In French, the verbs are divided into 3 groups.
In English, we can recognize and infinitive thanks to the “to” preceding the verb.
As a reminder: the infinitive is the nonconjugated form of a verb. like: to eat, to learn, to play…
In French, we can recognize the infinitive thanks to the ending.
It is important to know what group a verb belongs to as it will change the way it is conjugated.
In French, the ending of the infinitive of the verb will also indicate the group it belongs to.
Let’s now have a look at the first group.
1st group : Termination : -ER
Manger = To eat
Parler = To speak
Regarder = To Look
Chanter = To sing
For the 2nd group, it is a little bit more complex.
A verb belongs to the second group if its termination is -IR and if when we conjugate it with “nous” (“we“) it finishes by -issons in the present tense.
2nd group : Termination : -IR.
Finir = To finish
Grandir = To grow
Choisir = To choose
Saisir = To grab
Here is an example to determine if a verb finishing with -IR is from the second group or not.
Let’s take the verb finir.
When we conjugate it with nous (we) it gives us :
Which means that finir is a 2nd group verb.
Let’s now take partir (to leave).
With nous (we) it gives us:
We don’t have this -issons termination. Which means that this verb is not part of the second group but part of the third one.
So the conjugation of a verb indicates us which group it belongs to but to conjugate a verb, we need the group it belongs to. Tricky isn’t it?
Now for the 3rd group, it is all the other verbs.
The verbs of the 3rd group are all the exceptions. They will have particular ways to conjugate.