French › Level three lessons › Historical France

Dialogue Edit

Grammar · Interrogative pronouns Edit

Grammar · Simple past of regular verbs Edit

Unlike in English, there is a literary past tense in French, used when writing formally. This past tense is the passé simple . It is relatively simple to predict when to use this tense: for every occurrence of the passé composé in conversational French, one simply uses the passé simple in literary French. Note that the passé simple is not a composed tense, and therefore does not have an auxiliary verb.


To conjugate in this tense, find the stem and appends the appropriate ending.

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Subject Ending Conjugated verb English
Je -ai Je dansai. I danced.
Tu -as Tu dansas. You danced.
Il -a Il dansa. He danced.
Nous -âmes Nous dansâmes. We danced
Vous -âtes Vous dansâtes. You danced.
Ils -èrent Ils dansèrent. They danced.

Regular stemsEdit

The following verbs are irregular in the present indicative, but are regular in their passé simple stems.

Infinitive Stem Je …
-ir verbs
dormir dorm dormis
partir part partis
sentir sent sentis
servir serv servis
sortir sort sortis
-rir Verbs
couvrir couvr couvris
découvrir découvr découvris
offrir offr offris
ouvrir ouvr ouvris
souffrir souffr souffris
-re Verbs
combattre combatt combattis
rompre romp rompis
suivre suiv suivis

Vocabulary · French history Edit

Text · French history Edit

Text Edit

Exercises Edit

ExerciseSimple past
Complétez les phrases suivantes en conjuguant les verbes au passé simple:
  1. J'_____ (entrer) dans le tour.
  2. Tout d'un coup, mon ami ____ (tomber).
  3. Nous _________ (monter) l'éscalier.
  4. Je _____ (dire) aux professeurs qu'il _______ (regarder) la télé.
  5. Ils t'_______ (offrir) le plat, et tu le _______ (laisser) tomber.
Last modified on 28 November 2013, at 23:08