My students ask me regularly what verb tense they need to learn and in what order.
Here is what I recommend to Beginner learners:
Firstly: the present tense.
Because it unlocks three layers of English with the present tense in French you can say
I live + I’m living + I do live
I work + I’m working + I do work
1 sentence in French will unlock all 3 phrases in English. Pretty handy, isn’t it?
The trick with LE PRESENT is to not move past this tense before mastery of certain key elements:
– Ensure you can apply the regular verbs endings (groups ending in -er, -ir and -re)
– Ensure you can use irregular verbs (aim for 10 to 12 of the most common ones)
– Ensure you can use reflexive verbs with their reflexive pronouns (me, te, se…)
Secondly: the near future
Well it opens new worlds as you will be able to discuss future plans with this tense.
Alsoit’s super easy and quick to learn!
You’ll be able to express things like:
I’m going to
She’s not going to
We are going to …
Plus any verb you like after that.
Whilst learning LE FUTUR PROCHE, I recommend aiming for 10 to 15 new verbs to add to your French word bank.
For example: if you already know how to say ACHETER to buy, then you might be want to add: VENDRE to sell or LOUER to rent.
Thirdly the past perfect.
This will also open a new world of French for you… the past!
You will be able to talk about things that happened or didn’t happen:
Please note that this French verb tense LE PASSÉ COMPOSÉ will take time to master.
Be patient with this one.
In the video, I explain how to split it into 4 phases in order to avoid overwhelm.
This one takes a while to master but is incredibly useful.
You’ll be able to answer:
– How did you spend your first day in France?
– What did you do at the weekend?
So, there you have it…
It’s no coincidence that my “One-stop French verb lookup guide” lists these three French verb tenses as the first 3 tenses to focus your efforts on.
Grab it below >>