How to recognize a verb radical in French ?

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What is the radical and the end of the French verbs ?
A verb is a word that indicates an action or a state. A verb has 2 parts.

The radical

Usually the radical of a verb does not change.

The ends

The end of the verb changes if we change the mood or the person (I, you, he/she, we, you, they), when the verb is conjugated.

How to know if the radical changes or not ?

Sometimes the radical changes and sometimes it does not change. The question is whose group the verb belongs to ? The radical does not change for the verbs from the 1rt and the 2nd group. You just need to remove the infinitive of the verb, so you need to remove –er for the verbs from the 1rt gourp and –ir for the verbs from the 2nd group. The radical can change for the verbs from the 3rd group, so you need to memorize them.  

Verbs from the 1rst group

Here is a verb with the end –eter

Here si an –eter verb.
Acheter →  to buy

In the present tense
J’achète → I am buying
Tu achètes → You are  buying
Il/elle achète → He/she is buying
Nous achetons → We are buying
Vous achetez → You are buying
Ils/elles achètent → They are buying

The radical is achet and the ends are (e, es, e, ons, ez, ent)

In the future tense
J’achèterai → I will buy
Il/elle achètera → He/she will buy
Nous achèterons → We will buy
Vous achèterez → You will buy
Ils/elles achèteront → They will buy

The radical is achet- as well, it is the same.

Let us see examples with the verb parler. The radical is parl-, and the end is –er. So to find the radical of the verbs you just need to remove –er.

In the present tense
Je parle → I am speaking
Tu parles → You are speaking
Il/elle parle → He/she is speaking
Nous parlons → We are speaking
Vous parlez → You are speaking
Ils/elles parlent → They are speaking

In the past tense
J’ai parl – é
Nous avons parl – é

Here is a verb with the end –uyer (exceptions)

It is among the exceptions. The radical changes.
Here is the verbs essuyer, the end is –uyer.

In the present tense
J‘essuie → I am wiping
Il/elle essuie → He/she is wiping
Nous essuyons → We are wiping

In the past tense
Nous essuyions → We wiped
Vous essuyiez → You wiped
Ils/elles essuyaient → They wiped

The radical changes : it could be essu- or essuy-.

Verbs from the 2nd group

Let us see it with the verb finir. The radical is fin- and the end is –ir. So to find the radical of the verbs you just need to remove –ir.

If the present participle finish in -issant, it belongs to the 2nd group.
Finir → finissant (issant)

Finir (to finish)  

In the present tense
Je finis → I am fnishing
Il/elle finisse →He/she is finishing
Vous fin – issez → You are finishing

In the past moods
Nous finissions → We finished
Vous finissiez → You finished
Ils/elles finissaient → They finished

The radical does not change, it is still fin-. Example : vous finissez.

Let us see it with the verb choisir.

In the present tense
Je choisis → I am choosing
Il/elle choisit → He/she is choosing

In the future tense
Je choisirai → I will choose
Il/elle choisira → He/she will choose
Nous choisirons → We will choose
Vous chosirez → You will choose
Ils/elles choisiront → They will choose

The radical does not change : it is choisi-

Let us see it with the verb grandir.

In the present tense
Je grandis → I grow up
Il/elle grandit → He/she grows up

In the future tense
Je grandirai → I will grow up
Il/elle grandira → He/she will grow up   
Nous grandirons → We will grow up
Vous grandirez → You will grow up
Ils/elles grandirent → They will grow up
The radical does not change : it is grandi-

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Learn French subjunctive with pictures for aller, endings, conjugation
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Verbs from the 3ème group

Let us see it with the verb venir.

In the present tense
Nous venons → We will come
Vous venez → You will come
Ils/elles viennent → They will come

In the future moods
Je viendrai → I will come  
viendras → You will come
Il/elle viendra → He/she will come

The radical changes : it could be ven- or vien-.

Let us see it with the verb ouvrir.

Ouvrir (to open)
In the present tense
J’ouvre → I am opening   
Il/elle ouvre → He/she is opening

In the future tense
Nous ouvrirons → We will open
Vous ouvrirez → You will open
Ils/elles ouvriront → They will open

The radical changes : it could be ouvr- or ouvri-.

Let us see it with the verb prendre.

Prendre (to take)
In the present tense
Je prends → I am taking
Il/elle prend → He/she is taking

In the future tense
Nous prendrons → We took  
Vous prendrez → You took
Ils/elles prendront → They took

The radical changes : it could be prend- or prendr-.

Let us see it with the verb voir.

Voir (to see)
In the present tense
Je vois → I see
Il/elle voit → He/she sees

In the future tense
Nous verrons → We will see
Vous verrez → You will see
Ils/elles verront → They will see

The radical changes : it could be voi- or verr-.

Let us see it with the verb vouloir.

Vouloir (to want)
In the present tense
Je veux → I want
Il/elle veut → He/she wants

In the future tense
Nous voudrons → We will want   
Vous voudrez →You will want
Ils/elles voudront → They will want

The radical changes : it could be veu- or voudr-.

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Learn french verbs app conjugation for aller, endings, conjugation 
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Have a look at the others articles for verbs, pronoun, pronunciation… To go deeper  into grammar : how to use a pronoun,… Learning the alphabet, getting a better pronunciation,…

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Thank you for reading this article !
Thomas 😀