101+ top irregular verbs in French & their verb conjugations

Ah, the French language and its infamous irregular verbs… Sure, other languages have irregular verbs too. But there are so many in French! Plus, it’s not always easy to figure out their spelling simply by listening carefully.

Please, don’t drop this article just yet, because I do have good news for you. While you’ll have to learn irregular verbs in French, once you know the main ones, you’ll be able to use them in most of your conversations. And that’s when the fun begins when learning a language!

Consider learning French — or any other language for that matter — like working out. It’s hard and boring at first, but once you feel and see the results — and experience the pump — it becomes easier and fun!

So, grab your language dumbbells and get ready to sweat with irregular verbs for French!

What are irregular verbs in French grammar?

Irregular verbs are — act surprised — verbs that don’t follow the regular conjugation pattern.

Verbs like être, avoir, aller and faire are all irregular, and extremely common.

This is good news for the French learner that you are, because you’ll be exposed to them all the time, and it will help you memorize them quickly.

10 most common French irregular verbs and their conjugation

While there are hundreds of irregular verbs in French — worry not, some are very rarely used — we’re going to focus on the priority ones to get you up and talking in no time.

Allez, hop !

1. Avoir - To have

Below is the present tense and past participle of avoir. And if you just can’t get enough of this cute and sooo useful verb, you’ll find all tenses and modes in this article.

ConjugationExample sentence
J’aiJ’ai faim. (I really am, it’s almost lunchtime at the time of this writing)
Tu asTu as faim.
Il/Elle aIl/Elle a faim.
Nous avonsNous avons faim.
Vous avezVous avez faim.
Ils/Elles ontIls/Elles ont faim.

J’ai eu peur dans la maison hantée.

Past participle: Eu


J’ai eu peur dans la maison hantée.

I got scared in the haunted house.

2. Être - To be

Here is the present tense and past participle of avoir’s best buddy: être. We also wrote an entire article on this chameleonic verb!

ConjugationExample sentence
Je suisJe suis fou/folle. (What, it can be a compliment!)
Tu esTu es fou/folle.
Il/Elle estIl/Elle est fou/folle.
Nous sommesNous sommes fous/folles.
Vous êtesVous êtes fous/folles.
Ils/Elles sontIls/Elles sont fous/folles.

J’ai été gâtée pour mon anniversaire, example of irregular verbs in French.

Past participle: Été


J’ai été gâtée pour mon anniversaire.

I’ve been spoiled for my birthday.

3. Aller - To go

When it’s time to go, it’s time to go. This article on how to ask for the bathroom in French might come in handy, by the way.

ConjugationExample sentence
Je vaisJe vais chez un copain.
Tu vasTu vas chez un copain
Il/Elle vaIl/Elle va chez un copain.
Nous allonsNous allons chez un copain.
Vous allezVous allez chez un copain.
Ils/Elles vontIls/Elles vont chez un copain.

Es-tu déjà allé(e) au Canada ?

Past participle: Allé


Es-tu déjà allé(e) au Canada ?

Have you ever been to Canada?

4. Dire - To say

Qui a dit que les verbes français étaient compliqués ?

ConjugationExample sentence
Je disJe dis bonjour à mon voisin.
Tu disTu dis bonjour à ton voisin.
Il/Elle ditIl/Elle dit bonjour à son voisin.
Nous disonsNous disons bonjour à notre voisin.
Vous ditesVous dites bonjour à votre voisin.
Ils/Elles disentIls/Elles disent bonjour à leur voisin.

Qu’est-ce qu’il a dit ?

Past participle: Dit


Qu’est-ce qu’il a dit ?

What did he say?

5. Faire - To do/make

Many French speakers have a hard time differentiating between “do” and “make”. And that’s because in French, they are both translated by the same word: faire.

See, for once, French is easier than English!

ConjugationExample sentence
Je faisJe fais mes courses.
Tu faisTu fais tes courses.
Il/Elle faitIl/Elle fait ses courses.
Nous faisonsNous faisons nos courses.
Vous faitesVous faites vos courses.
Ils/Elles fontIls/Elles font leurs courses.

J’ai fait mes devoirs.

Past participle: Fait


J’ai fait mes devoirs.

I did my homework.

J’ai fait à manger.

I made lunch/dinner.

6. Voir - To see

I see… I see… you want more irregular verbs French conjugation!

ConjugationExample sentence
Je voisJe vois une maison bleue.
Tu asTu vois une maison bleue.
Il/Elle aIl/Elle voit une maison bleue.
Nous avonsNous voyons une maison bleue.
Vous avezVous voyez une maison bleue.
Ils/Elles ontIls/Elles voient une maison bleue.

Elle a vu Titanic huit fois au cinéma.

Past participle: Vu


Elle a vu Titanic huit fois au cinéma. (No idea who I’m talking about)

She saw Titanic eight times at the theatre.

7. Savoir- To know

I’m sure you always wanted to know everything about savoir!

ConjugationExample sentence
Je saisJe sais que tu viendras pour mon anniversaire.
Tu saisTu sais qu’il viendra pour ton anniversaire.
Il/Elle saitIl/Elle sait qu’il viendra pour son anniversaire.
Nous sachonsNous savons qu’il viendra pour notre anniversaire.
Vous savezVous savez qu’il viendra pour votre anniversaire.
Ils/Elles saventIls/Elles savent qu’il viendra pour leur anniversaire.

Je n’ai pas su quoi lui répondre.

Past participle: Su


Je n’ai pas su quoi lui répondre.

I didn’t know what to answer.

8. Falloir - Must/should

This one is a weirdo. It’s the equivalent of “must”, or “should”, but it only has one conjugation in the third person and is always used with a second verb. The subject comes before the latter.

ConjugationExample sentence
Il fautIl faut que tu viennes.

Il a fallu qu’elle parte.

Past participle: Fallu


Il a fallu qu’elle parte.

She had to go.

9. Pouvoir - Can

Yes you can… learn irregular verbs in French!

ConjugationExample sentence
Je peuxJe peux t’appeler demain.
Tu peuxTu peux l’appeler demain.
Il/Elle peutIl/Elle peut l’appeler demain.
Nous pouvonsNous pouvons l’appeler demain.
Vous pouvezVous pouvez l’appeler demain.
Ils/Elles peuventIls/Elles peuvent l’appeler demain.

J’ai pu rendre visite à ma tante.

Past participle: Pu


J’ai pu rendre visite à ma tante.

I could visit my aunt.

10. Valoir - To be worth

Here is valoir conjugation. Because you’re worth it!

ConjugationExample sentence
Je vauxJe le vaux bien. (Can’t quote any brand, but it will help you remember it!)
Tu vauxTu le vaux bien.
Il/Elle vautIl/Elle le vaut bien.
Nous valonsNous avons faim
Vous valezVous avez faim
Ils/Elles valentIls/Elles ont faim

Ça a valu la peine d’y aller.

Past participle: Valu


Ça a valu la peine d’y aller.

It was worth going.

Conjugation of iregular re verbs in French

You might find different information on the conjugation of re verbs in French. Some sources divide them in 5 groups, and some others in more.

They are all correct, as it depends on if you bundle some very similar verbs together or not. For example, “mettre” and “battre” have the same conjugation, except for the past participle, passé simple and imperfect subjonctive.

For more clarity, we have decided to separate the verbs when they vary, even slightly.

PronounVerbs like prendreVerbs like cuireVerbs like écrireVerbs like craindreVerbs like battreVerbs like mettreVerbs like rompreVerbs like connaître
Past participlepriscuitécritcraintbattumisrompuconnu
More verbs that follow the same patternApprendre, comprendre, surprendre, méprendre, entreprendre, reprendre, etc.Conduire, construire, confire, contredire, déduire, détruire, éconduire, élire, frire, enduire, induire, interdire, instruire, introduire, lire, médire, luire, nuitre, prédire, reconduire, produire, reconstruire, reluire, réduire, séduire, reproduire, traduire, suffire, etc.Décrire, inscrire, circonscrire, prescrire, récrire, proscrire, souscrire, transcrire, etc.Adjoindre, atteindre, astreindre, contraindre, ceindre, déteintre, dépeindre, disjoindre, enfreindre, empreindre, épreindre, éteindre, étreindre, geindre, feindre, joindre, oindre, peindre, plaindre, rejoindre, repeindre, restreindre, reteindre, teindre, etc.Abattre, combattre, débattre, etc.Admetre, commettre, compromettre, promettre, permettre, transmettre, soumettre, etc.Corrompre, interrompre, etc.Apparaître, disparaître, méconnaître, comparaître, paraître, reconnaître, reparaître, transparaître, etc.

Ir verbs French conjugation

There are about 60 irregular “ir” verbs in French. That might seem like a lot, but don’t worry, you don’t need to memorize them all. The verbs in the table below — verbes du deuxième groupe — give you a pattern to follow, to conjugate many more similar verbs!

That being said, here is a list of the truly irregular “ir” verbs (and their cousins) that don’t follow any pattern:

  • acquérir | conquérir
  • assaillir | défaillir | saillir | tressaillir
  • asseoir
  • avoir
  • bouillir
  • courir | parcourir | secourir
  • décevoir | recevoir
  • devoir
  • falloir
  • mourir
  • mouvoir | émouvoir | promouvoir
  • pleuvoir
  • pouvoir | vouloir
  • savoir
  • servir | desservir
  • valoir
  • vêtir | revêtir
  • voir
PronounVerbs like dormirVerbs like ouvrirVerbs like venir
Past participledormiouvertvenu
More verbs that follow the same patternPartir, mentir, sortir, sentir, servir, etc.

Couvrir, offrir, cueillir, souffrirAdvenir, appartenir, (s’)abstenir, contenir, détenir, convenir, devenir, intervenir, entretenir, maintenir, obtenir, prévenir, parvenir, retenir, provenir, soutenir, revenir, (se) souvenir, tenir, etc.

Er verbs French conjugation

Ok, French grammar purists will tell you that technically, “er” verbs in French are not irregular.

But as you know too well, “l’exception confirme la règle !

So there is one verb that is not part of le premier groupe: “aller”. Despite its misleading “er” ending, this verb has a life — and conjugation of its own.

That makes it part of all the French verbs misfits, the ones that do not respect any pattern, the infamous “troisième groupe”.

Apart from “aller”, all “er” verbs — or verbes du premier groupe — have similar conjugations… except a few exceptions of course, as you can see below!

PronounVerbs like allerVerbs like étudierVerbs like payerVerbs like acheterVerbs like appeler
Past participlealléétudiépayéachetéappelé
More verbs that follow the same patternThat one goes solo.

Crier, skier, supplier, plier, officier, qualifier, associer, etc.Ennuyer, nettoyer, etc.Lever, mener, peser, geler, haleter, relever, racheter, etc.Jeter, ciseler, déniveler, interpeler, grommeler, etc.

Why are there irregular verbs?

If you think some mischievous troll or evil force is controlling French conjugation, well… you might be right, who knows?

But I’ll give you a more rationnal explanation (rabat-joie !).

In French, as is many other languages, some of the most used verbs are irregular due to their mutation over time.

It doesn’t mean you should use wrong conjugations in French to see if you can make a verb mutate — although, that would be fun. It takes centuries!

If you think irregular verbs French conjugation is a nightmare, you’re not the only one. Check out this hilarious video!

But I’m here to encourage you. Call me your grammar cheerleader!

Without underestimating or sugar-coating irregular verbs in French, just know that some other languages are much more difficult. Look at this ranking of the most difficult languages to learn. You’ll have to wait to 2:28 minutes to see French! And it’s not even in our ranking of the hardest languages for English speakers to master.

Also, all these irregular verbs make it entertaining. It’s impossible to get bored with the same old conjugations!

So, take French conjugation as a challenge. With regular workouts, consistency and the help of our blog, you’ll get fit in French in no time!

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