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Irregular French Verbs: -CER and -GER verbs

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beginners-french-the-tenses

Within the French language, there is really only one true irregular verb ending in -er! That verb is 'aller' - to go. It has its own unique set of endings for the different tenses.

There are however, three different groups of -er verbs that conjugate differently to the regular -er verbs.


-CER and -GER ending verbs

-CER
Rule:
Verbs that end in "-CER" such as lancer (used in the table below) have to have a cedilla c (ç) instead of the normal 'c' when the 'c' is followed by an 'a' or an 'o'.

This is because otherwise the sound would have been an undesirable hard 'c' like the one in 'cat' instead of a soft c like the one in 'ceiling'. Because all the other conjugated forms use the soft c (linguistic continuity), and because it sounds nicer (reasons of euphony), the cedilla Ç is utilised.

-GER
Similarly to -CER verbs, verbs that end in -GER conjugate differently for all of the times that the 'g' of a -GER verb would have been placed directly before an 'o' or an 'a', if conjugated normally.

Rule: An 'e' is placed directly after the 'g' and then the usual rest follows. For example, instead of nous mangons, it is nous mangeons.

This is because without the 'e', the sound would have been a hard 'g' like the 'g' in 'gold' rather than the desired soft 'g' like the 'g' in 'gel'.


-CER Irregularities: Lancer (to throw) Conjugation

PronounPresent TenseFuture (simple) TensePast (passé composé) TenseImperfect TenseConditional Tense

je

lance

lancerai

ai lancé

lançais

lancerais

tu

lances

lanceras

as lancé

lançais

lancerais

il/elle/on

lance

lancera

a lancé

lançait

lancerait

nous

lançons

lancerons

avons lancé

lancions

lancerions

vous

lancez

lancerez

avez lancé

lanciez

lanceriez

ils/elles

lancent

lanceront

ont lancé

lançaient

lanceraient

-GER Irregularities: Manger Conjugation

PronounPresent TenseFuture (simple) TensePast (passé composé) TenseImperfect TenseConditional Tense

je

mange

mangerai

ai mangé

mangeais

mangerais

tu

manges

mangeras

as mangé

mangeais

mangerais

il/elle/on

mange

mangera

a mangé

mangeait

mangerait

nous

mangeons

mangerons

avons mangé

mangions

mangerions

vous

mangez

mangerez

avez mangé

mangiez

mangeriez

ils/elles

mangent

mangeront

ont mangé

mangeaient

mangeraient

List of -CER ending verbs

All of the following verbs require conjugation as previously explained and detailed for "lancer":

  • annoncer - to announce
  • avancer - to advance
  • commencer - to begin
  • dénoncer - to denounce
  • divorcer - to divorce
  • effacer - to erase
  • lancer - to throw
  • menacer - to threaten
  • placer - to put
  • prononcer - to pronounce
  • remplacer - to replace
  • renoncer - to renounce

List of -GER ending verbs

All of the following verbs require conjugation as previously explained and detailed for "manger":

  • arranger - to arrange
  • bouger - to move
  • changer - to change
  • corriger - to correct
  • décourager - to discourage
  • déménager - to disturb
  • diriger - to direct
  • encourager - to encourage
  • engager - to bind
  • exiger - to demand
  • juger - to judge
  • loger - to lodge
  • manger - to eat
  • mélanger - to mix
  • nager - to swim
  • obliger - to oblige
  • partager - to share
  • rédiger - to write
  • voyager - to travel

Other Irregular Verb Endings

Recap the Regular Verb Endings!

Comments

Khushi on January 25, 2016:

Thank a lot very nice verbs given in it that we have never heard from our teachers....

Akaash on November 05, 2012:

thanks a lot my homework is now clear

Philip Cooper from Olney on March 29, 2012:

Difficult subject well covered. Thank you.