Simple tense – temps simple


Let's Define It!

What's a *simple tense*?

A simple tense (un temps simple in Frenchis first of all a verb tense.

One key element to remember about a simple tense is that it is formed using only one verb, unlike a compound tense verb made up of two elements: auxiliary  + past participle.

There are about 8 French simple tenses:

  • le présent de l'indicatif / present indicative
  • l'imparfait de l'indicatif / imperfect 
  • le passé simple de l'indicatif / past historic
  • le futur simple de l'indicatif / future simple 
  • le présent du subjonctif / present subjunctive
  • l'imparfait du subjonctif / imperfect subjunctive
  • le présent de l'impératif /  present imperative
  • le présent du conditionnel / present conditional


Let's Pronounce It!

What does it sound like in French?


Let's Have an Example or Two!

Can a little reinforcement do the trick?

Here are some sentences with simple tense verbs.

  • Je parle français. I speak French [present]
  • Nous irons en France l'an prochain. We will go to France next year. [future simple]
  • Il prit un peu de vin. He had a little wine. [past historic]



Let's Take a Quiz!

What did you learn?