All About French Verbs and Adverbs

By optilingo

Easy way to study French verbs and adverbs, including French verbs, including French verb tense, French mood

Understanding grammar will help you on your way to foreign language fluency. When learning the French language, it’s important to understand French grammar and the role that its verbs and adverbs play when using the language.

A Quick Comparison

When dealing with tenses in Engish, you’ll soon see that it is relatively simple. There are the usual exceptions that make it a little harder to conjugate, like words like swim and run, but compared to French verbs, this is really easy. In fact, most western language have more complex conjugations than English. It may come as a bit of surprise with French since English is partly derived from French. Like articles, you are going to find yourself having to adjust verbs based on if the subject is singular or plural, and the person being talked about.

First, it’s best to be able to identify when you are looking at a verb. There are three endings that indicate a verb:

  1. Infinitive ending in “-er” – the most common type of verb, and they have a regular conjugation
  2. Infinitive ending in “-ir”
  3. Infinitive ending in “-re”

Present Tense

The first tense to learn in another language is present tense, and it is actually simpler in French than English. This is because English has three different ways to express present tense.

I walk.
I am walking.
I do walk.

In French, you only have one way to express the present tense.

Je marche.

It means the same as all three versions of the English present tense. This makes it the ideal place to start looking at the three verb ending types.

One thing to note is that the first person plural (“nous”) conjugation does not change, regardless of tense. Whenever you want to say “We….” you will always conjugate it exactly the same, “Nous –ons.” The one exception is “to be;” that is conjugated as “nous sommes” or “we are.”

This is also true of third person plural (“ils”) – there are no excpetions. You can feel comfortable conjugating because it will always be “Ils –ent.”

The conjugation of the second person plural (“vous”) conjugation is almost always the same. If you aren’t sure, you can fall back on the one shown above (“Vous –ez”) and you will almost always be right. Do take the time to memorize the exceptions and practice working them into conversation.

-ER Ending (Simple Verbs)

The easiest of the three types is verbs ending in “-er,” as well as it being the most common. The following table shows you how to conjugate this verb in the present tense.

Prounoun

French Verb Ending

Example

Translation

-er

Marcher

To walk

Je (I)

-e

Je marche.

I walk. I am walking.

Tu (You – singular)

-es

Tu marches.

You walk. You are walking.

Il/Elle (He/She)

-e

Il marche.

He walks. He is walking.

Nous (We)

-ons

Nous marchons.

We walk. We are walking.

Vous (You – plural)

-ez

Vous marchez.

You all walk. You all are walking.

Ils/Elles (They)

-ent

Ils marchent.

They walk. They are walking.

  1. You likely will not use “tu” when visiting France as it is only for informal use (people you know well). The formal form of singular “you” is “vous” which also serves as the plural you
  2. Though you need to know how to spell them, the singular endings (“-e” and “-es”) and third person plural endings (“-ent”) are all silent. This will make it easier to get it right when speaking – but you will need to spend time writing them out so that you learn the differences.

-IR Ending

The following table contains the standard way of conjugating “-ir” verbs. However, you should be aware that a large number exceptions. This verb ending will likely take you a while to learn as it will require a considerable amount of memorization.

Prounoun

French Verb Ending

Example

Translation

-ir

Finir

To finish

Je (I)

-is

Je finis.

I finish. I am finnishing.

Tu (You – singular)

ies

Tu finis.

You finish. You are finishing.

Il/Elle (He/She)

-it

Il finit.

He finishes. He is finishing.

Nous (We)

-ssons

Nous finissons.

We finish. We are finishing.

Vous (You – plural)

-issez

Vous finissez.

You all finish. You all are finishing.

Ils/Elles (They)

-issent

Ils finissent.

They finish. They are finishing.

  1. All three singular forms sound the same, making it easier to conjugate when you speak. Do take the time to learn how to spel them though as they are not the same conjugation.
  1. There are two verbs that end in “-ir” that do not follow this pattern: “ouvrir” (to open) and “offrir” (to offer). These follow the same conjugation as the “-er” verbs.

-RE Ending

The following table contains the standard way of conjugating “-re” verbs. Like the “-ir” verbs, there are as many exceptions as there are verbs that follow these rules. That doesn’t mean it won’t help, but you will need to spend time memorizing the the excptions once you have the baseline down.

Prounoun

French Verb Ending

Example

Translation

-re

Dire

To say

Je (I)

-s

Je dis.

I say. I am saying.

Tu (You – singular)

-s

Tu dis.

You say. You are saying.

Il/Elle (He/She)

-d or -t

Il dit.

He says. He is saying.

Nous (We)

-ons

Nous disons.

We say. We are saying.

Vous (You – plural)

-ez or -es

Vous dites.

You all say. You all are saying.

Ils/Elles (They)

-ent

Ils disent.

They say. They are saying.

  1. All three singular forms sound the same, making it easier to conjugate when you speak. Do take the time to learn how to spel them though as they are not the same conjugation.

Common Irregular Verbs

The following table shows you the present tense form of common verbs that do not follow these rules.

Prounoun

Aller
(to go)

Avoir
(to have)

Boire
(to drink)

Connaitre
(to know)

Courir
(to run)

Faire
(to do/make)

Je (I)

Vais

Ai

Bois

Connais

Cours

Fais

Tu (You – singular)

Vas

As

Bois

Connais

Cours

Fais

Il/Elle (He/She)

Va

A

Boit

Connait

Court

Fait

Nous (We)

Allons

Avons

Buvons

Connaissons

Courons

Faisons

Vous (You – plural)

Allez

Avez

Buvez

Connaissez

Courez

Faites

Ils/Elles (They)

Vont

Ont

Boivent

Connaissent

Courent

Font

Prounoun

Lire
(to read)

Mettre
(to put)

Pouvoir
(to be able)

Recevoir
(to receive)

Savoir
(to know)

Vouloir
(to want)

Je (I)

Lis

Mets

Peux

Reçois

Sais

Veux

Tu (You – singular)

Lis

Mets

Peux

Reçois

Sais

Veux

Il/Elle (He/She)

Lit

Met

Peut

Reçoit

Sait

Veut

Nous (We)

Lisons

Mettons

Pouvons

Recevons

Savons

Voulons

Vous (You – plural)

Lisez

Mettez

Pouvez

Recevez

Savez

Voulez

Ils/Elles (They)

Lisent

Mettent

Peuvent

Reçoivent

Savent

Veulent

Past Tense

Past tense in French is a lot more like English – you have several ways to express the same idea. Just as you can say either “I spoke.” or “I have spoken.” in English, you have two options to express tense in French.

The easiest way to follow them is to break them down by the verb endings (just like the present tense). However, before getting to the breakdown, let’s review how to create the past participle in French. In the example, “I have spoken.” is the past participle form while “I spoke.” is the simple past tense.

You will need to conjugate the action verb by adding “-é” (for –ER ending verbs), “-i” or “-u” to it, plus adding the right conjugation of “avoir” (“to have”) before the action verb.

I have visited. J’ai visité.
You have visited. Tu as visité.
He has visited. Il a visité.
We have visited. Nous avons visité.
You have visited. Vous avez visité.
They have visited. Ils ont visité.
I have chosen. J’ai choisi.
You have chosen. Tu as choisi.
He has chosen. Il a choisi.
We have chosen. Nous avons choisi.
You have chosen. Vous avez choisi.
They have chosen. Ils ont choisi.
I have lost. J’ai perdu.
You have lost. Tu as perdu.
He has lost. Il a perdu.
We have lost. Nous avons perdu.
You have lost. Vous avez perdu.
They have lost. Ils ont perdu.

This covers the three common ending types.

Common Irregular Verbs

As you probably remember though, there were a lot of verbs that were exptions to the established rules. The following table will help you with some of the most common irregular past participles.

English Infinitive

French Infinite

French Past Participle

English Past Participle

To have

Avoir

Eu

Had

To drink

Boire

Bu

Drunk

To know

Connaître

Connu

Known

To run

Courir

Couru

Run

To beieve

Croire

Cru

Believed

To owe

Devoir

Ought

To say/tell

Dire

Dit

Said/told

To be

Être

Été

Been

To do/make

Faire

Fait

Done/made

To read

Lire

Lu

read

To put

Mettre

Mis

Put

To offer

Offrir

Offert

Offered

To open

Ouvrir

Ouvert

Opened

To leave

Partir

Parti

Left

To be able

Pouvoir

Pu

Been able

To take

Prendre

Pris

Taken

To receive

Recevoir

Reçu

Received

Laugh

Rire

Ri

Laughed

To know

Savoir

Su

Known

To come

Venir

Venu

Come

To see

Voir

Vu

Seen

To want

Vouloir

Voulu

Wanted

Verbs That Use Étre

Sixteen French verbs use “étre” instead of “avoir” to express the past participle.

To go aller Il est allé.
To arrive arriver Il est arrivé.
To descend descendre Il est descendu.
To become devenir Il est devenu.
To enter entrer Il est entré.
To go up monter Il est monté.
To die mourir Il est mort.
To be born naître Il est né.
To leave partir Il est parti.
To return rentrer Il est rentré.
To remain rester Il est resté.
To return retourner Il est retourné.
To come back revenir Il est revenu.
To go out sortir Il est sorti.
To fall tomber Il est tombé.
To come venir Il est venu.

Each of these requires a different conjugation of “étre” to agree with the gender and whether the subject is singular or plural. For feminine singular nouns, the past participle ends in “-e.” For masculine plural nouns, the past participle ends in “-s.” For feminine plural nouns, the past participle ends in “-es.”

Note that the sound does not change, but you need to know the correct spelling for writing and reading.

I have left (masculine). Je suis sorti.
I have left (feminine). Je suis sortie.
You have left (masculine/singular). Tu es sorti.
You have left (feminine/singiular). Tu es sortie.
He has left. Il est sorti.
She has left. Elle est sortie.
We have left (masculine). Nous sommes sortis.
We have left (feminine). Nous sommes sorties.
You have left (masculine/plural). Vous êtes sortis. (no “s” if singular formal)
You have left (feminine/plural). Vous êtes sorties. (no “s” if singular formal)
They have left (masculine). Ils sont sortis.

Negative Past Tense

In French, making a sentence have a negative meaning, you add “ne … pas” around the first part of the verb (“être” or “avoir”).

They did not arrive on time. Elles ne sont pas arrivées à temps.
I haven’t paid the bill yet. Je n’ai pas encore payé la note.

Imperfect Past Tense

When you want to express how things use to be, you do that in the imperfect past tense. French also has this tense for the same purpose, and it follows similar rules as English.

The following table shows the conjugation for verbs ending in”-er.”

Prounoun

French Verb Ending

Example

Translation

Parler

To speak

Je (I)

-ais

Je parlais.

I spoke. I used to speak.

Tu (You – singular)

-ais

Tu parlais.

You spoke. You used to speak.

Il/Elle (He/She)

-ait

Il parlait.

He spoke. He used to speak.

Nous (We)

-ions

Nous parlions.

We spoke. We used to speak.

Vous (You – plural)

-iez

Vous parliez.

You all spoke. You all used to speak.

Ils/Elles (They)

-aient

Ils parlaient.

They spoke. They used to speak.

The following table shows the conjugation for verbs ending in”-ir.”

Prounoun

French Verb Ending

Example

Translation

Finir

To finish

Je (I)

-ais

Je finissais.

I finished. I used to finish.

Tu (You – singular)

-ais

To finissais.

You finished. You used to finish.

Il/Elle (He/She)

-ait

Il finissait.

He finished. He used to finish.

Nous (We)

-ions

Nous finissions.

We finished. We used to finish.

Vous (You – plural)

-iez

Vous finissiez.

You all finished. You all used to finish.

Ils/Elles (They)

-aient

Ils finissaient.

They finished. They used to finish.

The following table shows the conjugation for verbs ending in”-re.”

Prounoun

French Verb Ending

Example

Translation

Attendre

To wait

Je (I)

-ais

J’attendais

I waited. I used to wait.

Tu (You – singular)

-ais

Tu attendais

You waited. You used to wait.

Il/Elle (He/She)

-ait

Il attendait.

He waited. He used to wait.

Nous (We)

-ions

Nous attendions.

We waited. We used to wait.

Vous (You – plural)

-iez

Vous attendiez.

You all waited. You all used to wait.

Ils/Elles (They)

-aient

Ils attendaient.

They waited. They used to wait.

“Ais”, “ait” and “aient” are all pronounced the same, like the “e” in “bet”.

Pluperfect Tense

There is one more way of saying something in the past tense with a slightly nuanced meaning. It is called the pluperfect tense and includes the use of “to have” in English. The French pluperfect tense follows the same pattern.

I had taken. J’avais pris.
You had taken. Tu avais pris.
He had taken. Il avait pris.
We had taken. Nous avions pris.
You all had taken Vous aviez pris.
They had taken. Ils avaient pris.
I had fallen. J’étais tombé.
You had fallen. Tu étais tombé.
He had fallen. Il était tombé.
She had fallen. Elle était tombée.
We had fallen. Nous étions tombés.
You all had fallen. Vous étiez tombés.
They had fallen. Ils étaient tombés (masculine).
They ahd fallen. Elles étaient tombées (feminine).

Future Tense

Identifying future tense is simple – it includes the addition of “will.” For example, “I will go to the store” and “They will get to it later.” You can also use “shall,” but that word comes with certain conotations (it is used to indicate something is required) that are largely ignored today. As French does not differentiate between “will” and “shall,” we won’t go into it here. Future tense is more difficult in French because you do not add a word to indicate future tense; you conjugate the verb to show future tense. Like the other tenses, that means memorizing the common endings and irregular verbs. Fortunately, you don’t have to memorize three different conjugations for the three different verb endings – they all follow the same pattern: the infinitive (without its final “e” for the 3rd class of verb) and the same ending.

The following table shows the future tense conjugation for verbs ending in”-er.”

Prounoun

French Verb Ending

Example

Translation

-er

Donner

To give

Je (I)

-erai

Je donnerai.

I will give.

Tu (You – singular)

-eras

Tu donneras.

You will give.

Il/Elle (He/She)

-era

Il donnera.

He will give.

Nous (We)

-erons

Nous donnerons.

We will give.

Vous (You – plural)

-erez

Vous donnerez.

You all will give.

Ils/Elles (They)

-ont

Ils donneront

They will give .

The following table shows the future tense conjugation for verbs ending in”-ir.”

Prounoun

French Verb Ending

Example

Translation

-ir

Bâtir

To build

Je (I)

-irai

Je bâtirai.

I will build.

Tu (You – singular)

-iras

Tu bâtiras.

You will build.

Il/Elle (He/She)

-ira

Il bâtira.

He will build

Nous (We)

-irons

Nous bâtirons.

We will build.

Vous (You – plural)

-irez

Vous bâtirez.

You all will build.

Ils/Elles (They)

-iront

Ils bâtiront.

They will build.

The following table shows the future tense conjugation for verbs ending in”-re.”

Prounoun

French Verb Ending

Example

Translation

-re

Rendre

To give back.

Je (I)

-rai

Je rendrai.

I will give back.

Tu (You – singular)

-ras

Tu rendras.

You will give back.

Il/Elle (He/She)

-ra

Il rendra.

He will give back.

Nous (We)

-rons

Nous rendrons.

We will give back.

Vous (You – plural)

-rez

Vous rendrez.

You all will give back.

Ils/Elles (They)

-ront

Ils rendront.

They will give back.

Notice that all three have the same verb ending, so you only have to worry about the case and plurality to express future tense.

Common Irregular Verbs

Many of the verbs that were irregular in the present tense continue to cause problems and be exceptions in the future tense as well. You can memorize the following tables of common irregular verbs once you are accustomed to conjugating regular verbs in the future tense.

Prounoun

Aller
(to go)

Avoir
(to have)

Devoir
(must/ought)

Envoyer
(to send)

Étre
(to be)

Faire
(to do/make)

Je (I)

Irai

Aurai

Devrai

Enverrai

Serai

Ferai

Tu (You – singular)

Iras

Auras

Devras

Enverras

Seras

Feras

Il/Elle (He/She)

Ira

Aura

Devra

Enverra

Sera

Fera

Nous (We)

Irons

Aurons

Devrons

Enverrons

Serons

Ferons

Vous (You – plural)

Irez

Aurez

Devrez

Enverrez

Serez

Ferez

Ils/Elles (They)

Iront

Auront

Devront

Enverront

Seront

Feront

Prounoun

Pouvoir
(to be able)

Recevoir
(to receive)

Savoir
(to know)

Venir
(to come)

Voir
(to see)

Vouloir
(to want)

Je (I)

Pourrai

Recevrai

Saurai

Viendrai

Verrai

Voudrai

Tu (You – singular)

Pourras

Recevras

Sauras

Viendras

Verras

Voudras

Il/Elle (He/She)

Pourra

Recevra

Saura

Viendra

Verra

Voudra

Nous (We)

Pourrons

Recevrons

Saurons

Viendrons

Verrons

Voudrons

Vous (You – plural)

Pourrez

Recevrez

Saurez

Viendrez

Verrez

Voudrez

Ils/Elles (They)

Pourront

Recevront

Sauront

Viendront

Verront

Voudront

It is also possible to avoid using future tense if you feel too bogged down in the other tenses to learn these new verb endings. In English, you do this by using a form of “to be” and “going” – “I am going to go,” “She is going to find it,” and “They are going to be late.” All of these indicate something that will happen (it is a future event), but none of them use the future tense with “will.” It is exactly the same in French.

I am going to go. Je vais y aller.
She is going to find it. Elle va le trouver.
They are going to be late. Ils vont être en retard.
I leave for London on Friday. Je pars pour Londres vendredi

Conditional Tense

As if there weren’t enough tenses, both English and French also have the conditional tense. As the name implies, the structure of the sentence changes based on a condition. “Would” is the most common Engish word associated with this tense – “I would go if the timing were better,” or “They would have found.” There isn’t a word in French to create this tense, but another way to conjugate the verbs. Like the future, it’s based on the infinitive form (without the “e” for 3rd class verbs) to which the endings of imperfect are added.

English Prounoun

French Verb Ending

Example

Translation

Manger

To eat

Je (I)

-ais

Je mangerais.

I would eat.

Tu (You – singular)

-ais

Tu mangerais.

You would eat.

Il/Elle (He/She)

-ait

Il /Elle mangerait.

He/She would eat.

Nous (We)

-ions

Nous mangerions.

We would eat.

Vous (You – plural)

-iez

Vous mangeriez.

You all would eat.

Ils/Elles (They)

-aient

Ils/Elles mangeraient.

They would eat.

And like all other tenses, there are some verbs that simply refuse to follow the set pattern. It is usually the same set of verbs, which makes it a little easier to remember that you need to adjust the conjugations once you need to say one of these verbs. Nearly all verbs that are irregular in the future tense use the same stem to express the conditional tense.

Prounoun

Aller
(to go)

Avoir
(to have)

Devoir
(must/ought)

Envoyer
(to send)

Étre
(to be)

Faire
(to do/make)

Je (I)

J’irais

J’aurais

Je devrais.

J’enverrais.

Je serais.

Je ferais.

Prounoun

Pouvoir
(to be able)

Recevoir
(to receive)

Savoir
(to know)

Venir
(to come)

Voir
(to see)

Vouloir
(to want)

Je (I)

Je pourrais.

Je recevrais.

Je saurais.

Je viendrais.

Je verrais.

Je voudrais.

To express the conditional tense as a past event in French, you add either “avoir” or “étre” and the past participle. Use the past participle section to determine which form of “to be” to use.

I would have sold it. Je l’aurais vendu.
You would have sold it. vendu (formal) Tu l’aurais vendu. (informal) / Vous l’auriez
She would have sold it. Elle l’aurait vendu.
We would have sold it. Nous l’aurions vendu.
You all would have sold it. Vous l’auriez tous vendu.
They would have sold it. Ils l’auraient vendu.
I would have left. Je serais parti.
You would have left. Tu serais parti.
She would have left. Elle serait partie.
We would have left. Nous serions partis.
You all would have left. Vous seriez tous partis.
They woud have left. Ils seraient partis.

Reflexive Verb Tenses

All western languages have reflexive verbs – verbs that require both a subject and repetition of that subject after the verb, although English uses them less frequently than most languages. . For example, “I washed myself after I jogged.” You can omit “myself” and the sentence still makes sense. When speaking French, you cannot omit the reflexive pronoun.

myself me
yourself (singular) te
himself/herself/itself se
ourselves nous
yourself (plural) vous
themselves se

Not only you need to know the right reflexive pronoun, you have to be able to conjugate the verb based on the tense. “To hurry” is a reflexive verb in French. The following show the present tense conjugation of “to hurry.”

I hurry myself. Je me dépêche.
You hurry yourself. Tu te dépêches.
She hurries herself. Elle se dépêche.
We hurry ourselves. Nous nous dépêchons.
You all hurry yourselves. Vous vous dépêchez.
They hurry themselves. Ils/Elles se dépêchent.

It is a little awkward to work in with plural forms because you will repeat the same word twice – “nous nous” and “vous vous.” It takes a little while to get used to it.

The following is a list of French reflexive verbs.

To have a good time s’amuser
To be called, names s’appeler
To sit down s’asseoir
To go to bed se coucher
To get dressed s’habiller
To wash se laver
To get up se lever
To be/feel se porter
To shave se raser
To be quiet se taire
To be located se trouver

Infinitives with Special Prepositions

This is something that you use all the time in English, with verbs like “to get accustomed to” and “to follow up.” In French, you will need to learn when to use either the preposition “à” or “de” for the verb infinitives that require a preposition. Essentially, you are going to need to spend time memorizing the verbs and their preoposition.

The following are verbs that use “à” when followed by another verb in the infinitive form.

To learn apprendre
To help aider
To begin commencer
To teach enseigner
To invite inviter
He is teaching me to swim. Il m’enseigne à nager.
We are beginning to understand. Nous commençons à comprendre.

The following are verbs use “de” when followed by another verb in the infinitive form.

To stop cesser
To decide décider
To forbid défendre
To ask demander
To tell dire
To prevent empêcher
To try essayer/tâcher
To take care not to se garder
To fail manquer
To forget oublier
To promise promettre
To refuse refuser
To remember se souvenir
He promised that he would try to come Il a promis qu’il tâcherait de venir.
Don’t fail to go there Ne manquez pas d’y aller.

Subjunctive Tense

The most painful tense in English is the subjunctive tense. It is largely ignored because it sounds so wrong when you use it properly (“If I were to go, I would bring the cups.” is proper subjective, but it is almost cringeworthy because it both looks and sounds completely wrong). However, it is frequently used in French, so it is important to take the time to learn the French subjunctive sentence structure. Since you are not as familiar, it isn’t going to sound wrong to you either, which is one benefit.

The following table shows the subjunctive case for verbs ending in”-er.”

Prounoun

French Verb Ending

Example

-er

Parler (to speak)

Je (I)

-e

Parle

Tu (You – singular)

-es

Parles

Il/Elle (He/She)

-e

Parle

Nous (We)

-ions

Parlions

Vous (You – plural)

-iez

Parliez

Ils/Elles (They)

-ent

Parlent

The following table shows the subjunctive case for verbs ending in”-ir.”

Prounoun

French Verb Ending

Example

-ir

Finir (to finish)

Je (I)

-isse

Finisse

Tu (You – singular)

-isses

Finisses

Il/Elle (He/She)

-isse

Finisse

Nous (We)

-issions

Finissions

Vous (You – plural)

-issiez

Finissiez

Ils/Elles (They)

-issent

Finissent

The following table shows the subjunctive case for verbs ending in”-re.”

Prounoun

French Verb Ending

Example

-re

Vendre (to sell)

Je (I)

-e

Vende

Tu (You – singular)

-es

Vendes

Il/Elle (He/She)

-e

Vende

Nous (We)

-ions

Vendions

Vous (You – plural)

-iez

Vendiez

Ils/Elles (They)

-ent

Vendent

The following are the exceptions to these rules.

Prounoun

Aller
(to go)

Faire
(to do/make)

Pouvoir
(to be able)

Prendre
(to take)

Recevoir
(to receive)

Savoir
(to know)

Venir
(to come)

Je (I)

Aille

Fasse

Puisse

Prenne

Reçoive

Sache

Vienne

Tu (You – singular)

Ailles

Fasses

Puisses

Prennes

Reçoives

Saches

Viennes

Il/Elle (He/She)

Aille

Fasse

Puisse

Prenne

Reçoive

Sache

Vienne

Nous (We)

Allions

Fassions

Puissions

Prenions

Recevions

Sachions

Venions

Vous (You – plural)

Alliez

Fassiez

Puissiez

Preniez

Receviez

Sachiez

Veniez

Ils/Elles (They)

Aillent

Fassent

Puissent

Prennent

Reçoivent

Sachent

Viennent

The subjective case is used for the following instances:

  1. Following “vouloir” and “désirer” (“to want”).

I want you to do it. Je veux que vous le fassiez.

  1. Following an emotional expression, such as “regretter” (“to be sorry) and “étre surpris” (to be surprised.

I am sorry that they left. Je regrette qu’ils soient partis.

  1. Following expressing doubt (“douter”).

I doubt that he knows it. Je doute qu’il le sache.

  1. Following some impersonal expression, such as “il faut” (it is necessary) and “il est possible” (it is possible).

You must go there this morning. Vous devez y aller ce matin.

  1. Following some conjuctions, such as “quoique” (although) and “avant que” (before).

Tell me what happened before they arrive. Dis-moi ce qui s’est passé avant qu’ils arrivent.

Commands

Commands are used more often than most people realize. Remember when you give commands, it is always to second person singular and plural. In English, this is understood so that all you have to say is the verb. For example, “Run!” “Speak!” “Sit!” “Go!” For all of these, the understood subject is “you.”

French follows the same pattern. For commands the endings are the same as with the present, except there is no “s” at for “-er” class of verbs when give an order to a single person.

Run! Cours ! (singular informal)
Courez ! (plural or singular formal)
Speak! Parle ! (s.)
Parlez ! (p.)
Choose! Choisis ! (s.)
Choisissez ! (p.)
Go! Va ! (s.)
Allez ! (p.)

If you prefer to avoid sounding demanding or do not wish to repeat the same polite “please” every time you have to give a command, you can use “vouloir” (to want) and “bien” to turn a command into a request.

Will you please speak louder? Voulez-vous (bien) parlez plus fort ?

Will you please leave the key? Voulez-vous (bien) laisser la clé.

There are times when you need to issue a command in the first person plural. The most commonly used version of this is “Let’s go!” It’s a command, but it comes across and enthusiastic. It does not require softening, but does require you to conjugate verbs to the first person plural form.

Let’s go! Allons !
Let’s read! Lisons !
Let’s start! Commençons !
Let’s eat! Mangeons !

It probably does not come as a surprise that “to be” or “être” is conjugated different than other verbs even in the command form.

Be there at noon. Soyez-là à midi.

Let’s be happy. Soyons heureux.

Adverbs

Adverbs are easy in English. For most of them, you simply add “-ly” at the end of an adjective. French is a simple variation adding “-ment” to the end of the feminine version of the adjective.

Adjective

Masculine

Feminine

Adverb

Polite

Poli

Poli

Poliment

Natural

Naturel

Naturelle

Naturellement

Perfect

Parfait

Parfaite

Parfaitement

Unhappy

Malheureux

Malheureuse

Malheureusement

The adverb follows the verb it modifies.

I understand perfectly. je comprends parfaitement.