Conjugation Of Dire
Dire Conjugation: Dire means “to say” or “to tell” and it is one of the 10 most common verbs in the French language. It is also an irregular verb, which can pose a challenge to French students. However, in this lesson, we’ll go through the most basic conjugations of dire and learn its various meanings. We’ll also give you plenty of practice using it in common French expressions.
The French verb ‘dire’ means ‘to say’ or ‘to tell’ in English. This lesson will show you how to use that verb. We’ll look at a common situation where you might hear it, view the conjugation, and learn a few sentences with the verb.
Conjugation Of Dire
What a great opportunity–you’ve been invited to a party with a lot of people from France. Now’s your chance to ask them to help you with your French. Your first question is about all the different ways you’ve heard to say ‘good-bye’ in French.
You ask Louis if he says au revoir for good-bye:
Tu dis (pronounced: too dee), ‘au revoir’? you ask.
He responds that yes, he says that, but he also says à bientôt for good-bye:
Oui, je dis (pronounced: zhuh dee) ‘au revoir’, et je dis ‘à bientôt’ aussi.
Pauline joins the conversation and tells you that Louis says à bienôt, but she says à la prochaine:
Il dit (pronounced: eel dee) ‘à bientôt’, mais je dis ‘à la prochaine’.
Then you ask about another expression you’ve heard, ciao:
Vous dites (prounounced: voo deet) ‘ciao’ aussi? (‘Do you say, ‘ciao’ also’?)
Louis tells you, Yes, we say ‘ciao’ also’:
Oui, nous disons ‘ciao’ aussi.
Did you notice the forms of dire (pronounced: deer) that are used? Dire is the infinitive form of the verb, or the basic, generic form. When we use it with a pronoun such as je to say ‘I say,’ we use the appropriate form, or conjugation: je dis.
Forms of DireLet’s take a look at the verb conjugation in the present tense for all the forms.
Here’s the conjugation chart for dire:
|VERB: Dire (deer)|
|Subject Pronoun||Dire Conjugation||Pronunciation||Translation|
|je||je dis||(zhuh dee)||I say, I tell|
|tu||tu dis||(too dee)||you say, you tell|
|il/elle/on||il/elle/on dit||(eel/el/ohn dee)||he/she says, he/she tells|
|nous||nous disons||(noo dee zohn)||we say, we tell|
|vous||vous dites||(voo deet)||you say, you tell|
|ils/elles||ils/elles disent||(eel/el deez)||they say, they tell|
The conjugation of this verb is called irregular because it doesn’t follow the same pattern as other verbs. You should especially notice the form for vous: vous dites. You may have already seen that most verb endings for the vous form end with an -ez, but for the verb dire, vous does not end in -ez.
Dire Italian Conjugation
Dire As an Irregular “-re” Verb
There are regular -er verbs and irregular -er verbs; dire is an irregular -re verb. The irregular group can be organized into five patterns around the verbs prendre, battre, mettre, rompre and those ending in –craindre.
The problem is that dire does not fit into these patterns at all. It belongs to the remaining irregular -re verbs, which have such unusual or unwieldy conjugations that you have to memorize each one separately. These are very common and important verbs, so you really do have to learn them in order to communicate effectively in French. Try working on one verb a day until you’ve mastered them all.
Verbs Ending in “-dire” Are Conjugated Like Dire
Dire is the root of a family of French irregular verbs ending in -dire. All French verbs that have this ending are conjugated in the same way, so that makes each a little easier to learn. There is one exception, though. In the vous form of the indicative and imperative, dire and redire end in -ites, while the other verbs end in -isez.
A few of the verbs ending in -dire are:
- redire – to repeat, say again
- contredire – to contradict
- se dédire – to go back on one’s word
- interdire – to forbid
- médire – to malign
- prédire – to predict
Simple Conjugations of Dire
Dire is an important verb to learn and its most important conjugations are in the indicative mood. These state the action of “saying” as a fact. Make these a priority and memorize them, using short sentences to practice each.
The indicative mood of dire includes the basic present, future, and imperfect past tenses. To use the chart, simply pair the subject pronoun with the appropriate tense. For example, “I say” is je dis and “we will tell” is nous disons.
The present participle of dire is disant.
The passé composé of dire is formed using the auxiliary verb avoir and the past participle dit. To construct the phrase, combine these two elements with the correct subject pronoun. For instance, “we told” is nous avons dit.
You may not use the following verb conjugations as often as the others, but they are useful to know. For example, when you want to give the action of “saying” a little uncertainty, either the subjunctive or the conditional may be appropriate. It’s most likely that you’ll encounter the passè simple and the imperfect subjunctive in writing.
|Subjunctive||Conditional||Passé Simple||Imperfect Subjunctive|
When you want to use dire as a command or short request, you can use the imperative form. In this case, there’s no need to include the subject pronoun: use dis instead of tu dis.
The Many Meanings of Dire
In practice, dire generally means “to say” or “to tell”:
- Je n’ai rien dit. – I didn’t say anything.
- Dis-moi la vérité. – Tell me the truth.
- Comment dit-on “furthermore” en français ? – How do you say “furthermore” in French?
Dire que means “to say that”:
- J’ai dit que j’avais froid. – I said that I was cold.
- Je vais lui dire qu’il doit nous aider. – I’m going to tell him that he has to help us.
Dire de can mean “to think” or “to have an opinion on” or “to feel like”:
- Qu’est-ce que tu dis de mon idée ? – What do you think of my idea?
- Que dites-vous de la maison ? – What do you think about the house?
- Ça te dit de sortir ? – Do you feel like going out?
- Ça ne me dit rien. – I don’t feel like it at all. That doesn’t do anything for me.
Using Se Dire
Se dire can be either a pronominal or passive voice construction. In the pronominal, dire can be reflexive (“to say to oneself”) or reciprocal (“to say to each other”)
Reflexive – to say to oneself
- Je me suis dit de ne pas pleurer. – I told myself not to cry.
- Il s’est dit, bon, il faut essayer encore une fois. – He said to himself, “Well, I have to try again.”
Figuratively, the reflexive dire means “to claim (to be)”:
- Il se dit avocat. – He claims to be a lawyer.
- Elle se dit prête. – She claims she’s ready.
Reciprocal – to say to each other
- Nous devons nous dire au revoir. – We have to say goodbye (to each other).
- Ils se sont enfin dit qu’ils s’aiment. – They finally told each other that they love each other.
In the passive construction, se dire means “to be said”:
- Ça ne se dit pas. – That isn’t said.
- Ça ne se dit plus. – That isn’t said anymore. People don’t say that anymore.
- Comment ça se dit en espagnol? – How is that said in Spanish?
Dire French Conjugation
The dire conjugation tables below show how to form the French verb dire according to tense and person. To listen to the pronunciation of a given tense of dire, click on the loudspeaker icon at the bottom of the table. See the notes on the conjugation of dire at the end of this page.
|Present subjunctive||Perfect subjunctive|
|Past historic||Past anterior|
What is the past participle of dire?
|Irregular past participles|
Is dire avoir or etre?
How do you conjugate dire in French?
- Drop the -re of the infinitive to get the stem.
- Add the ending for the subject you need: -s, -s, -t, -sons, -sez, or -sent. The one exception in this group of irregular verbs is the vous form of dire. It is dites, not disez.