I know you all love French irregular verbs so there it is! Here are the 7 most important French verbs to know. You ABSOLUTELY need to know them all like the back of your hand!
AVOIR: which means To Have. This verb is used in many idiomatic expressions. For instance to state your age, you would not say I am 26 years old. The French say I have 26 years old: J’ai 26 ans. Also, in French you say you have hunger, or you have thirst: J’ai faim / j’ai soif.
ETRE: This is another crucial verb to know. It means To Be. It is particularly useful when conjugating reflexive verbs in the past tense, as well as verbs of motion. For instance: I went to Paris last summer: Je suis allé à Paris l’été dernier. Or I got up at 6am today: Je me suis levé à 6 heures du matin aujourd’hui.
FAIRE: This means To Do or To Make. Like Avoir and Etre, Faire is used in many idiomatic expressions. One would use Faire to describe the weather for example. It is nice out today: Il fait beau aujourd’hui, It is cold this morning: Il fait froid ce matin.
ALLER: Means To Go. This is another very important and powerful verb, probably my favorite verb to teach. For example, I go to church every Sunday: Je vais à l’église chaque dimanche. However, aller can also be used to describe the near future. It can be described as “going to”. All you need to do to conjugate the near future is use the conjugated form of aller + the infinitive of any verb. For instance, I’m going to eat at my favorite restaurant tonight: Je vais manger à mon restaurant favori ce soir. This is a very powerful tool to talk in the future and is easier to remember than learning of the endings of the regular future tense.
VENIR: This means To Come. For example, I come from Paris: Je viens de Paris. Venir can also be used to talk about what you just did, in the recent past. It can be translated into “I just did something”. All you need to conjugate the recent past is the conjugated form of Venir de + infinitive of any verb. Like… I just ate a huge chocolat cake: Je viens de manger un énorme gateau au chocolat.
DIRE: This means To Say. Careful not to confuse it with Parler which means to speak.
VOULOIR: This is translated into To Want. This is another important verb to know because you can plug in any verb in the infinitive right after it, allowing you to make lots and lots of different sentences. For example: I want to eat before 7pm: Je veux manger avant 7 heures du soir. Let’s say you are in a French restaurant and you would like to order something on the menu, you would say: I would like the lobster with fries: Je voudrais le homard avec des frites.
Voilà! Now all you have to do is learn them and practice using them in full sentences and different tenses. I’m afraid you have no choice but to know them all 🙂