L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb confesser

Introduction to the verb confesser

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The English translation of the French verb confesser is “to confess.” It is pronounced “koh(n)-feh-seh” in the infinitive form.

The word confesser comes from the French word “confesse” which means “confession.” It ultimately derives from the Latin word “confessus” which means “to acknowledge.” In everyday French, confesser is most often used in the present infinitive tense, l’infinitif présent. This tense is used to express actions that are currently happening or habitual actions.

Three simple examples of its usage in this tense are:

  1. Je dois confesser mes péchés au prêtre tous les dimanches. (I must confess my sins to the priest every Sunday.)
  2. Tu dois confesser la vérité à tes parents. (You must confess the truth to your parents.)
  3. Ils aiment se confesser avant de recevoir la communion. (They like to confess before receiving communion.)

In all of these examples, confesser is used to express an action that is currently happening or a habitual action. In the first example, it is a habitual action to confess one’s sins every Sunday. In the second example, it is a current action to confess the truth. In the third example, it is a habitual action for the speakers to confess before receiving communion.

Table of the L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of confesser

Pronoun Conjugation Example Usage English Translation
je confesse Je confesse mes péchés. I confess my sins.
tu confesses Tu confesses à ta mère. You confess to your mother.
il confesse Il confesse sa faute. He confesses his fault.
elle confesse Elle confesse son amour. She confesses her love.
on confesse On confesse ensemble. We confess together.
nous confessons Nous confessons nos erreurs. We confess our mistakes.
vous confessez Vous confessez vos secrets. You confess your secrets.
ils confessent Ils confessent leurs crimes. They confess their crimes.
elles confessent Elles confessent leur amour. They confess their love.

Other Conjugations for Confesser.

Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb confesser

Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb confesser

Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb confesser

Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb confesser

Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb confesser 

Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb confesser

Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb confesser 

Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb confesser 

Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb confesser

Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb confesser

Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb confesser 

Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb confesser 

Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb confesser

Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb confesser

Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb confesser 

L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb confesser

L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb confesser  (this article)

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Confesser – About the French L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense

BEFORE you continue…. why not take a deep dive into all the French tenses with my article on Mastering French Tense Conjugation.
The French “l’infinitif présent” (Infinitive Present) tense is not a true verb tense in the same way that the present, past, or future tenses are. Instead, it’s the base form of a verb, and it has several important uses and interactions with other tenses.

Forming the Infinitive Present

To form the infinitive present of a verb, you typically take the unconjugated form of the verb (the form you’d find in a French dictionary) and remove the ending. For regular verbs, you remove the -er, -ir, or -re ending, and you’re left with the infinitive. For example:
   – Parler (to speak)
   – Finir (to finish)
   – Vendre (to sell)

Common Everyday Usage Patterns

As a Verb’s Dictionary Form

The most common use of the infinitive present is to represent a verb in its base form. It’s the form you would find in a dictionary or verb conjugation table.

After Modal Verbs

When you use modal verbs like “pouvoir” (can), “vouloir” (want), or “devoir” (must), the verb that follows is in its infinitive form. For example:
     – Je veux manger. (I want to eat.)
     – Il peut parler français. (He can speak French.)

As an Imperative

In informal commands, the infinitive is often used. For example:
     – Ferme la porte. (Close the door.)

In Infinitive Clauses

In complex sentences, especially after certain conjunctions, the infinitive is used to express actions that are separate from the main verb. For example:
     – J’ai besoin de manger avant de partir. (I need to eat before leaving.)

Interactions with Other Tenses

Present Tense

The infinitive present can be used with the present tense to express ongoing actions or habitual actions. For example:
     – J’aime manger des croissants. (I like eating croissants.)

Future Tense

When combined with the future tense of “aller,” the infinitive present can express future actions. For example:
     – Je vais manger au restaurant demain. (I am going to eat at the restaurant tomorrow.)

Conditional Tense

The infinitive present is often used with the conditional to express actions that would happen in a hypothetical situation. For example:

     – Il mangerait s’il avait faim. (He would eat if he were hungry.)

Passé Composé

When forming compound tenses like “passé composé,” the auxiliary verb (être or avoir) is conjugated, and the main verb remains in its infinitive form. For example:
     – J’ai mangé une pomme. (I ate an apple.)
     – Elle est partie. (She left.)

Imperfect Tense

The infinitive present can be combined with the imperfect tense to describe ongoing or habitual actions in the past. For example:
     – Quand j’étais enfant, j’aimais jouer. (When I was a child, I liked to play.)

Subjunctive and Conditional Moods

In some complex sentences, the infinitive can be used with the subjunctive and conditional moods, especially when expressing uncertainty, possibility, or doubt.

Summary

The infinitive present in French serves as the base form of a verb and is used in various contexts, including after modal verbs, in imperative commands, in infinitive clauses, and in combination with other tenses to convey a wide range of meanings and actions. Its flexibility makes it a fundamental part of French grammar.

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