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French Verb Tenses Chart

The French language possesses many more specific verb tenses than English does, and the conjugation of verbs is complex and subject to many exceptions. The good news is that the vast majority of cases follows easily-remembered rules.

Briefly, here are the French verb tenses and explanations. It might be helpful to print this chart and refer to it as you study French verbs.

French Translation Explanation
MODE: Indicatif Indicative
Présent Present
Imparfait Imperfect
Passé Simple —————- Literary past tense
Futur Simple Future
Passé composé ——————- Summarizes 3 English tenses
Plus que Parfait Pluperfect
Passé Antérieur Past Anterior
Futur Antérieur
MODE:

Subjonctif

Subjunctive

Présent Present
Imparfait Imperfect
Passé Past
Plus que Parfait Pluperfect
MODE:

Conditionnel

Conditional

Présent Present
Passé —————– Literary (rarely used)
Imparfait Imperfect
MODE:

Infinitif

Infinitive

MODE:

Imperatif

Imperative

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