French Grammar Guide for non-francophones

Tense (past, present, future)

In order to write successfully in French, you need to learn all verb tenses. Tense simply refers to when an event happened (past tense), when it will happen (future tense) or if it is happening (present tense). The main means of indicating this information is by the use of a verb's ending (elle parlera, 'she will speak') or by means of an "auxiliary + verb form" structure (elle a parlé, 'she spoke'; je vais partir, 'I will leave').

Within the general categories of past, present and future, a number of subcategories also exist to make finer temporal distinctions. These are illustrated below:

Past

Present

  • présent (describes a present action or general action)

Future

Verb conjugation:
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