Learn French: 10 Easy Steps to Understand the Conjugation of Attendre

Attendre conjugation
Attendre conjugation

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If you're on a journey to learn French, understanding verb conjugation is a crucial step. Among the myriad of verbs, "attendre" holds a special place as it is commonly used in everyday conversations. In this article, we'll walk you through 10 easy steps to comprehend the conjugation of "attendre" and provide detailed explanations for English-speaking learners.

If you want to go deeper, here is the full Attendre conjugation in French and a similar article 10 Key Points to Understand Comprendre Conjugation in French


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Here are10 easy steps to comprehend the conjugation of "attendre":

Step 1: What is the French verb "to attend"?

The French verb "to attend" is "assister." However, it is essential to note that this verb has nothing to do with "attendre," which means "to wait" in English.


Step 2: What does "Attendre" mean?

"Attendre" is a versatile and commonly used French verb that translates to "to wait" in English. This action verb is an integral part of everyday communication, allowing you to express patience and anticipation.

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Step 3: An example of "Attendre":

To better grasp its usage, let's look at an example sentence:
- Je vais attendre mon ami à la gare. (I will wait for my friend at the train station.)


Step 4: The French word "Attendre" in English:

The word "Attendre" translates to "to wait" in English. It conveys the action of patiently staying in one place or delaying an action until a certain event or time occurs.


Step 5: How to use "Attendre" in French:

"Attendre" is a regular -re verb, and its conjugation follows specific patterns. Here are the conjugations in the present tense, say "au présent" in French, for different pronouns:
- J'attends (I wait)
- Tu attends (You wait)
- Il/Elle/On attend (He/She/One waits)
- Nous attendons (We wait)
- Vous attendez (You wait, formal/plural)
- Ils/Elles attendent (They wait)


Step 6: The Past Tense of "Attendre" in French:

To express the past, you will use the "passé composé" tense, which requires an auxiliary verb (avoir or être) and the past participle of "attendre." Here's the conjugation for "attendre" in the "passé composé" tense with the auxiliary verb "avoir":
- J'ai attendu (I waited)
- Tu as attendu (You waited)
- Il/Elle/On a attendu (He/She/One waited)
- Nous avons attendu (We waited)
- Vous avez attendu (You waited, formal/plural)
- Ils/Elles ont attendu (They waited)


Step 7: The Imperfect Tense of "Attendre" in French:

The imperfect tense, we call it "l'imparfait" in French, is used to describe ongoing or repeated actions in the past. The imperfect tense of "attendre" is formed by adding specific endings to the verb stem. Here are the conjugations in the imperfect tense for different pronouns:
- J'attendais (I used to wait/I was waiting)
- Tu attendais (You used to wait/You were waiting)
- Il/Elle/On attendait (He/She/One used to wait/He/She/One was waiting)
- Nous attendions (We used to wait/We were waiting)
- Vous attendiez (You used to wait/You were waiting, formal/plural)
- Ils/Elles attendaient (They used to wait/They were waiting)


Step 8: The Future Tense of "Attendre" in French:

To express actions that will happen in the future, you will use the future tense, we say "le futur" in French, we drop the "e" at the end and put the tonic emphasis on the second u, pronounce like "hu" in english, this is a sound that generally hard to form for non-native French speakers as it doesn't really exist in English. The future tense of "attendre" is formed by adding specific endings to the infinitive verb. Here are the French conjugations in the future tense for different pronouns:
- J'attendrai (I will wait)
- Tu attendras (You will wait)
- Il/Elle/On attendra (He/She/One will wait)
- Nous attendrons (We will wait)
- Vous attendrez (You will wait, formal/plural)
- Ils/Elles attendront (They will wait)


Step 9: The Conditional Tense of "Attendre" in French:

The conditional tense, or "le conditionnel" if you want to sound French, is used to express hypothetical actions or polite requests. The conditional tense of "attendre" is formed by adding specific endings to the infinitive verb. Here are the conjugations in the conditional tense for different pronouns:
- J'attendrais (I would wait)
- Tu attendrais (You would wait)
- Il/Elle/On attendrait (He/She/One would wait)
- Nous attendrions (We would wait)
- Vous attendriez (You would wait, formal/plural)
- Ils/Elles attendraient (They would wait)


Step 10: What type of verb is "Attendre"?

"Attendre" is a regular -re verb in French. It follows standard French conjugation patterns, making it relatively straightforward to work with. In the "présent" tense, it takes on forms like "j'attends" (I wait), "tu attends" (you wait), "il/elle attend" (he/she waits), and so forth. When forming the imperative mood, you would say "attends" for the informal singular and "attendons" for the plural. 

Similar to "attendre," other popular regular -re verbs include "vendre" (to sell) and "perdre" (to lose). These verbs share the same conjugation patterns in the present tense, such as "je vends" (I sell), "nous perdons" (we lose), and "vous vendez" (you sell). In the conditional tense, "j'aurais" (I would have) is used with "attendre," while "je perdrais" (I would lose) is used with "perdre."

To form the subjunctive present, "que j'aie" (that I have) is used with "attendre," while "que tu aies" (that you have) is used with various other verbs. In the past ense, "j'avais" (I had) accompanies "attendre," while "tu avais" (you had) accompanies verbs like "avoir" (to have).

Understanding the conjugation of "attendre" opens doors to comprehending various other regular -re verbs, facilitating your journey towards French language mastery.  

Bonus 11th step!

Step 11: The Participe Passé of the verb "Attendre" and Its English Equivalent

Moving beyond French conjugation, let's explore the "participe passé" of "attendre." In English, this is equivalent to the past participle. For "attendre," the past participle is "attendu," which means "waited" in English. This form is crucial for constructing compound tenses, such as the passé composé.

Just like "attendu," the past participles of other regular -re verbs also end in "-u." For instance, the past participle of "vendre" (to sell) is "vendu" (sold), and for "perdre" (to lose), it's "perdu" (lost). These forms are used with auxiliary verbs like "avoir" or "être" to create compound tenses.

Understanding the participe passé is essential not only for verb tenses but also for constructing passive voice and forming the past participle agreement in certain cases. So, as you master the intricacies of "attendre," remember to apply the knowledge to a wider array of verbs, enhancing your grasp of French grammar and communication.


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