1. Indicatif Présent


Click on Stem 1, 2 or 3 to display the associated endings.

Stem 1 Stem 2 Stem 3


The indicatif présent is the most important tense, because when you know the stems (up to three: Stem 1, Stem 2, Stem 3) a verb uses in this tense, you can form at least four other tenses out of them:


  • the impératif présent  use Stem 1 and Stem 3;

  • the  subjonctif présent  use Stem 2 and Stem 3;

  • the  indicatif imparfait use Stem 3;

  • the participe présent use Stem 3.


as the different coloured branches on the map show.


A verb can indeed use up to three stems in this tense: 


  • Stem 1, with subject pronouns je, tu, il/elle/on,

  • Stem 2, with subject pronouns ils/elles,

  • Stem 3, with subject pronouns nous, vous.


The table below shows four verbs which illustrate these changes:




The verb gagner  (to win) uses a single stem. The verbs battre (to beat) and  voir (to see) use two different stems, but the change occurs in two different places:


  • with subject pronouns ils/elles, for the verb battre (to beat);

  • with subject pronouns nous, vous,  for the verb voir (to see).


As for the verb prendre (to take), it uses three different stems.


Therefore, the stems in the indicatif présent can change in only two places: 


  • with subject pronouns ils/elles,

  • and/or with subject pronouns nous, vous.


However, for most verbs (verbs formed like gagner), the stem never changes. It means that: 


  • graphic


The stem combinations for the other verbs are:

  • graphic e.g. battre (to beat)

  • graphic e.g. voir (to see).

  • graphic e.g. prendre (to take)

(# means different)


être (to be) , aller (to go), avoir (to have), faire  (to do or make) and their compounds.

(re-)dire (to say) with subject pronouns vous.


Learning the Indicatif présent  is fun:


Visit www.conjugaison.fr  (in  French)


and assemble more than 50 puzzles,

most of them

dedicated to the learning of the Indicatif présent.


Pronunciation hint:

Only the endings ons and  ez are always pronunced. However, to make liaisons with words starting with a vowel or a mute h, you can pronounce:

  • the s, x, t: Examples: je veux aller, elle peut arriver, elle peut en faire, tu dois en prendre, etc.

  • the of ent: Examples: ils mangent encore, elles ouvrent à 8 heures, ils se rendent à Paris, etc.