Indicative Tenses in French Grammar
The indicative is a personal mood and is the most commonly used mood in French.
French has 10 indicative tenses, but not all of them are used in everyday language. Le passé simple (the past historic) and le passé antérieur (the anterior past) are only used in literature, while le présent (the present), le passé composé (the simple past), l’imparfait (the imperfect), le passé récent (the recent past), le plus-que-parfait (the past perfect), le futur proche (the near future), le futur simple (the future simple) and le futur antérieur (the future perfect) are used in day-to-day contexts.
Click on the tenses below to read the explanations and examples, then practise your knowledge in the exercises.
To learn how to conjugate verbs in other moods in French such as the conditional, the imperative and the subjunctive, go to the section on verbs.
The présent corresponds to the present tense in English. We mostly use this tense to speak about regular and one-time actions that take place in the present as well as scheduled future events.