101 Of The Most Common Verbs In French (2023)

Table of Contents
Why Are Verbs In French So Important? 101 Of The Most Common Verbs In French 1. Accepter (To Accept) 2. Acheter (To Buy) 3. Aider (To Help) 4. Aimer/Bien Aimer (To Love/To Like) 5. Aller/S’en Aller (To Go/To Go Away) 6. Appeler/S’appeler (To Call/To Be Called) 7. Apprendre (To Learn) 8. Arriver (To Arrive; To Succeed, Manage) 9. Attendre (To Wait (For)) 10. Avoir (To Have) 11. Avoir Peur De (To Be Afraid Of) 12. Boire (Drink) 13. Changer/Se Changer (To Change/To Get Changed) 14. Chanter (To Sing) 15. Chercher (To Look For; To Go And Meet Somebody, Pick Somebody Up) 16. Choisir (To Choose) 17. Commencer (To Start, Begin) 18. Comparer (To Compare) 19. Comprendre (To Understand) 20. Connaître (To Know) 21. Courir (To Run) 22. Couvrir (To Cover) 23. Croire (To Believe) 24. Demander/Se Demander (To Ask, Ask For/To Wonder) 25. Détester (To Hate) 26. Deviner (To Guess) 27. Devoir (To Have To, Must) 28. Dire (To Say) 29. Donner (To Give) 30. Dormir (To Sleep) 31. Écouter (To Listen (To)) 32. Écrire (To Write) 33. S’endormir (To Go To Sleep, Fall Asleep) 34. Entendre (To Hear) 35. Entrer (To Enter, Go In) 36. Envoyer (To Send) 37. Espérer (To Hope) 38. Éteindre (To Put Out, Turn Off) 39. Être (To Be) 40. Étudier (To Study) 41. Faire (To Do; To Make) 42. Falloir (To Be Necessary) 43. Fermer (To Shut, Close) 44. Finir (To Finish) 45. Gagner (To Win) 46. Habiller/S’habiller (To Dress/To Get Dressed) 47. Jouer (To Play) 48. Laisser (To Leave; To Let) 49. Laver/Se Laver (To Wash/To Wash (Oneself)) 50. Se Lever (To Get Up) 51. Lire (To Read) 52. Manger (To Eat) 53. Manquer (To Miss, To Be Missing) 54. Mentir (To Lie) 55. Mettre/Se Mettre (To Put/To Set Oneself To Doing Something) 56. Monter (To Go Up, To Take/Bring (Something) Up 57. Mourir (To Die) 58. Naître (To Be Born) 59. Nettoyer (To Clean) 60. Ouvrir (To Open) 61. Parler (To Speak) 62. Partir (To Leave) 63. Passer (To Pass; To Spend (time)) 64. Payer (To Pay) 65. Perdre (To Lose) 66. Pleurer (To Cry) 67. Pleuvoir (To Rain) 68. Porter (To Carry; To Wear) 69. Pouvoir (To Be Able To) 70. Pratiquer (To Practise, To Use) 71. Préférer (To Prefer) 72. Prendre (To Take) 73. Prêter (To Lend, Loan) 74. Recevoir (To Receive) 75. Rechercher (To Collect; To Look For, Search For) 76. Reconnaître (To Recognise; To Accept) 77. Regarder (To Watch, To Look At) 78. Remarquer (To Remark, Notice) 79. Rencontrer (To Meet) 80. Rentrer (To Come/Go Back) 81. Répéter (To Repeat) 82. Reprendre (To Take Up Again) 83. Rester (To Stay; To Be Left) 84. Réussir (To Succeed, Manage) 85. Revenir (To Come Back) 86. Sauver (To Save) 87. Savoir (To Know) 88. Sembler/Paraître (To Seem, Appear) 89. Sentir (To Feel; To Smell) 90. Sortir (To Go Out, To Take (Something) Out 91. Se Souvenir (To Remember) 92. Suivre (To Follow) 93. Tenir (To Hold) 94. Tomber (To Fall) 95. Trouver (To Find) 96. Vendre (To Sell) 97. Venir (To Come) 98. Vivre (To Live) 99. Voir (To See) 100. Voler (To Fly; To Steal) 101.Vouloir (To Want) A Big Boost To Your French Learning FAQs Videos

When you learn French, or any language, you need to learn vocabulary, first just to get by. But then, to express yourself ever more clearly, accurately and eloquently, you can’t do without the most common verbs in French.

Retaining a stock of the most important basic verbs is a major step that will allow you to start using a new language to express just about anything you want.

So to help you get started, here’s my list of the first 101 essential French verbs you’ll need to learn.

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Why Are Verbs In French So Important?

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It might seem a bit silly to argue about which types of words are most important.

Of course, you need nouns to talk about things – without knowing nouns, you have nothing to talk about. And if you want to describe things, you’ll need adverbs and adjectives too.

Then there are the grammar words, the conjunctions and prepositions and pronouns, the little words that hold sentences together and help everything make sense.

But verbs are the doing words, the ones that make things happen. Without verbs, you can’t say what’s going on, so without verbs, there’s no action.

This means if you want to communicate effectively in a wide range of situations, you’ll need to know the most commonly used French verbs – because these are the words that tell you what’s taking place.

In French, of course, once you know your verbs, you still have to learn how to conjugate them, but this will come with time. However, building up your bank of French basic verbs will allow you to express all kinds of ideas right from the beginning.

The good news is that you don’t need to know thousands of French verbs and meanings to start talking since a relatively modest number can be used to talk about all kinds of topics. So now let’s have a look at the most important verbs in French you can’t do without.

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101 Of The Most Common Verbs In French

Get these 101 top French verbs in your repertoire to seriously improve your command of the French language.

1. Accepter (To Accept)

  • Ils n’ont pas accepté mes explications (They didn’t accept my explanations)

2. Acheter (To Buy)

  • Je veux m’acheter une glace (I want to buy myself an ice cream)

3. Aider (To Help)

  • Tu veux que je t’aide avec ça? (Do you want me to help you with that?)

4. Aimer/Bien Aimer (To Love/To Like)

  • Je t’aime (I love you)
  • J’aime la musique reggae (I like/love reggae music)
  • J’aime bien mon professeur de français (I like my French teacher)

The French verb aimer doesn’t correspond exactly with the English verb “to like”. While it can sometimes mean “to like”, if unqualified, it is often better translated as “to love”.

The three examples here illustrate this clearly. In the first one, the meaning is inarguably “love” (depending on the context, we could be talking about romantic love, the love between a mother and child or something else).

(Video) 100 Really Useful French Verbs

In the second example, the distinction between “liking” and “loving” reggae music isn’t so important, so it can just be left like this.

However, in the third example, we want to avoid any ambiguity about the student having romantic feelings for the French teacher – so we add bien to clarify that the meaning is “like” and not “love”!

Adorer (to love, adore), is not usually used in the sense of love between people, although it could be used to say you’re “crazy about someone”.

5. Aller/S’en Aller (To Go/To Go Away)

  • Il est allé à la plage ce matin (He went to the beach this morning)
  • Je m’en vais! (I’m off/going/leaving!)
  • Va-t-en ! (Get lost!)

The verb aller works much the same as “to go” in English. However, s’en aller means something like “to go away” or “to be off”. It can be used as a more colloquial or casual way to say you’re leaving – but if you say va-t-en ! to somebody, especially in an angry voice, you are telling them to “get lost!” or to “get out of here!”.

Note that aller is one of the French action verbs that take être in compound tenses.

6. Appeler/S’appeler (To Call/To Be Called)

  • Elle t’a appelé ce matin vers 10h (She called you this morning at about 10am)
  • Je crois qu’il s’appelle Jean (I think he’s called Jean)

Appeler means to call, both in the sense of “to call out to” and “to telephone”. S’appeler is used to give somebody’s name – in French, je m’appelle Jean literally means “I call myself Jean”.

7. Apprendre (To Learn)

  • J’adore apprendre les langues asiatiques (I love learning Asian languages)

8. Arriver (To Arrive; To Succeed, Manage)

  • Ils sont arrivés hier (They arrived yesterday)
  • Je n’arrive pas à maîtriser les conjugaisons (I can’t manage to master conjugations)

The first meaning of arriver is just like the similar word in English. However, it also has a very common second meaning of “to succeed/manage (to do something)”, like in the second example.

For the first meaning, this verb is conjugated with être but for the second meaning, it takes avoir.

9. Attendre (To Wait (For))

  • Je ne peux plus attendre (I can’t wait any longer)
  • Il attend le bus (He’s waiting for the bus)

Note that in French, there is no preposition after attendre here – but in English, we say “wait for” something.

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10. Avoir (To Have)

  • J’ai beaucoup d’amis en France (I have lots of friends in France)

11. Avoir Peur De (To Be Afraid Of)

  • Elle a très peur des phantomes (She’s very afraid of ghosts)

In French, the expression is literally “to have fear of” something – you shouldn’t use être (to be) to express this.

12. Boire (Drink)

  • Tu as bu assez de vin à mon avis (You’ve drunk enough wine in my opinion)

13. Changer/Se Changer (To Change/To Get Changed)

  • Il a beaucoup changé depuis l’année dernière (He’s changed a lot since last year)
  • Je vais juste aller me changer (I’m just going to go and get changed)

Se changer can be used to express the idea of getting changed, as in changing one’s clothes.

14. Chanter (To Sing)

  • Ce chanteur chante vraiment mal (This singer sings really badly)

15. Chercher (To Look For; To Go And Meet Somebody, Pick Somebody Up)

  • Je cherche mon portefeuille mais je ne le trouve pas (I’m looking for my wallet, but I can’t find it)
  • Je te chercherai à la gare vers midi (I’ll pick you up at the station at about midday)

16. Choisir (To Choose)

  • Je ne peux pas choisir entre les deux (I can’t choose between the two)

17. Commencer (To Start, Begin)

  • J’ai envie de commencer à apprendre le piano (I feel like starting to learn the piano)

18. Comparer (To Compare)

  • Les deux sont très différents, on ne peut pas les comparer (The two are very different, you can’t compare them)

19. Comprendre (To Understand)

  • Il n’a rien compris de ce que je lui ai dit (He didn’t understand anything of what I said to him)
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20. Connaître (To Know)

  • Je connais un boucher qui est végétarien (I know a butcher who’s a vegetarian)

This verb is used to talk about knowing people or being familiar with a topic. For other uses like knowing facts or knowing how to do something, use savoir – see below for examples.

21. Courir (To Run)

  • Si on ne court pas, on va arriver en retard! (If we don’t run, we’re going to be late!)

22. Couvrir (To Cover)

  • L’orage a couvert le village de neige (The storm covered the village in snow)
  • Je n’ai pas assez d’argent pour couvrir les frais (I don’t have enough money to cover the costs)

23. Croire (To Believe)

  • Croyez-vous à la magie? (Do you believe in magic?)

24. Demander/Se Demander (To Ask, Ask For/To Wonder)

  • Elle m’a demandé mon age (She asked me my age)
  • Je vais demander l’addition (I’m going to askfor the bill)
  • Je me demande pourquoi il est toujours là (I wonder why he’s still there)

Note that when demander is used to ask “for” something, no preposition is required in French, unlike in English.

Se demander is the French way to express “to wonder” – which is logical if you think about it because when you “wonder” about something, it means you are “asking yourself” about it!

25. Détester (To Hate)

  • Je déteste le climat ici (I hate the climate here)

26. Deviner (To Guess)

  • Je parie que je peux deviner ton signe astrologique (I bet I can guess your star sign)

In French, you can’t use deviner to mean “suppose”, unlike in (especially American) English sentences such as “I guess it’s time to go”.

27. Devoir (To Have To, Must)

  • Je dois partir (I have to/must leave)
  • Ça doit faire mal ! (That must hurt!)

Devoir is less common in sentences of the first type, although it can still be used. French speakers usually prefer to use other structures, for example, falloir (see below).

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28. Dire (To Say)

  • Tu vas me le dire ou pas? (Are you going to tell me (it) or not?)

29. Donner (To Give)

  • Donne-moi le livre s’il te plaît (Give me the book please)
  • Tu veux bien me donner un coup de main? (Do you want to give me a hand?)

In French, to express giving a present/gift, you should use the verb offrir and not donner.

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30. Dormir (To Sleep)

  • Je n’ai pas dormi de la nuit (I haven’t slept all night)

31. Écouter (To Listen (To))

  • Je n’aime plus écouter ses chansons (I don’t like listening to his/her songs anymore)

Note that écouter doesn’t require a preposition – even if in English, we say “listen to” something.

32. Écrire (To Write)

  • Il écrit très mal, avec plein de fautes d’autographe et de grammaire (He writes very badly, with lots of spelling and grammar mistakes

33. S’endormir (To Go To Sleep, Fall Asleep)

  • Tu t’es endormi devant le film (You fell asleep in front of the film)

34. Entendre (To Hear)

  • Est-ce que tu entends ce bruit bizarre? (Do you hear that strange noise?)

35. Entrer (To Enter, Go In)

  • Enleve tes chassures avant d’entrer dans le temple (Take your shoes off before going into the temple)

Entrer takes être in compound tenses.

36. Envoyer (To Send)

  • Je t’enverrai un texto tout à l’heure (I’ll send you a text in a bit)

37. Espérer (To Hope)

  • J’espère qu’il ne va pas rater son examen (I hope he doesn’t fail his exam)

38. Éteindre (To Put Out, Turn Off)

  • Je peux éteindre la lumière? Je veux dormir maintenant (Can I turn off the light? I want to sleep now)

39. Être (To Be)

  • Elle est infermère (She’s a nurse)
  • Il est chez lui (He’s at home/at his place)
  • Il est déjà très tard (It’s already very late)

40. Étudier (To Study)

  • Il y a une grande différence entre «étudier» une langue et «apprendre à parler» une langue (There’s a big difference between ‘studying’ a language and ‘learning to speak’ a language)

41. Faire (To Do; To Make)

  • Que-est ce que tu es en train de faire? (What are you doing?)
  • Je veux essayer de faire une tarte à la pomme (I want to try making an apple tart)
  • Ça fait déjà deux heures que j’attends (I’ve already been waiting two hours)
  • Que-est ce que ça peut te faire? (What’s it to you?)

French doesn’t distinguish between “make” and “do” like English, using faire to express both meanings. Furthermore, faire also appears in a wide range of expressions, making it one of the most used verbs in French.

42. Falloir (To Be Necessary)

  • Il faut que j’y aille (I need to go/leave (literally, “it is necessary that I go”))
  • Il ne faut pas râler (You shouldn’t complain/one shouldn’t complain)

Falloir is an impersonal verb that only has an il form. It’s used to express the idea of necessity or obligation and is more common in daily speech than the verb devoir “must, to have to”.

Falloir can be followed directly by an infinitive or by que + subject pronoun + verb. When used with que + subject pronoun + verb, you should always use the subjunctive form of the following verb.

43. Fermer (To Shut, Close)

  • Le magasin va fermer bientôt (The shop’s going to close soon)
  • Ferme ta gueule ! (Shut your gob!)

44. Finir (To Finish)

  • Elle va finir tout le travail avant demain (She’s going to finish all the work before tomorrow)

45. Gagner (To Win)

  • Apparemment l’Italie a gagné les Euros (Apparently Italy won the Euros)

46. Habiller/S’habiller (To Dress/To Get Dressed)

  • Elle s’est habillé vite et puis elle est partie (She got dressed quickly and then she left)

Habiller alone means to dress something or someone. However, it is most commonly encountered as s’habiller, meaning “to get dressed, to dress oneself”.

47. Jouer (To Play)

  • Il joue bien mais il ne veut pas devenir pro (He plays well, but he doesn’t want to turn pro)

48. Laisser (To Leave; To Let)

  • Je t’ai laissé la moitié d’une pizza dans le frigo (I left you half a pizza in the fridge)
  • Laisse-moi le faire! (Let me do it!)

49. Laver/Se Laver (To Wash/To Wash (Oneself))

  • Je te donnerai 20€ si tu laves ma voiture avant demain (I’ll give you €20 if you wash my car before tomorrow)
  • En général, je me lave avant d’aller au bureau (In general, I wash before going to the office)

On its own, laver means “to wash (something)”. However, when used pronominally (se laver), the meaning is “to have a wash, to wash oneself”.

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50. Se Lever (To Get Up)

  • Elle se lève très tôt tous les jours, même le weekend (She gets up early every day, even at the weekend)

51. Lire (To Read)

  • Surtout, j’aime lire les romans de science-fiction (Above all, I love reading science fiction novels)

52. Manger (To Eat)

  • Je pourrais manger de la nourriture thaïe tous les jours de la semaine (I could eat Thai food every day of the week)

53. Manquer (To Miss, To Be Missing)

  • Il manque quelque chose (Something’s missing)
  • Maintenant, il y a seulement le public qui manque (Now, only the audience is missing)
  • Tu me manques beaucoup (I miss you very much)

In French, the verb manquer works slightly differently from the verb “to miss” in English. To express the idea that something is missing or that there is a lack of something, an impersonal form with il is used, as in the first two examples.

To say that you miss something or someone, the order is the opposite of English. Translating French verbs to English can be confusing, but it might help to think of the French expression as literally meaning something like “you are missing to/from me”.

54. Mentir (To Lie)

  • Arrête de mentir! Je connais la vérité! (Stop lying! I know the truth!)

55. Mettre/Se Mettre (To Put/To Set Oneself To Doing Something)

  • J’ai mis tes clés dans le tiroir (I put your keys in the drawer)
  • J’ai mis deux heures à le faire (It took me two hours to do it)
  • Après les vacances, il faudra absolument que je me mette en régime! (After the holidays, I absolutely have to go on a diet!)
  • Après le français, je vais me mettre à apprendre le portugais (After French, I’m going to start learning Portuguese)

Mettre alone is simply the verb for “to put” and is self-explanatory, although it can also be used to express the time it takes to do something, as in the second example.

Se mettre, on the other hand, is a little more complicated. It has the sense of starting to do an activity, perhaps with the idea of sticking to the activity with determination, as with going on a diet or taking up a new language.

56. Monter (To Go Up, To Take/Bring (Something) Up

  • Il est monté en courant (He went up running/he ran up)
  • Tu peux monter mon sac s’il te plaît? (Can you bring my bag up please?)
  • Tu n’a pas monté mon sac? (You didn’t bring my bag up?)

Monter can be used to mean “to go up, ascend” but also “to take/bring (something) up”. When used in the first sense, it takes être in compound tenses – but when used to express bringing or taking something up, it takes avoir, as in the third example.

57. Mourir (To Die)

  • J’ai peur de mourir(I’m afraid to die)

Mourir takes être in compound tenses.

58. Naître (To Be Born)

  • Chaque année, pendant les mois d’août et de septembre, des milliers de bébés tortues naissent sur la plage pendant la nuit (Every year, during August and September, thousands of baby turtles are born on the beach during the night)
  • Il est à 6h du matin (He was born at six in the morning)

Naître means “to be born”, so in French, you don’t need to use être to express the idea of “to be”. However, with compound tenses, naître takes être as its auxiliary.

59. Nettoyer (To Clean)

  • Tu as besoin de nettoyer tes chassures avant de les mettre (You need to clean your shoes before you put them on)
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60. Ouvrir (To Open)

  • La poste ouvre à quelle heure? (What time does the post office open?)
  • Pouvez-vous me l’ouvrir s’il vous plaît? (Can you open it for me please?)

61. Parler (To Speak)

  • Je suis desolé, je ne parle pas l’indonesien (I’m sorry, I don’t speak Indonesian)

62. Partir (To Leave)

  • Ils pensent partir à quelle heure? (What time are they thinking of leaving?)

Partir is an être verb.

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63. Passer (To Pass; To Spend (time))

  • Je passerai par la boulangerie pour chercher du pain (I’ll pass by (stop by) the bakery to pick up some bread)
  • J’ai passé cinq ans à Pékin (I spent five years in Beijing)

In the first sense, passer is an être verb.

64. Payer (To Pay)

  • Combien dois-je payer? (How much must I (do I need to) pay?)

65. Perdre (To Lose)

  • J’ai perdu mon téléphone (I’ve lost my phone)
  • Ils ont perdu le match (They lost the match)

66. Pleurer (To Cry)

  • Ne pleurez pas, ce n’est pas si triste que ça! (Don’t cry, it’s not that sad!)

67. Pleuvoir (To Rain)

  • Il faut espérer qu’il ne pleuvra pas ce weekend (We’d better hope it doesn’t rain this weekend)

Like some other useful French verbs for talking about the weather, pleuvoir is used impersonally and only has an il form.

68. Porter (To Carry; To Wear)

  • Pourriez-vous m’aider à porter mes affaires, s’il vous plaît? (Could you help me carry my things please?)
  • C’est lui, celui qui porte le chapeau vert! (It’s him, the one wearing the green hat!)

69. Pouvoir (To Be Able To)

  • Je ne peux plus supporter ses excuses! (I can’t put up with his excuses anymore!)

In French, when talking about knowing how to do something, you should use the verb savoir – see below for examples.

101 Of The Most Common Verbs In French (8)

70. Pratiquer (To Practise, To Use)

  • Je vais en Grèce pour pratiquer mon grec (I’m going to Greece to practise my Greek)

Be careful with this verb because it is something of a false friend. Pratiquer means “to practise” in the sense of “to use”, so in the example, the idea is of going to Greece to make use of the Greek the person has already learnt.

However, the French verb doesn’t carry the sense of training a skill to improve it. For example, you wouldn’t use this verb to say you are practising your tennis to improve before a match – for that, you would use s’entraîner (to practise, to train).

71. Préférer (To Prefer)

  • Je préfère manger salé que sucré pour le petit-déjeuner (I prefer eating savoury food to sweet food for breakfast)

72. Prendre (To Take)

  • J’ai oublié de prendre mes lunettes (I forgot to take my glasses)
  • Je prendrai un café (I’ll have a coffee)
  • Ça va prendre des heures! (That will take hours!)

Prendre is another of the most common verbs in French and has many meanings, including many idiomatic ones.

The main meaning is the same as the English verb “to take” in the sense of picking something up and taking it with you. Other than this, it is commonly used when ordering food – in English, we usually use “have”, although it’s common to hear French speakers use “take” when they speak English!

Prendre can be used to express the time it takes to do something – although, as we have already seen, the verb mettre can be used for this too.

73. Prêter (To Lend, Loan)

  • Tu peux me prêter 5€? (Can you lend me €5?)

74. Recevoir (To Receive)

  • Elle aime bien recevoir des cartes postales des pays exotiques (She likes receiving postcards from exotic countries)
  • C’est un bon hôte. Il nous reçoit toujours très bien (He’s a good host. He always receives us very well)

75. Rechercher (To Collect; To Look For, Search For)

  • Je vais aller rechercher mon colis à la poste (I’m going to go and collect my package from the post office)
  • Il faut rechercher des endroits intéressants à visiter (We need to look for some interesting places to visit)
  • Je reviens te rechercher après le film (I’ll come back and get you after the film)

Sometimes, this verb can be used interchangeably with chercher (to look for), with the main difference often being that you’re doing it in a more conscious or in-depth way. For example, in the second sentence, perhaps you are consciously reading up about the places you want to visit rather than just making a list of names.

In the third example, the use of rechercher gives the idea of coming back to the same place to pick the person up after dropping them off there earlier.

76. Reconnaître (To Recognise; To Accept)

  • Je ne l’aurais jamais reconnu! (I would never have recognised him!)
  • Il faut reconnaître que tu as tort(You have to recognise/accept that you’re wrong)

77. Regarder (To Watch, To Look At)

  • Je n’aime plus regarder le foot parce que les joueurs ne sont pas capables de rester debout (I don’t like watching football anymore because the players aren’t capable of staying on their feet)
  • C’est un grand plaisir de regarder un beau paysage au moment du coucher de soleil (It’s a great pleasure to look at beautiful scenery at sunset)

In English, we distinguish between “watch” when something is moving and “look at” when something is still – but French doesn’t make this distinction and uses regarder for both.

78. Remarquer (To Remark, Notice)

  • Remarque que j’ai déjà fait pratiquement tout le travail pour toi (Notice/note/be aware that I’ve already done most of the work for you)
  • Il ne faut pas se faire remarquer (You shouldn’t make yourself/get noticed)

79. Rencontrer (To Meet)

  • Je l’ai rencontré par chance dans la rue (I met him by chance in the street)
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80. Rentrer (To Come/Go Back)

  • Tu comptes rentrer à quelle heure? (What time do you plan to come back?)
  • Il est rentré en France (He went back to France)

Rentrer is more common than French verbs like revenir when the idea expressed is something like coming/going back home or to your country. It is conjugated with être.

81. Répéter (To Repeat)

  • Vous pouvez le répéter plus lentement s’il vous plaît? (Can you repeat it more slowly please?)

82. Reprendre (To Take Up Again)

  • Je veux reprendre mes cours de piano (I want to start my piano lessons again)

Compare this verb with se mettre.

83. Rester (To Stay; To Be Left)

  • Je vais rester au moins une semaine à Tokyo (I’m going to stay in Tokyo for at least one week)
  • Il reste des gateaux dans le placard pour moi? (Are there any cakes left in the cupboard for me?)

Be careful of this verb because, in French, it doesn’t mean “to rest” as in “have a break, relax” (for that, you can use se reposer).

The first meaning is “to stay” as in spending time in a place. When used to mean “be left”, it is used impersonally with il like in the second example.

84. Réussir (To Succeed, Manage)

  • Il voulait arrêter de fumer mais il n’a pas réussi (He wanted to give up smoking, but he didn’t manage)

This verb is more or less a synonym for arriver when arriver is used to mean “succeed” or “manage”. However, réussir is probably the less common of the two in normal speech.

(Video) French Lesson 231 - 100 Most common verbs in French PART 1 Most used basic French words

85. Revenir (To Come Back)

  • Il est parti il y a une heure mais il n’est pas revenu encore (He left an hour ago, but he hasn’t come back yet)

Revenir is used to mean “come back” in a more general sense than rentrer. It is an être verb.

86. Sauver (To Save)

  • Tu m’as sauvé la vie! Tu es mon héros! (You saved my life! You’re my hero!)
  • On fait ce qu’on peut pour sauver la planète (We do what we can to save the planet)

87. Savoir (To Know)

  • Je ne sais pas pourquoi tu l’aimes (I don’t know why you love him)
  • Je ne sais pas conduire (I don’t know how to drive)

Savoir is not used to express knowing people. For that, you should use connaître – see above for details.

88. Sembler/Paraître (To Seem, Appear)

  • Il me semble que ce n’est pas lui (It seems to me that it’s not him)
  • Ça me pareille étrange (That seems strange to me)

Sembler and paraître are both impersonal verbs that are used to express “to seem”. Both are used with il, and paraître is also often used in colloquial speech with ça.

89. Sentir (To Feel; To Smell)

  • Tu ne sens pas bon! (You don’t smell good!)
  • Ça sens l’ail (It smells of garlic)
  • Je sens que tu n’es pas à l’aise ici (I feel that you’re not comfortable here)
  • Je ne me sens pas bien (I don’t feel well)

Be careful with sentir because it can have several meanings. One meaning is “to smell”, as in the first two examples.

Used alone, sentir can mean “to feel” in the sense of “to have the impression”, as in the third example, but when used pronominally, as in the last example, it means “to feel” when talking about your health or mental state.

Above all, don’t confuse je ne me sens pas bien with je ne sens pas bon – the first means “I don’t feel well”, but the second means “I don’t smell good!”

101 Of The Most Common Verbs In French (11)

90. Sortir (To Go Out, To Take (Something) Out

  • On va sortir vers 21h, ça te va? (We’re going out at 9pm, is that good for you?)
  • Sors la viande du congélateur s’il te plaît (Take the meat out of the freezer please)

The main meaning of sortir is “to go out”, in which case it takes être for compound tenses. However, it can also mean “to take (something) out (from somewhere)”, in which case, it takes avoir.

91. Se Souvenir (To Remember)

  • Tu te souviens de ce qu’il t’a dit? (Do you remember what he told you?)
  • Je ne m’en souviens pas (I don’t remember)

92. Suivre (To Follow)

  • Je prends la Ferrari et tu peux me suivre dans la Lamborghini (I’ll take the Ferrari, and you can follow me in the Lamborghini)

93. Tenir (To Hold)

  • Tiens bien ma main pour pas que tu te perdes (Hold my hand tight so you don’t get lost)

94. Tomber (To Fall)

  • Ne regarde pas vers le bas ou tu vas tomber (Don’t look down or you’ll fall)
  • Il tombe toujours dans les pommes quand il voit du sang (He always faints when he sees blood)

The second sentence is a common idiomatic expression, literally “to fall in the apples”, that means “to faint, pass out”.

Tomber is an être verb.

95. Trouver (To Find)

  • J’ai trouvé un billet de 50€ dans le train (I found a €50 note on the train)

96. Vendre (To Sell)

  • Vendez-vous des cigarettes américaines ici? (Do you sell American cigarettes here?)

97. Venir (To Come)

  • Je l’ai invité mais il ne peut pas venir (I invited him, but he can’t come)

Venir is an être verb.

98. Vivre (To Live)

  • Je vis seul mais cela ne me dérange pas du tout (I live alone, but that doesn’t bother me at all)

99. Voir (To See)

  • Hier j’ai vu un OVNI dans le ciel en revenant de l’école mais personne ne me croit – (Yesterday I saw a UFO in the sky while I was coming back from school, but nobody believes me)

100. Voler (To Fly; To Steal)

  • Les chauves-souris sont des mammifères mais elles volent comme des oiseaux (Bats are mammals, but they fly like birds)
  • Un voleur m’a volé mon portefeuille mais il n’y avait rien dedans (A thief stole my wallet, but there was nothing inside)

101.Vouloir (To Want)

  • Mais en fait, pourquoi veux-tu apprendre le français? (But actually, why do you want to learn French?)
101 Of The Most Common Verbs In French (12)

A Big Boost To Your French Learning

There are many other basic verbs in French than the ones on my list.

But if you can successfully remember this French verbs list, you’ll be well on your way to achieving respectable proficiency in the French language.

Practise using the most common verbs in French as much as you can, and in no time, you’ll have this list down and be ready to work on enlarging your stock of French common verbs even further.

So, in true StoryLearning® spirit, time to start reading in French, especially short stories in French so that you see these verbs in action.


What are the 20 most used verbs in French? ›

Master French conjugation: 20 Most widely used French verbs and their conjugation
  • Être (to be)
  • Avoir (to have)
  • Aller (to go)
  • Parler (to speak/talk)
  • Faire (to do)
  • Prendre (to take)
  • Vouloir (to want)
  • Savoir (to know)
Sep 12, 2022

What are the 17 verbs in French? ›

allé, arrivé, venu, revenu, entré, rentré, descendu, devenu, sorti, parti, resté, retourné, monté, tombé, né et mort.

What are the 100 verbs? ›

100 Common English Verbs
  • be.
  • have.
  • do.
  • say.
  • go.
  • can.
  • get.
  • would.

What are the 100 most used French words? ›

100 most frequently used French words
  • suite (noun [f. ]) result, follow-up, rest.
  • bon (adj., adv.) good; (noun [m. ]) coupon, voucher.
  • comprendre (verb) to understand.
  • depuis (prep., adv.) since.
  • point (adv.) at all; (noun [m. ]) point.
  • ainsi (adv.) thus.
  • heure (noun [f. ]) hour.
  • rester (verb) to stay.

What are the 24 special verbs? ›

24 Auxiliary Verbs List With Examples #7
  • I must go.
  • Go I must.
  • He must have gone.
  • He must be a liar.
  • You must do this.
  • You must not tell a lie.
  • You must be a rich man.
  • You must have been absent.
Nov 7, 2022

What are the 200 verbs? ›

200 Most Important Irregular Verb forms in English
94 more rows

What are the super 7 verbs in French? ›

The Super 7™ Verbs by Terry Waltz in French
  • C'est / elle est / il est.
  • Il y a.
  • Elle a / Il a.
  • Elle veut / Il veut.
  • Elle va / Il va.
  • Elle peut / Il peut.
  • Elle aime / Il aime.
Apr 22, 2022

What are the 23 main verbs? ›

To the tune of "Jingle Bells", he sang: Helping verbs, helping verbs, there are 23! Am, is, are, was and were, being, been, and be, Have, has, had, do, does, did, will, would, shall and should.

What are the 25 regular verbs? ›

Top 25 regular verbs
Present SimplePast SimplePast Participle
21 more rows

What are the big 4 verbs in French? ›

Big 4 French verbs
  • etre = to be.
  • avoir = to have.
  • aller = to go.
  • faire = to do.

Can you give me a list of verbs? ›

Physical Action Verb List:
9 more rows
Mar 5, 2019

What are 10 strong verbs? ›

Top 10 Powerful Verbs
1SaidScreamed, shouted, sobbed, talked, whispered, yawned, hummed
8LaughedGiggled, smiled, smirked, admired, grinned, guffawed
9FoundLocated, unearthed, identified, collected, gathered
10RanJogged, pelted, raced, stumbled, staggered, swayed, galloped
6 more rows

How can I learn verbs easily? ›

The 8 Top Tricks for Remembering Irregular English Verbs
  1. Group common irregular verbs together. ...
  2. Learn all new vocabulary with its tense forms. ...
  3. Memorize the 10 most common irregular verbs first. ...
  4. Turn memorizing into a game. ...
  5. Learn in sentences. ...
  6. Learn with songs. ...
  7. Leave lists where you can see them. ...
  8. Ask people to correct you.
Feb 27, 2020

What are the 7 swear words in French? ›

Let's take a look:
  • Putain. 'Putain' is definitely the most commonly used French swear word. ...
  • Merde. 'Merde' is another popular curse word- perhaps not as popular as 'putain' but it is still used a lot. ...
  • Va te faire foutre. ...
  • Je m'en fous. ...
  • Ta gueule. ...
  • Salope/ Salaud. ...
  • Bâtard/ Bâtarde. ...
  • Niquer.
Nov 3, 2022

What language has only 123 words? ›

That metaphorical process is at the heart of Toki Pona, the world's smallest language. While the Oxford English Dictionary contains a quarter of a million entries, and even Koko the gorilla communicates with over 1,000 gestures in American Sign Language, the total vocabulary of Toki Pona is a mere 123 words.

What are the 24 main verbs? ›

24 Auxiliary Verbs List With Examples #7
  • I must go.
  • Go I must.
  • He must have gone.
  • He must be a liar.
  • You must do this.
  • You must not tell a lie.
  • You must be a rich man.
  • You must have been absent.
Nov 7, 2022

Is J aime an ER verb? ›

Aimer is a French regular er verb meaning to like, to love. Aimer appears on the 100 Most Used French Verbs Poster as the 2nd most used regular er verb.
Aimer Conjugation: Present Tense.
1 more row

What are the 4 types of verbs in French? ›

There are seven different moods in French conjugation: indicative (indicatif), subjunctive (subjonctif), conditional (conditionnel), imperative (impératif), infinitive (infinitif), participle (participe), and gerund (gérondif).

What are the 1,000 verbs? ›

1000 English Verbs Forms
S.No.Base FormPast Participle Form
78 more rows

What are the 25 main verbs? ›

25 Most Common Verbs
  • be.
  • have.
  • do.
  • say.
  • get.
  • make.
  • go.
  • know.

How many verbs are in French? ›

Not surprising when you know there are about 12,000 French verbs that can be divided into more than a hundred conjugated forms! You need to know that there is a big difference between French and English tenses.


1. FRENCH VOCABULARY - The 200 Most Common French Verbs, Audio + Phrase Examples,
(Athavan Hari)
2. 20 French Words for Everyday Life - Basic Vocabulary #1
(Learn French with FrenchPod101.com)
3. French Verbs: Most Common Conjugation in Sentences
4. 100 French Words for Everyday Life - Basic Vocabulary #5
(Learn French with FrenchPod101.com)
5. 100 Most Common French Words in Context - List of French Words and Phrases
(Lingo Mastery French)
6. Basic French Verb Conjugation - (Present Tense)
(Learn French with FrenchPod101.com)
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