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Conjugation Group

French way of grouping French verbs

In France, verbs are categorised into three main groups based on the patterns in the way they conjugate.  However, the third group is rather difficult to work with for non-natives and is taught differently outside of France.

Group 1 - Regular -ER verbs

All verbs ending in -ER (like aimer, parler, habiter), plus semi-regular verb groups (like -CER and -E*ER).
aller is the only -ER verb belonging to the 3rd group, because it's highly irregular!

Group 2 - Regular -IR verbs

All verbs that conjugate like finir, choisir, réussir.

Group 3 - All Irregular and Semi-regular verbs

The third group contains everything else: aller, irregular -IR verbs (like partir, sortir, dormir), -OIR verbs and all -RE verbs.

In total, between regular, semi-regular and irregular, there are 82 different conjugation patterns in French! 


English way of grouping French verbs

There are several different systems used, but generally groups 1 and 2 are the same as in France (regular -ER and regular -IR verbs, though stem-changing verbs are adressed separately).  

Group 3 -RE verbs

Since there's no general pattern to -re verbs, this is often taught as seven subgroups, including what we call regular -dre verbs.

Group 4 -OIR verbs

Three subgroups of some "irregular -ir verbs" including voir, savoir, recevoir etc. These are not consider "-ir verbs" in France because the sound of -oir in voir is very different to the -ir in finir.  The conjugation patterns are about sound more than spelling.

Group 5 - Completely irregular verbs

Aller, être, faire, etc.

Clever stuff happening!