|From:||Philippe Caquant <herodote92@...>|
|Date:||Friday, August 20, 2004, 8:46|
--- Trebor Jung <treborjung@...> wrote:
> J'ai lu que le Français utilise trois groupes des
> verbes. Je n'ai pas
> apprendu c'information dans l'école. SVP,
> m'enseignez autour ces groupes :)
>First, "je n'ai pas apprendu" is an horrible
barbarism, but as you're not a native, God will
forgive you for that. Just say "je n'ai pas appris"
- 1st and 2nd group are regular ones. If you know how
to conjugate "aimer" (1st group) and "finir" (2nd
group), then you can deal with every 1st and 2nd group
verbs. True, there are some minor exceptions. For ex:
- "aim-er" makes "nous aim-ons" (1st pl. indicative
- "mang-er" makes "nous mang-eons" at the same person,
because "mang-ons" would be pronounced with a g like
- jet-er (to throw) makes "je jet-te" (1st
sg.indicative present). The phonetic value of the "e"
changes. In some other verbs like "modeler" (to
model), it gives "je modele" with an accent grave on
the fist e (same phonetic change).
Then you have to be careful: not every verb with an
infinitive ending in "-ir" belongs to the 2nd group.
For ex: courir, couvrir, cueillir, sentir... are all
of the 3rd group. You cannot say: *nous courissons",
but: nous courons, etc.
So what is this mysterious 3rd group ? Very simple:
every verb not belonging to the 1st or to the 2nd
group belongs to the 3rd group. That means not only
that every odd and difficult verb does, but also that
nearly every 3rd group verb behaves its own way. And,
even more perverse, many of these 3rd group verbs are
among the most common ones in the language. For ex:
faire (to do), tenir (to hold), dormir (to sleep),
voir (to see), prendre (to take), rendre (to give
back), mettre (tu put), connai^tre (to know), lire (to
read), coudre (to sew), cuire (to cook), rire (to
laugh)... The auxiliary verbs e^tre and avoir (to be,
to have) are very irregular and also belong to the 3rd
Then there are also some 3rd group verbs which are
ancient ones and are less and less used nowadays, like
ge'sir (to lay), absoudre (to absolve), oui¨r (to
hear), oindre (to oil, to anoint), que'rir (to go
for), etc. You can find them quite commonly if you
read Middle Age literature.
The general rule is: if a new verb has to be
introduced into the language, then usually it will be
a 1st groupe one, only this group still being
productive. For ex: surfer (to surf), where, BTW, the
"u" is usually pronounced like in English.
There are of course defective verbs, like "pleuvoir"
(to rain), "faillir" (to fail or to be very near to).
Ancient verbs are often defective (ge'sir, oui¨r,
choir=to fall), meaning that only some tenses and
persons are known.
For information, the Bescherelle (reference book for
French conjugation) mentions no less than 82
templates. But most of them concern only very few
verbs, or only one; and sometimes, the differences
between two templates are very thin.
If I may add a personal observation, in general, don't
expect a Frenchman to master his own language's
conjugations, especially the written forms. The
confusion between the endings in "-er", "-ez", "-e'",
"-e'e", "-e's", for example, is so to say the rule
(all of them being pronounced the same way), except
among orthograph maniacs.
And last, some of the tenses still mentioned in French
grammars are going quickly out of use: subjunctive
imperfect, indicative passe' ante'rieur, conditional
passe' 2nd form. Don't waste your time trying to learn
them. And indicative passe' simple is used only in
written French nowadays (in novels or history books,
"High thoughts must have high language." (Aristophanes, Frogs)
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