DIRE - TO SPEAK, TO SAY

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DIRE - FRENCH VERB CONJUGATIONS - PRESENT
DIRE is an irregular verb 
présent de l'indicatif
negative?
jedis[je dis]
tudis[tu dis]
ildit[il dit]
nousdisons[nous disons]
vousdites[vous dites]
ilsdisent[ils disent]
présent de l'indicatif
positive?
jenedispas [je ne dis pas]
tunedispas [tu ne dis pas]
ilneditpas [il ne dit pas]
nousnedisonspas [nous ne disons pas]
vousneditespas [vous ne dites pas]
ilsnedisentpas [ils ne disent pas]
[DIRE]
DIRE
TO SPEAK,  TO SAY
It means that only irregular verbs ending with [-DIRE] have the same pattern: We call it irregular for this reason. It’s regular with its mates but it has an irregular pattern when compared with the 7000 other verbs in the French language. DIRE belongs to the 3rd group. In the 3rd group, all the verbs are irregular. Good news: only 25% of all French verbs are irregular. Bad news: this 25% contain the most important verbs for beginners.
PRÉSENT DE L'INDICATIF

This tense is used most of the time. It indicates an action which is happening at the present time or a habitual action.

HOW TO USE DIRE: (DIRE EXAMPLES)
- GENERAL USE -
definitionsexample use 
to read,  to reciteL'acteur dit son texte  
to say,  to stateCe livre dit que la crise va continuer  
to stand in for,  to claimIl dit voyager beaucoup mais je ne le crois pas.  
to tellSon père lui dit de travailler plus à l'école  
- INFORMAL USE -
definitionsexample useexpression
to sayJe me tue à te le dire! Je me tue à vous le dire! Le magasin est fermé! 
to sayDire merde à quelqu'un Elle m'a dit merde et a fermé la porte 
to sayC'est dire! C'est dire si j'étais heureux! 
to sayC'est malheureux à dire! Il est trop stupide pour cet emploi; c'est malheureux à dire 
to sayC'est peu de le dire! Il est prétentieux! C'est peu de le dire 
to sayDire amen à tout Elle dit amen à tout ce qu'il dit 
to sayEn dire des vertes et des pas mûres Elle lui en a dit des vertes et des pas mûres 
- FORMAL USE -
definitionsexample useexpression
to sayC'est-à-dire C'est-à-dire que l'argent ne fait pas le bonheur... 
to sayÇa veut dire Ça veut dire quoi? 
to sayDire en face Qu'elle me le dise en face! 
to sayDire le plus grand bien de Il m'a dit le plus grand bien de son professeur 
to sayDire le plus grand mal de Il m'a dit le plus grand mal de son professeur 
to sayDire des âneries Elle ne dit que des âneries 
to sayDire des bêtises Ils ne disent que des bêtises 
to sayDire du mal de quelqu'un Elle dit du mal de moi? 
to sayCela va sans dire Cela va sans dire que vous pouvez dormir ici 
to sayDire ses 4 vérités à quelqu'un Il lui a dit ses 4 vérités et il est parti 
WHAT'S A TENSE ? 
CONJUGATE FRENCH VERB DIRE
What can you do with the present tense ? 
passé récent
negative?
jeviensdedire
tuviensdedire
ilvientdedire
nousvenonsdedire
vousvenezdedire
ilsviennentdedire
passé récent
positive?
jenevienspasdedire 
tunevienspasdedire 
ilnevientpasdedire 
nousnevenonspasdedire 
vousnevenezpasdedire 
ilsneviennentpasdedire 
futur proche
negative?
jevaisdire
tuvasdire
ilvadire
nousallonsdire
vousallezdire
ilsvontdire
futur proche
positive?
jenevaispasdire 
tunevaspasdire 
ilnevapasdire 
nousn'allonspasdire 
vousn'allezpasdire 
ilsnevontpasdire 
impératif
negative?
dis
disons
dites
impératif
positive?
 
nedispas 
 
nedisonspas 
neditespas 
 
Well, with the present tense you can describe actions which are occurring now, in the present. But you can do many other things with it too. Look below and you will see that, in French, you can use the present tense combined with other features in such a way that it means something totally different.
IMPÉRATIF

The French imperative (the command tense) of 1st group verbs is very easy to learn. It is used to express command or a request. It's actually the normal present tense but a shorter version.

It is formed
by dropping the "I, you, he, she, we, you, they", of the present tense. Then you erase nearly all the persons but 3; the "you" singular, the "you" plural and the "we" plural.

FUTUR PROCHE

The "futur proche" (near future) is made of the present tense plus another verb. If you look at the conjugation you'll see another verb: ALLER.

The NEAR FUTURE
is therefore expressed by ALLER in the present tense plus the infinitive (the raw verb) of the verb action you are talking about. If you want to speak in future, you just have to learn ALLER (3rd group, irregular).

PASSÉ RÉCENT

The passé recent (recent past) is made of the present tense plus another verb. If you look at the conjugation you'll see another verb: VENIR DE.

The past tense
is therefore expressed by VENIR DE in the present tense plus the infinitive (the raw verb) of the verb action you are talking about. If you want to speak in past, you just have to learn VENIR (3rd group, irregular).

THE 3 FRENCH VERB GROUPS 
DIRE - FRENCH VERB CONJUGATIONS
What ? Another present tense ? 
le conditionnel présent
negative?
jedirais
tudirais
ildirait
nousdirions
vousdiriez
ilsdiraient
le conditionnel présent
positive?
jenediraispas 
tunediraispas 
ilnediraitpas 
nousnedirionspas 
vousnediriezpas 
ilsnediraientpas 
What? A second present tense? I don't understand; I thought there was only one present tense! Help!
LE CONDITIONNEL PRÉSENT

The conditional is used in French to express: Courtesy. If you want to be polite in French, use this mood: Je voudrais du café, s'il vous plaît. I would like some coffee, please. An obligation or duty: Nous devrions partir pour prendre le dernier métro. We should leave if we want to get the last train.

Remember
: The French verb DEVOIR + Infinitive is the exact translation for SHOULD: We should leave if we want to catch the last train. The French verb POUVOIR is the exact translation for COULD or WOULD BE ABLE TO: Nous pourrions venir après le déjeuner. We would be able to come after lunch.

WHAT'S A VERB ? 
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... What's a verb? A verb is doing word; it's an action like to TO EAT, TO SPEAK, TO LEARN, TO CONTROL, TO BE etc. You could argue that TO BE, is not an action. And I'll answer that TO DO NOTHING is also an action. Did you get that? ...

Similar French Verbs
annoncer  |  communiquer  |  parler  |  informer  |  signaler  |  déclarer  |  exprimer  |  dévoiler
Contrary French Verbs
taire  |  dissimuler  |  cacher
WHAT'S A MOOD ? 
WHAT'S AN INFINITIVE ? 
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... An infinitive is the raw verb. It means "not expressing tense". For instance, in the sentence: "I go to bed early", the infinitive for the verb "I go" is: TO GO. So easy! In English, you get the infinitive adding TO before the verb in the sentence. Infinitives are everywhere. Look at this example: I want to leave early tonight. Yes, after a verb use with a person (I, you, he, she, etc.); in our example "I want", you'll always have an infinitive, in our example: to leave. ...

FRENCH VERB DIRE - THE INDICATIVE MOOD
The indicative mood – Recap. 
présent de l'indicatif
negative?
jedis[je dis]
tudis[tu dis]
ildit[il dit]
nousdisons[nous disons]
vousdites[vous dites]
ilsdisent[ils disent]
présent de l'indicatif
positive?
jenedispas [je ne dis pas]
tunedispas [tu ne dis pas]
ilneditpas [il ne dit pas]
nousnedisonspas [nous ne disons pas]
vousneditespas [vous ne dites pas]
ilsnedisentpas [ils ne disent pas]
The easiest mood! If you want to merely make a statement or ask a question about anything really, you'll use the most common mood, the Indicative Mood. In short, this is the mood we use most of the time; the present, the future, the imperfect you normally use are indicative.
PRÉSENT DE L'INDICATIF

This tense is used most of the time. It indicates an action which is happening at the present time or a habitual action.

DIRE - FRENCH VERB CONJUGATIONS - VERB DIRE
futur
negative?
jedirai
tudiras
ildira
nousdirons
vousdirez
ilsdiront
futur
positive?
jenediraipas 
tunediraspas 
ilnedirapas 
nousnedironspas 
vousnedirezpas 
ilsnedirontpas 
imparfait de l'indicatif
negative?
jedisais
tudisais
ildisait
nousdisions
vousdisiez
ilsdisaient
imparfait de l'indicatif
positive?
jenedisaispas 
tunedisaispas 
ilnedisaitpas 
nousnedisionspas 
vousnedisiezpas 
ilsnedisaientpas 
passé simple
negative?
jedis
tudis
ildit
nousdîmes
vousdîtes
ilsdirent
passé simple
positive?
jenedispas 
tunedispas 
ilneditpas 
nousnedîmespas 
vousnedîtespas 
ilsnedirentpas 
PASSÉ SIMPLE

Good news! This past tense is not used in conversional French. Only literary people use it in formal writing, for example, in a novel or a history book. The truth is that this tense is nearly dead. So… You can forget it for the moment (unless your proficiency level is very very high)

IMPARFAIT DE L'INDICATIF

This is a past tense. It is use to indicate repetition in the past or a habit in the past: Nous allions au restaurant tous les jours. We used to go to the restaurant every day.

It is also
the tense you must use when describing an action in the past: Il était heureux quand je l'ai vu. He was happy when I saw him.

FUTUR

This tense expresses an action which will take place at some time in the future. Nous irons en Chine l'hiver prochain. We will go to China next summer

WHAT'S A COMPOUND TENSE ? 
PASSÉ COMPOSÉ
More about The indicative mood! 
passé composé
negative?
j'aidit[j'ai dit]
tuasdit[tu as dit]
iladit[il a dit]
nousavonsdit[nous avons dit]
vousavezdit[vous avez dit]
ilsontdit[ils ont dit]
passé composé
positive?
jen'aipasdit [je n'ai pas dit]
tun'aspasdit [tu n'as pas dit]
iln'apasdit [il n'a pas dit]
nousn'avonspasdit [nous n'avons pas dit]
vousn'avezpasdit [vous n'avez pas dit]
ilsn'ontpasdit [ils n'ont pas dit]
In French there are 7 compound tenses. But only 4 of them belong to the INDICATIVE.
PASSÉ COMPOSÉ

The Past Indefinite or Compound Past is used in everyday French. It's the informal past tense. It's used when people want to talk about facts, about actions which are finished in the past.

If you want
to describe your day at school or at the office, for example, you must use the Compound Past. There is no other way to do it.

If you want
to know what a compound tense is, go to the tab on the left hand side which says: "What's a compound tense?". Clever!?

TIP 
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... TIP: verb conjugation only occurs in two general areas: using person (I, you, he, she, etc.) and for tenses (Present, past, future, etc.). Conjugation for person happens when the subject changes; it depends on who is acting: I, you, he, she, etc. For example, we have I learn, you learn, s/he learns, etc. Using tense (past, present, future, etc.), remember that all verb conjugation starts with an infinitive verb (Put simple: an infinitive is the to form of a verb: to have, to be, to learn, etc.) ...

WHAT'S A PAST PARTICIPLE ? 
CONJUGATE FRENCH VERB DIRE - VERB DIRE
Tip 
plus-que-parfait de l'indicatif
negative?
j'avaisdit
tuavaisdit
ilavaitdit
nousavionsdit
vousaviezdit
ilsavaientdit
plus-que-parfait de l'indicatif
positive?
jen'avaispasdit 
tun'avaispasdit 
iln'avaitpasdit 
nousn'avionspasdit 
vousn'aviezpasdit 
ilsn'avaientpasdit 
passé antérieur de l'indicatif
negative?
j'eusdit
tueusdit
ileutdit
nouseûmesdit
vouseûtesdit
ilseurentdit
passé antérieur de l'indicatif
positive?
jen'euspasdit 
tun'euspasdit 
iln'eutpasdit 
nousn'eûmespasdit 
vousn'eûtespasdit 
ilsn'eurentpasdit 
futur antérieur
negative?
j'auraisdit
tuaurasdit
ilauradit
nousauronsdit
vousaurezdit
ilsaurontdit
futur antérieur
positive?
jen'auraispasdit 
tun'auraspasdit 
iln'aurapasdit 
nousn'auronspasdit 
vousn'aurezpasdit 
ilsn'aurontpasdit 
It's really easy to understand compound tenses when you realise that:
*
The second part is always the same (It's like the –ed form in English; it's always the same in compound tenses).
*
But, the first part is not always in present tense. Remember the Compound past? J'ai préparé des spaghetti. (Literally: I have prepared spaghetti). This 1st part is in the present tense!

Now
, Look at the following tense: the pluperfect (le Plus-que-parfait):
J'avais préparé des spaghetti.
(I had prepared spaghetti). "I had" is not a present tense: it's the imperfect of TO HAVE. Thus, The pluperfect in English is identical to French; the first part of the tense is in the past.

Now
, look at this tense in English (tricky one): "I will have prepared spaghetti". The 1st part is "will have" (It's a future – The tense is called Future perfect and yes, it's English). In French, we will say: J'aurai préparé des spaghetti ("j'aurai" is TO HAVE in the future).
FUTUR ANTÉRIEUR

The Future Perfect or Future Anterior, is an interesting tense. In French and English, it is used to express an action which will happen in the future before another future action.

In English
we commonly use Shall have or will have + the Past participle.

See
the following example: When she calls me tomorrow, I shall have finished my report (Quand elle appellera demain, j'aurai fini mon rapport).

PASSÉ ANTÉRIEUR DE L'INDICATIF

Past Anterior. This tense is not very used in French; it's a literary tense (writing only). So, unless you are a writer and/or you want to read Balzac, you can put it aside for the moment.

PLUS-QUE-PARFAIT DE L'INDICATIF

The pluperfect or Past Perfect Indicative is used to express an action which happened in the past before another past action.

Tricky?
No. Look at the following example: "I had seen the movie he told us about." "I had seen" is the Pluperfect. You might never have seen this structure because in English, it's not really used. But it's perfectly correct. First someone told us about a movie (Past tense), second, I had seen it before (Action of "seeing" before the action of "telling"). Both tense are in the Past.

WHAT'S A PRESENT PARTICIPLE? 
FRENCH VERB DIRE - THE CONDITIONAL MOOD
The Conditional Mood 
le conditionnel présent
negative?
jedirais
tudirais
ildirait
nousdirions
vousdiriez
ilsdiraient
le conditionnel présent
positive?
jenediraispas 
tunediraispas 
ilnediraitpas 
nousnedirionspas 
vousnediriezpas 
ilsnediraientpas 
It refers to actions / events which would, should or could happen in the future if certain conditions were met. In short, when an English speaker wants to use WOULD, SHOULD or COULD; she / he uses the conditional mood. Look at the following simple tense in conditional:
THE CONDITIONAL AND JOURNALISM

The conditional is often used in journalistic language. When journalists want to state something as an "alleged" fact, or doesn't wish to state something definitely true they use the conditional.

It is
also used in French as "could" and "would" are in English to make a request more polite: Je voudrais réserver une table pour deux, s'il vous plaît. (I would like to book a table for two, please.)

WHAT'S A TRANSITIVE VERB? 
CONJUGATE FRENCH VERB DIRE
The conditional's compound tense! 
le conditionnel passé
negative?
j'auraisdit
tuauraisdit
ilauraitdit
nousaurionsdit
vousauriezdit
ilsauraientdit
le conditionnel passé
positive?
jen'auraispasdit 
tun'auraispasdit 
iln'auraitpasdit 
nousn'aurionspasdit 
vousn'auriezpasdit 
ilsn'auraientpasdit 
The conditional has only one compound tense; the Conditional Perfect (le Conditionnel Passé).
LE CONDITIONNEL PASSÉ

The Conditional Perfect. Is used to express an action or an event that you would have done if something else had been possible. "Would have" could be translated by the French conditional "j'aurais".

"Done"
is the past participle of to do (fait).

WHAT IS A SUBORDINATE CLAUSE? 
CONJUGATE FRENCH VERB DIRE - VERB DIRE
The Subjunctive mood 
présent du subjonctif
negative?
quejedise
quetudises
qu'ildise
quenousdisions
quevousdisiez
qu'ilsdisent
présent du subjonctif
positive?
quejenedisepas
quetunedisespas
qu'ilnedisepas
quenousnedisionspas
quevousnedisiezpas
qu'ilsnedisentpas
imparfait du subjonctif
negative?
quejedisse
quetudisses
qu'ildît
quenousdissions
quevousdissiez
qu'ilsdissent
imparfait du subjonctif
positive?
quejenedissepas
quetunedissespas
qu'ilnedîtpas
quenousnedissionspas
quevousnedissiezpas
qu'ilsnedissentpas
The Subjunctive mood is used in French much more than in English (Actually, most English speakers don't know that it even exists!). But the Subjunctive is quite commonly used in English to express an idea contrary to a fact: "If I were you, I would learn a second language". In French, it is a very common tense. You'll use it if you want to express a wish, a fear, a doubt or a supposition.
IMPARFAIT DU SUBJONCTIF

The Imperfect subjunctive is not in use anymore. You'll find it in literature and old poetry. This tense is also rarely used in English.

PRÉSENT DU SUBJONCTIF

The subjunctive is used mainly in subordinate clause. It means that in the majority of cases where the subjunctive is used, there is no other choice; it is required after some specific expression. These expression express fear, doubt, supposition and wish.

Hang
on a minute! What does subordinate mean? See the tab on the left hand side of this page.

WHAT'S AN INTRANSITIVE VERB? 
FRENCH VERB DIRE - THE SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD
The subjunctive mood and compound tenses 
passé du subjonctif
negative?
quej'aiedit
quetuaiesdit
qu'ilaitdit
quenousayonsdit
quevousayezdit
qu'ilsaientdit
passé du subjonctif
positive?
quejen'aiepasdit
quetun'aiespasdit
qu'iln'aitpasdit
quenousn'ayonspasdit
quevousn'ayezpasdit
qu'ilsn'aientpasdit
plus-que-parfait du subjonctif
negative?
quej'eussedit
quetueussesdit
qu'ileûtdit
quenouseussionsdit
quevouseussiezdit
qu'ilseussentdit
plus-que-parfait du subjonctif
positive?
quejen'eussepasdit
quetun'eussespasdit
qu'iln'eûtpasdit
quenousn'eussionspasdit
quevousn'eussiezpasdit
qu'ilsn'eussentpasdit
spe The subjunctive mood has also compound tenses. The following ones are not very common in every day French conversation. They are actually quite rare.
PLUS-QUE-PARFAIT DU SUBJONCTIF

The Pluperfect or Past Perfect Subjunctive is rarely used in French and in English.

This tense
is avoided in conversational informal writing and speaking. It is useful if you read a lot of French literature from the 19th century.

PASSÉ DU SUBJONCTIF

The past or perfect subjunctive expresses a past action which is in relation to the present time.

This tense
is very rarely used in English but quite common in French. Il est probable qu'elle ait téléphoné (It's probable she may have called)

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