous aurons -i aurons fini
vous aurez -i aurez fini
ils, elles auront -i auront fini

Le conditionnel

Here are the French -ir verb conjugation charts for the conditional mood.

Présent conditionnel conjugation: -ir verbs

subject -ir verb endings finir
je -irais finirais
tu -irais finirais
il, elle, on -irait finirait
nous -irions finirions
vous -iriez finiriez
ils, elles -iraient finiraient

Conditionnel passé conjugation: -ir verbs

For the conditionnel passé, we conjugate the auxiliary verb in the présent conditionnel and then add the -ir verb’s participle.

subject -ir verb endings finir
j’ aurais -i aurais fini
tu aurais -i aurais fini
il, elle, on aurait -i aurait fini
nous aurions -i aurions fini
vous auriez -i auriez fini
ils, elles auraient -i auraient fini

Le subjonctif

Here we present the French -ir verb conjugation charts for the sujunctive mood, including the archaic tenses (subjonctif imparfait and plus-que-parfait) that are usually just seen in historic texts.

Présent subjonctif conjugation: -ir verbs

Note that whereas in some of the other common tenses the conjugations were identical for the first-person and second-person singular, the present subjunctive conjugations for regular -ir verbs are identical between the first- and third-person singular. All three singular forms, as well as the third-person plural, have the same pronunciation.

subject -ir verb endings finir
je -isse finisse
tu -isses finisses
il, elle, on -isse finisse
nous -issions finissions
vous -issiez finissiez
ils, elles -issent finissent

Imparfait subjonctif conjugation: -ir verbs

subject -ir verb endings finir
je -isse finisse
tu -isses finisses
il, elle, on -ît finît
nous -issions finissions
vous -issiez finissiez
ils, elles -issent finissent

Subjonctif passé conjugation: -ir verbs

For the subjonctif passé, we conjugate the auxiliary verb in the présent subjonctif and then add the -ir verb’s participle.

subject -ir verb endings finir
j’ aie -i aie fini
tu aies -i aies fini
il, elle, on ait -i ait fini
nous ayons -i ayons fini
vous ayez -i ayez fini
ils, elles aient -i aient fini

Subjonctif plus-que-parfait conjugation: -ir verbs

For the subjonctif plus-que-parfait, we conjugate the auxiliary verb in the imparfait subjonctif and then add the -ir verb’s participle.

subject -ir verb endings finir
j’ eusse -i eusse fini
tu eusses -i eusses fini
il, elle, on eût -i eût fini
nous eussions -i eussions fini
vous eussiez -i eussiez fini
ils, elles eussent -i eussent fini

L’impératif

The final mood for our French -ir verb conjugation is l’impératif, which is used for giving commands.

Présent impératif conjugation: -ir verbs

The impératif -ir verb conjugations are identical to the présent de l’indicatif.

subject -ir verb endings finir
tu -is finis
nous -issons finissons
vous -issez finissez

Impératif passé conjugation: -ir verbs

For the impératif passé, we conjugate the auxiliary verb in the impératif présent and then add the -ir verb’s participle.

subject -ir verb endings finir
tu aie -i aie fini
nous ayons -i ayons fini
vous ayez -i ayez fini

Exceptions: Irregular -ir verbs of the third group

At this point in our post we’ve seen every conjugation of -ir verbs in French. Remember in our initial explanation when we said that there are a number of verbs which don’t follow these patterns, even though they end in -ir?

To wrap up this post on regular -ir verb conjugation of the second group, we’re including a list of verb forms that fall into the third-group. When you see these verbs or others with a very similar form (like courir, parcourir, and secourir), you’ll need to look up their specific conjugations.

Here are the irregular -ir verbs that are easily confused with regular -ir verbs of the second group:

Irregular French -ir verb English
courir to run
mourir to die
dormir to sleep
servir to serve
sentir to feel, to smell
vêtir to dress
fuir to flee
tenir to take, to hold
venir to come
acquérir to acquire
bouillir to boil
couvrir to cover
cueillir to pick, to collect
défaillir to fail, to have a fault
faillir to fail to
haïr* to hate

* Note that haïr is technically considered an irregular second-group verb in French grammar. We’re nonetheless including it in our list of third-group verbs since it differs from the regular conjugation patterns we saw in the rest of this post.

In addition to the -ir verb forms we saw in the first table, a number of other French verbs also technically end in -ir but are different enough in their pronunciation that they’re seldom confused as -ir verbs. We won’t go into this list, but just bear in mind that verb forms which end in -oir are very different from those we’ve seen today, such as avoir, voir, vouloir, falloir, or pleuvoir.

French -ir verb conjugation: Conclusion

This brings us to the end of our lesson on how to conjugate -ir verbs in French.

We started by explaining that the regular French -ir verbs are known as second-group verbs, whereas irregular -ir verbs are considered third-group verbs.

Then we dove straight into our regular French -ir verb conjugation charts, starting with the impersonal forms and then covering every mood and tense. We saw every ir verb ending, using the verb finir as our example.

We finished with a list of -ir verbs that do not follow the regular conjugation patterns, so you don’t try to apply these conjugations to irregular -ir verbs.

For regular verbs in the second group, however, you now have a full reference on how to conjugate ir verbs in French!

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