-er French verbs : first group

Conjugaison des verbes du premier groupe

Salut, and welcome to our lesson about -er French verbs conjugation at Language Easy! They are the verbs of the first group, and indeed, when you master the conjugation of one of them, you’ll master them all, because in this group there are no irregular verb at all !

The first group (le premier groupe) contains all the verbs that

  • end in -er at the infinitive
  • except the verb aller (to go)

There are no other exception and the following conjugation tables apply to all of them.

A few verbs from this group are aimer (to love), bouger (to move), caresser (to caress), douter (to doubt), entrer (to enter), forger (to forge), garder (to keep), se hâter (to hurry), imaginer (to imagine)…

Note that if the conjugation of the -er French verbs is completely regular, the radical can undergo many variations (for example : piéger → piégé, piégeant, piège…). Let’s first look at the conjugation tables for each mood / tense, and then we’ll take a deeper look into these radical changes.

Conjugation of the -er French verbs

La conjugaison des verbes du premier groupe

Keep in mind that the choice of the auxiliary to use at the compound tense depends of the verb, so you’ll have to check out for each verb. We use as models the verbs aimer (to love) which is always conjugated with avoir, and arriver (to arrive) which is always conjugated with être.

Infinitive mood

L’ infinitif

Infinitive present
Présent de l’infinitif
Infinitive past
Passé de l’infinitif

Indicative mood


Indicative present
Présent de l’indicatif
tu aim-es
il/elle/on aim-e
nous aim-ons
vous aim-ez
ils/elles aim-ent
Narration tense
Passé composé
tu as
il/elle/on a
nous avons
vous avez
ils/elles ont
je suis
tu es
il/elle/on est
nous sommes
vous êtes
ils/elles sont
Indicative Imperfect
Imparfait de l’indicatif
tu aim-ais
il/elle/on aim-ait
nous aim-ions
vous aim-iez
ils/elles aim-aient
Indicative pluperfect
Plus-que-parfait de l’indicatif
tu avais
il/elle/on avait
nous avions
vous aviez
ils/elles avaient
tu étais
il/elle/on était
nous étions
vous étiez
ils/elles étaient
Indicative future
Futur simple de l’indicatif
tu aim-eras
il/elle/on aim-era
nous aim-erons
vous aim-erez
ils/elles aim-eront
Indicative anterior future
Futur antérieur de l’indicatif
tu auras
il/elle/on aura
nous aurons
vous aurez
ils/elles auront
je serai
tu seras
il/elle/on sera
nous serons
vous serez
ils/elles seront
Indicatif simple past
Passé simple de l’indicatif
tu aim-as
il/elle/on aim-a
nous aim-âmes
vous aim-âtes
ils/elles aim-èrent
Indicative anterior past
Passé antérieur de l’indicatif
tu eus
il/elle/on eut
nous eûmes
vous eûtes
ils/elles eurent
je fus
tu fus
il/elle/on fut
nous fûmes
vous fûtes
ils/elles furent

Conditional mood

Le conditionnel

Conditional present
Présent du conditionnel
tu aim-erais
il/elle/on aim-erait
nous aim-erions
vous aim-eriez
ils/elles aim-eraient
Conditional past
Passé du conditionnel
tu aurais
il/elle/on aurait
nous aurions
vous auriez
ils/elles auraient
je serais
tu serais
il/elle/on serait
nous serions
vous seriez
ils/elles seraient

Subjonctive mood

Le subjonctif

Subjonctive present
Présent du subjonctif
tu aim-es
il/elle/on aim-e
nous aim-ions
vous aim-iez
ils/elles aim-ent
Subjonctive past
Passé du subjonctif
tu aies
il/elle/on aie
nous ayons
vous ayez
ils/elles aient
je sois
tu sois
il/elle/on soit
nous soyons
vous soyez
ils/elles soient
Subjonctive Imperfect
Imparfait du subjonctif
tu aim-asses
il/elle/on aim-ât
nous aim-assions
vous aim-assiez
ils/elles aim-assent
Subjonctive pluperfect
Plus-que-parfait du subjonctif
tu eusses
il/elle/on eût
nous eussions
vous eussiez
ils/elles eussent
je fusse
tu fusses
il/elle/on fût
nous fussions
vous fussiez
ils/elles fussent

Imperative mood


Imperative present
Présent de l’impératif
aime !
aimons !
aimez !
Imperative past
passé de l’impératif

Participle mood

Les participes

Past participle
participe passé
Compound past participle
Participe passé composé
Present participle
participe présent

Gerund mood

Le gérondif

Present gerund
Gérondif présent
en aim-ant
Past gerund
Gérondif passé
en ayantaimé
 en étantarrivé(e)(s)

Radical changes in -er French verbs

Les changements de radicaux

As we said before, while the conjugation of the first group verbs is completely regular, sometimes the radical may undergo variations. There are three reasons why this would happen, and we’ll detail them now.

1. To avoid a change in the sound

The verbs with a radical ending with c or g demand a special attention because their pronunciation could change according to the conjugation termination. For example, the c in “lancer” is pronounced /s/ while in “lancant” it would be pronounced /k/. In the same way, the g in “manger” is pronounced /ʒ/ while in “mangant” it would be pronounced /g/.

To avoid the change in the pronunciation, the following transformations occur :

  • c is transformed into ç before a a (ant, ai, ais, aient…) or o (ons, ont…)
  • g is transformed into ge before a a or o

So, here are a few examples :

  • piéger (to trap) → piégeant, nous piégeons, vous piégeassiez…
  • foncer (to rush) → en fonçant, tu fonçais, nous fonçons…

2. To avoid a double atone syllable

Although it’s not as marked as in other languages such as Spanish, in French, some vowels do have a tonic accent, and some don’t. It’s not really accepted to have two atone syllables one after another. As some of the conjugation terminations are atone, when the radical ends with an atone syllable too, it sometimes has to be replaced by a tonic one. We’ll enumerate the cases.

The -er French verbs ending in –emer, -ener,ecer, –eder, –eler, –eter, –ever, etc… take a grave accent on the last e of their radical when the termination is silent to avoid the presence of two following atonic syllables.

Similarly, in the same situation, the -er French verbs ending in –émer, -éner, -éder, -éder, -éper, –éguer, –éfler, –éguer, –écher, etc… transform their acute accent to a grave accent.

However, there is the exception of some verbs in –eler and –eter that must double the l or the t instead of taking an accent to achieve the same phonetic effect : appeler, rappeler, jeter rejeter…

Surely, you’ll get it better with examples :

VerbAtone terminationTonic termination
jeter (to throw)je jettenous jetons
appeler (to call)tu appellesvous jetez
semer (to sow)nous sèmerionsnous semions
geler (to freeze)il gèleil gela
régner (to rein)ils règnentils régnèrent
peser (to weigh)je pèseraispesant
léguer (to bequeath)tu lèguerasen léguant
acheter (to buy)il achète / il achetteil acheta
céder (to cede)ils cèdentils cédaient

3. To avoid jaw-breakers

The -er French verbs ending in -yer can have their y transformed into a i before an atone termination.

  • it’s mandatory for the verbs in -oyer and -uyer
  • for others the verbs in -eyer, its forbidden
  • and you have the choice with verbs -ayer.

For instance, we would have :

  • payer (to pay) → je paye / je paie, tu payes / tu paies…
  • volleyer (to play volley-ball) → je volleye, tu volleyes…
  • aboyer (to bark) →j’aboie, tu aboies…

What’s next?

C’est quoi, la suite ?

Et voilà, we reached the end of our lesson about the -er French verbs. Don´t hesitate to bookmark this page so you can refer to it anytime you want to check a termination. You can derive any -er French verb from these tables, but if you need to see the extended conjugation tables for a verb in particular, you can use the official Bescherelle’s online conjugation tool.

Allez, à bientôt !

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