Conjugation of the French Verb “Commencer”

The French language is known for its complex verb conjugations, and one of the verbs that often poses a challenge for learners is “commencer.” In this article, we will explore the conjugation of the verb “commencer” in various tenses and moods, providing you with a comprehensive guide to using this essential French verb.


Present Tense (Présent)

– Je commence – I start
– Tu commences – You start (informal)
– Il/elle/on commence – He/she/one starts
– Nous commençons – We start
– Vous commencez – You start (formal/plural)
– Ils/elles commencent – They start


Imperfect Tense (Imparfait)

– Je commençais – I was starting
– Tu commençais – You were starting (informal)
– Il/elle/on commençait – He/she/one was starting
– Nous commencions – We were starting
– Vous commenciez – You were starting (formal/plural)
– Ils/elles commençaient – They were starting


Simple Past (Passé Simple)

– Je commençai – I started
– Tu commenças – You started (informal)
– Il/elle/on commença – He/she/one started
– Nous commençâmes – We started
– Vous commençâtes – You started (formal/plural)
– Ils/elles commencèrent – They started


Future Tense (Futur Simple)

– Je commencerai – I will start
– Tu commenceras – You will start (informal)
– Il/elle/on commencera – He/she/one will start
– Nous commencerons – We will start
– Vous commencerez – You will start (formal/plural)
– Ils/elles commenceront – They will start


Conditional Mood (Conditionnel Présent)

– Je commencerais – I would start
– Tu commencerais – You would start (informal)
– Il/elle/on commencerait – He/she/one would start
– Nous commencerions – We would start
– Vous commenceriez – You would start (formal/plural)
– Ils/elles commenceraient – They would start


Subjunctive Mood (Subjonctif Présent)

– Que je commence – That I start
– Que tu commences – That you start (informal)
– Qu’il/elle/on commence – That he/she/one starts
– Que nous commencions – That we start
– Que vous commenciez – That you start (formal/plural)
– Qu’ils/elles commencent – That they start


Imperative Mood (Impératif)

– Commence ! – Start! (informal singular)
– Commençons ! – Let’s start!
– Commencez ! – Start! (formal/plural)


10 example sentences with the word “commencer”

Here are 10 example sentences with the word “commencer” in different grammatical tenses:

  1. J’ai commencé mes devoirs. (I started my homework.) – Past simple
  2. Il commence à pleuvoir. (It is starting to rain.) – Present tense
  3. Nous commencerons bientôt notre voyage. (We will start our trip soon.) – Future tense
  4. Elle commençait à se sentir mieux. (She was starting to feel better.) – Imperfect tense
  5. Vous commencerez le projet demain. (You will start the project tomorrow.) – Future tense
  6. Ils ont commencé la réunion sans moi. (They started the meeting without me.) – Past simple
  7. Tu commencerais un nouveau livre si tu avais le temps. (You would start a new book if you had the time.) – Conditional mood
  8. Que nous commencions à travailler ensemble. (That we start working together.) – Subjunctive mood
  9. Commencez à préparer le dîner. (Start preparing dinner.) – Imperative mood
  10. Le film commencera à 20 heures. (The movie will start at 8 p.m.) – Future tense

These examples showcase the versatility of the verb “commencer” across different tenses and moods in French.



The verb “commencer” is a fundamental French verb that means “to start” or “to begin.” As shown in this article, it undergoes regular conjugation patterns in various tenses and moods. Learning how to conjugate “commencer” correctly is essential for effective communication in French, as it is frequently used in everyday conversations and written texts. By mastering the conjugation of this verb, you’ll be one step closer to becoming proficient in the French language. Keep practicing, and with time, you’ll become more confident in using “commencer” and other French verbs accurately.