All 20+ Common French Verbs For Your Best Conversation

Common French Verbs ling app

Would you like to learn some common French verbs? French is a beautiful and widely spoken language with a rich history and culture. If you’re learning French, one of the most important things you can do is familiarize yourself with common verbs.

Verbs are essential to communicating effectively in any language, and French is no exception. In this article, we’ll explore 20+ common French verbs you should know, including their meanings and how to use them in context.

Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced learner, these verbs will help you build a strong foundation for communication in French.

So, let’s dive in and discover the power of French verbs!

Common French Verbs To Learn

If you’re starting with learning French, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. One of the most important things you’ll need to learn are the verbs, as they form the backbone of the language.

We’ll take a look at some of the most common French verbs (regular verbs and irregular verbs) you’ll encounter, along with their meanings and conjugations. This way, you’ll have a solid foundation in French verb conjugation and be well on your way to speaking like a native!

Here is the most common French verbs list:

  1. être – to be
  2. Avoir – to have
  3. Faire – to do/make
  4. Aller – to go
  5. Pouvoir – can/to be able to
  6. Vouloir – to want
  7. Devoir – must/to have to
  8. Dire – to say
  9. Prendre – to take
  10. Voir – to see
  11. Savoir – to know (information)
  12. Venir – to come
  13. Partir – to leave
  14. Mettre – to put
  15. Donner – to give
  16. Falloir – to be necessary
  17. Penser – to think
  18. Sentir – to feel
  19. Entendre – to hear
  20. Comprendre – to understand

1. Être – To Be

“Être” is one of the most important verbs in French, as it is used to express identity, qualities, and characteristics.

It is also used in many idiomatic expressions and is an essential building block for communication in the language.

Here is the present tense conjugation:

Subject PronounConjugationEnglish Translation
JeSuisI am
TuEsYou (singular) are
Il/ElleEstHe/She is
NousSommesWe are
VousêtesYou (plural/formal) are
Ils/EllesSontThey are

It is one of the most used French verbs. You should learn compound tenses, not only the infinitive form.

2. Avoir – To Have

“Avoir” is another important verb in French, as it is used to express possession, relationships, age, and other concepts related to having something. It is also used in many idiomatic expressions and is an essential building block for communication in the language.

This is the verb “avoir”:

Subject PronounConjugationEnglish Translation
JeAiI have
TuAsYou (singular) have
Il/ElleAHe/She has
NousAvonsWe have
VousAvezYou (plural/formal) have
Ils/EllesOntThey have

Learning more conjugations of this verb in French is worth learning since it is often used in everyday conversation. For example, you could learn the future tense and other common conjugations.

Common French Verbs - writing on the board

3. Faire – To Do/Make

Faire is a versatile verb in French that can be used to express various actions related to doing or making something. It is also used in many idiomatic expressions and is an essential verb for communication in the language.

Here is the verb “faire”:

Subject PronounConjugationEnglish Translation
JeFaisI do/make
TuFaisYou (singular) do/make
Il/ElleFaitHe/She does/makes
NousFaisonsWe do/make
VousFaitesYou (plural/formal) do/make
Ils/EllesFontThey do/make

4. Aller – To Go

“Aller” is a very common verb in French, used for indicating movement or travel. It is an essential verb to know for basic communication in French.

Here is the regular conjugation pattern of the verb “aller”:

Subject PronounConjugationEnglish Translation
JeVaisI go
TuVasYou (singular) go
Il/ElleVaHe/She goes
NousAllonsWe go
VousAllezYou (plural/formal) go
Ils/EllesVontThey go

5. Pouvoir – Can/To Be Able To

Pouvoir is one of the most commonly used verbs in French, and it’s used to express the idea of “can” or “to be able to” in English. Here are some common ways that French people use this verb:

  1. Expressing ability: Pouvoir is used to talk about what someone can do. For example: “Je peux parler français” means “I can speak French.”
  2. Making requests: French people often use pouvoir to make requests politely. For example: “Est-ce que je peux avoir un verre d’eau?” means “Can I have a glass of water, please?”
  3. Expressing possibility: Pouvoir can also be used to express possibility. For example: “Il peut pleuvoir demain” means “It may rain tomorrow.”
  4. Giving permission: Finally, pouvoir can be used to give permission. For example: “Tu peux sortir avec tes amis ce soir” means “You can go out with your friends tonight.”

Here is the verb pouvoir:

Subject PronounConjugationEnglish Translation
JePeuxI can
TuPeuxYou (singular) can
Il/EllePeutHe/She can
NousPouvonsWe can
VousPouvezYou (plural/formal) can
Ils/EllesPeuventThey can

6. Vouloir – To Want

Vouloir is another commonly used verb in French, mainly used to express the idea of “to want” or “to wish” in English. It’s used to express desires, needs, and intentions.

Here is the verb “vouloir”:

Subject PronounConjugationEnglish Translation
JeVeuxI want
TuVeuxYou (singular) want
Il/ElleVeutHe/She wants
NousVoulonsWe want
VousVoulezYou (plural/formal) want
Ils/EllesVeulentThey want

7. Devoir – Must/To Have To

Devoir is a typical French verb mainly used to express the idea of “must” or “to have to” in English. It’s used to talk about obligations, responsibilities, and expectations.

Here is the verb “devoir” in French:

Subject PronounConjugationEnglish Translation
JeDoisI must/have to
TuDoisYou (singular) must/have to
Il/ElleDoitHe/She must/has to
NousDevonsWe must/have to
VousDevezYou (plural/formal) must/have to
Ils/EllesDoiventThey must/have to

8. Dire – To Say

Dire is one of the most common French verbs, mainly used to express the idea of “to say” or “to tell” in English. It’s used to convey thoughts, opinions, ideas, and information.

Here is the verb “dire”:

Subject PronounConjugationEnglish Translation
JeDisI say
TuDisYou (singular) say
Il/ElleDitHe/She says
NousDisonsWe say
VousDitesYou (plural/formal) say
Ils/EllesDisentThey say

9. Prendre – To Take

Prendre is a very common French verb that’s mainly used to express the idea of “to take” in English. It’s used to talk about physically taking something and more abstract concepts, such as making a decision or taking responsibility.

Here is the verb “prendre”:

Subject PronounConjugationEnglish Translation
JePrendsI take
TuPrendsYou (singular) take
Il/Elle PrendHe/She takes
NousPrenonsWe take
VousPrenezYou (plural/formal) take
Ils/EllesPrennentThey take

10. Voir – To See

Voir is used to talk about seeing something with one’s eyes and more symbolic meanings, such as understanding or meeting someone.

Here is the verb “voir”:

Subject PronounConjugationEnglish Translation
JeVoisI see
TuVoisYou (singular) see
Il/ElleVoitHe/She sees
NousVoyonsWe see
VousVoyezYou (plural/formal) see
Ils/EllesVoientThey see
Common French Verbs - Effel tower

11. Savoir – To Know

“Savoir” is a very common verb in French used to indicate knowledge or understanding. It can also be used in many idiomatic expressions, such as “savoir-faire” (know-how), which means having the necessary skills or knowledge to do something.

Here is the verb “savoir”:

Subject PronounConjugationEnglish Translation
JeSaisI know
TuSaisYou (singular) know
Il/ElleSaitHe/She knows
NousSavonsWe know
VousSavezYou (plural/formal) know
Ils/EllesSaventThey know

12. Venir – To Come

“Venir” is used to indicate movement or arrival. It is often used with prepositions such as “à” or “de” to indicate the destination or origin of the movement or arrival.

Here is the verb “venir”:

Subject PronounConjugationEnglish Translation
JeViensI come
TuViensYou (singular) come
Il/ElleVientHe/She comes
NousVenonsWe come
VousVenezYou (plural/formal) come
Ils/EllesViennentThey come

13. Partir – To Leave

“Partir” is used to indicate the departure or leaving a place. It can also be used figuratively to mean “to die.” Like “venir,” it is often used with prepositions such as “à” or “de” to indicate the destination or origin of the departure.

Here is the verb “partir”:

Subject PronounConjugationEnglish Translation
JeParsI leave
TuParsYou (singular) leave
Il/EllePartHe/She leaves
NousPartonsWe leave
VousPartezYou (plural/formal) leave
Ils/EllesPartentThey leave

14. Mettre – To Put

Mettre is a versatile French verb that means “to put” in English. It’s used to talk about physically putting something somewhere and more abstract meanings, such as putting on clothes, setting up or establishing something, or turning on a device.

Here is the verb “mettre”:

Subject PronounConjugationEnglish Translation
JeMetsI put
TuMetsYou (singular) put
Il/ElleMetHe/She puts
NousMettonsWe put
VousMettezYou (plural/formal) put
Ils/EllesMettentThey put

15. Donner – To Give

Donner means “to give” in English. It’s used to talk about giving something to someone, as well as more figurative meanings, such as to provide or to offer help. It’s also used to talk about donating or giving away something to charity or someone in need.

Here is the verb “donner”:

Subject PronounConjugationEnglish Translation
JeDonneI give
TuDonnesYou (singular) give
Il/ElleDonneHe/She gives
NousDonnonsWe give
VousDonnezYou (plural/formal) give
Ils/EllesDonnentThey give

16. Falloir – To Be Necessary

“Falloir” is an impersonal verb in French, which means it is only conjugated in the third person singular (il/elle/on) and does not have a subject in the traditional sense.

Instead, it is used with an indirect object pronoun to indicate who or what the necessity applies to.

For example, “Il faut du lait” would mean “Milk is necessary” or “We need milk.”

Her is the verb “falloir”:

Subject PronounConjugationEnglish Translation
Il/ElleFautHe/She must/needs
NousFallonsWe need/must
VousFautYou need/must
Ils/EllesFautThey need/must
Common French Verbs - teaching pronouns

17. Penser – To Think

Penser means “to think” in English. It’s used to talk about thinking and expressing opinions, beliefs, or doubts. It’s also used to indicate that someone is considering or reflecting on something or to say that someone believes or assumes something to be true.

Here is the verb “penser”:

Subject PronounConjugationEnglish Translation
JePenseI think
TuPensesYou think
Il/EllePenseHe/She thinks
NousPensonsWe think
VousPensezYou think
Ils/EllesPensentThey think

18. Sentir – To Feel

Sentir means “to feel” in English. It’s used to talk about the physical sensation of touch or feeling and describe emotions or moods. It also indicates that someone is sensing something through touch, smell, or intuition.

Here is the verb “sentir”:

Subject PronounConjugationEnglish Translation
JeSensI feel
TuSensYou feel
Il/ElleSentHe/She feels
NousSentonsWe feel
VousSentezYou feel
Ils/EllesSententThey feel

19. Entendre – To Hear

Entendre means “to hear” in English. It’s used to talk about the act of hearing or listening to something, as well as to indicate that someone understands or comprehends what is being said.

It’s also used in idiomatic expressions, such as “s’entendre bien” (to get along well) or “faire entendre raison” (to make someone see reason).

Here is the verb “entendre”:

Subject PronounConjugationEnglish Translation
JeEntendsI hear
TuEntendsYou hear
Il/ElleEntendHe/She hears
NousEntendonsWe hear
VousEntendezYou hear
Ils/EllesEntendentThey hear

20. Comprendre – To Understand

Comprendre means “to understand” in English. It’s used to talk about the act of comprehending or grasping something intellectually, as well as to indicate that someone is aware of or knows something.

It’s also used in idiomatic expressions, such as “se faire comprendre” (to make oneself understood) or “tout comprendre, c’est tout pardonner” (to understand all is to forgive all).

Here is the verb “comprende”:

Subject PronounConjugationEnglish Translation
JeComprendsI understand
TuComprendsYou understand
Il/ElleComprendHe/She understands
NousComprenonsWe understand
VousComprenezYou understand
Ils/EllesComprennentThey understand

Learn French With Ling!

If you want to enhance your French skills, the Ling app can be a helpful tool whether you are at the beginner level or aiming for fluency.

This language app provides extensive tutorials on every aspect of the French language, such as grammar, pronunciation, and more.

Meanwhile, you can learn more about French by reading: Making French Words Plural and Compliments In French.

Ready to get started? Download the Ling app for free from the App Store or Play Store and begin your language-learning journey today!

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