Dire Conjugation in the Present Tense (Le Présent)

dire conjugation in the present tense

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In this French grammar lesson we will learn about dire conjugation in the present tense.

Dire which means “to say” is an irregular verb, and an important verb in the French language. Therefore it warrants its own lesson.

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • how dire is conjugated in French,
  • how dire is used in French,
  • how dire has similar verbs
  • how dire is pronounced in French,
  • how dire is used in sentences in French,
  • how dire conjugation Anki files can be downloaded.

Please refer to the French A1 Curriculum to get a better overview of French grammar if you are curious about how dire fits in French A1 grammar.

By the end of the lesson you will know all about dire conjugation in the present tense!

Table of Contents

Dire Conjugation in the Present Tense


Usage of Dire

This section on dire conjugation in the present tense will show you how dire is used in French.

We use dire whenever we want to show that something is said.

You may find this confusing as French also has the verb parler.

In French the verb parler means to talk/to speak.

However, how do you know which one you should use?

If you want to mention a conversation where the flow went two ways you can use parler. In short, there is an interaction.

If however, you just wish to state something then dire would be used.

I will provide an example to contrast the two.

The first will be an incorrect example, and the second will show the correct version.

Il parle bonjour.

He speaks hello.

Il dit bonjour.

He says hello.

As you can see the first is wrong as you don’t speak hello, but you say hello.

Dire and Its Derivatives

contredire to contradict
interdire to forbid
médire to speak ill/to slander
prédire to predict
redire to say again

As you can see dire has a few important derivatives that you should be aware of.

Of all these derivatives, redire has the exact same conjugation as dire.

All of the other verbs conjugate in the same way except in the vous form.

Vous dites

Vous redites

Vous contredisez

Vous interdisez

Vous médisez

Vous prédisez

Perhaps you are wondering why there is a seperate lesson for this and one for lire, seeing as they are quite similar.

Lire and its derivatives also follow a similar conjugation pattern in the present tense.

However, when the passé composé is used they differ.

For that reason these are placed in seperate lessons.

J’aime lire.

I love to read.

Je l’ai lu hier.

I read this yesterday.

In the passé composé lire has an u ending.

Je voudrais dire ce que j’en pense.

I would love to say what I think about this.

Hier, je lui ai dit la vérité.

Yesterday I told her the truth.

In the passé compose dire has an it ending.

Pronunciation of Dire

In this section on dire conjugation in the present tense we will focus on pronunciation.

There are 3 important rules to take into account when we want to pronounce a dire conjugation in the present tense.

  1. The je, tu, and il/elle/on form all have the same pronunciation. The s, and t are not pronounced.

Je lis

Tu lis

Il lit

All these VERBS have the same exact pronunciation

  1. In the vous form one does not pronounce the es.

Vous dites

The last letter that is pronounced is the “t“.

  1. In the ils/elles form one does not pronounce the ent.

Ils disent

The last letter that is pronounced is the “s“.

Example Sentences with Dire Conjugations

The final section of this lesson on dire conjugation in the present tense is about seeing avoir in action.

This is valuable because you can improve your understanding of dire conjugation in the present tense through examples.

Je dis bonne chance aux optimistes.

I say good luck to the optimists.

Tu contredis tout le monde.

You’re contradicting everyone.

Il est interdit de toucher les œuvres.

It is forbidden to touch the artworks.

Nous prédisons que la question de l’eau, entre autres, va devenir très problématique.

We predict that the issue of water, among others, will become very problematic.

Vous dites que vous connaissez la cause du réchauffement climatique?

You say that you know the cause of global warming?

Ne jamais dire du mal de quelqu’un et éviter ceux qui médisent des autres.

Never speak ill of anyone and avoid those who slander others.

Anki File for Dire Conjugation

It is important to do the Anki excercises for this lesson, so that you can better remember what you just studied.

By downloading the Anki File for French A1, you can practice every French A1 lesson that is on Language Atlas.

You can also choose to just get the Anki File for French A1 Verbs. This only has the verbs for French A1.

If you don’t know why you should use Anki, or if you don’t know what Anki is, then please click here.

Anki can be downloaded from here.

All of this will help you a lot to understand dire conjugation in the present tense.

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