Grammar / The present indicative

A1 Breakthrough
Use: the present tense (or present indicative) is used to describe something that is happening as you are speaking, right now, today.   Verbs can be organised into 4 collections.Collection 1: infinitives ending in -er
1 stem inferred from the infinitive.
All verbs (+/- 8000) with infinitives ending in "-er" (exception: aller) and 12 verbs ending in "-ir", like ouvrir.Pass-er
Je pass e
Tu pass es
Il/Elle/On pass e
Nous pass ons
Vous pass ez
Ils/Elles pass ent
Collection 2
2 stems inferred from the infinitive.
In the singular ("je", "tu", "il/elle/on") the short stem is obtained by deducting 3 letters from the infinitive. In the plural ("nous", "vous", "ils/elles") the long stem is obtained by deducting 2 letters from the infinitive.
15 verbs ending in "–ir" like sortir, partir, 6 verbs ending in "-vre" like suivre, and 14 verbs ending in "-ttre", like mettre.Sor-tir
Je sor s
Tu sor s
Il/Elle/On sor t
Nous sort ons
Vous sort ez
Ils/Elles sort ent
Collection 3
2 stems. The 1st stem inferred from the infinitive is used in the singular. The 2nd stem adds a sound to stem 1. It is used in the plural.
Plural formed with "-ss-": 250 verbs ending in "-ir" like finir and 13 verbs ending in "-aître", like connaître
Plural formed with "-s-": verbs ending in "-(u)ire", likelire
Plural formed with "-v-": verbs ending in "-crire", like écrire
Plural formed with "-gn-": verbs ending in "-indre".Fin-ir
Je fini s  
Tu fini s  
Il/Elle/On fini t  
Nous fini ss ons
Vous fini ss ez
Ils/Elles fini ss ent
Collection 4
3 stems. In the singular ("je", "tu", and "il/elle/on") the short stem is a new form.
For "nous" and "vous" the 2nd stem is inferred from the infinitive.
For "ils" and "elles", the 3rd stem often puts together the stem of the singular and the consonant added for "nous" and "vous".
Venir, tenir and their derivatives
Verbs ending in "-cevoir", like recevoir
Verbs formed with "-eu-" in the singular like pouvoir
Prendre and its derivatives
Boire, s’asseoirCompren-dre
Je comprend s  
Tu comprend s  
Il/Elle/On comprend    
Nous compren ons  
Vous compren ez  
Ils/Elles compren nn ent