Conjugate semi-regular -oyer, -ayer, -uyer verbs in Le Présent (present tense)

To conjugate verbs ending in "-ayer/-oyer/-uyer" in Le Présent tense, you follow the normal conjugation of "-ER" verbs, but the "y" becomes an "i" for "je/tu/il/elle/on/ils/elles"

ESSAYER (to try)

 

j'essaie I try
tu essaies You try (one person you know well)
il/elle/on essaie He/She/We/one/people try
   
nous essayons We try
vous essayez You try (more than 1 person or formal)
ils/elles essaient They try

ATTENTION: For verbs in -AYER, in spoken French (included written dialogue in a play for example) an alternative version where the "y" is kept for all forms is frequently used (and also pronounced differently):

Il essaie de dormir.
He's trying to sleep.

Il essaye de dormir.
He's trying to sleep.

Je paie mon loyer tous les mois.
I pay my rent every month.

Je paye mon loyer tous les mois.
I pay my rent every month.


Note however that the nous and vous forms always take "y".

 

Common -AYER / -OYER / -UYER verbs

essayer (to try)
payer (to pay) 
employer (to use/employ)
envoyer (to send)
nettoyer (to clean)
essuyer (to wipe)

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources


Il essaye de dormir.
He's trying to sleep.



Il essaie de dormir.
He's trying to sleep.


Vous payez en espèces?
Are you paying in cash?


Je paye mon loyer tous les mois.
I pay my rent every month.


Nous envoyons une lettre.
We're sending a letter.


Je paie mon loyer tous les mois.
I pay my rent every month.


Tu nettoies ta chambre?
Are you cleaning your room?


Q&A Forum 4 questions, 12 answers

MaryA2Kwiziq community member

Present tense of essayer

Has the conjugation of essayer in the present tense changed over the years?  I learned "j'essaye" ( a long time ago ).

Asked 2 months ago
TomC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Hi Mary,

No, nothing has changed. French has always supported  different spellings in  the conjugated forms of essayer. In fact at school I was taught "j'essaie" and was confused when I first came across the alternative form. Payer is similar.

j'essaie/essaye
tu essaies/essayes
il essaie/essaye
nous essayons
vous essayez
ils essaient/essayent

etc.

Tom

Present tense of essayer

Has the conjugation of essayer in the present tense changed over the years?  I learned "j'essaye" ( a long time ago ).

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MarnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Nettoie vs nettoye

Nettoye the lesson gives Nettoye as the alternate spelling of nettoie but the quiz doesn't follow your lesson...I tried it just to see if it would be accepted...surely it should be marked "correct"
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Marnie,

As Chris says only 'nettoie' ( je / il/elle/on ) is correct.

 

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

The alternative spelling -aie/-aye is available only for verbs ending in -ayer. Nettoyer dos not fall under this category. 

-- Chris. 

MarnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Merci à tous!

Nettoie vs nettoye

Nettoye the lesson gives Nettoye as the alternate spelling of nettoie but the quiz doesn't follow your lesson...I tried it just to see if it would be accepted...surely it should be marked "correct"

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Robin B1Kwiziq community member

How do you say we tried to telephone at the bank.

Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Robin !

I think you mean "We tried to call the bank.", which in French would be:

"Nous avons essayé d'appeler la banque."
OR
"Nous avons essayé de téléphoner à la banque."

-> appeler [quelqu'un]to call [someone]
-> téléphoner à [quelqu'un]to phone [someone]

 I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonsoir Robin, Alors que nous étions à la banque, nous avons essayé de téléphoner. This is one way to phrase the statement in French. I am quite sure that there are others.
Robin B1Kwiziq community member
Thank you!
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour Aurélie, I took the phrase to be that they tried calling someone while they, the caller, were at the bank. Perhaps due to the fact of how the phrase was stated. I also considered that they tried to call the bank. Perhaps, the writer of the question can clarify the question somewhat. If not, ce n'est pas grave,. Obviously this is a type of contextual question. Merci, Bonne journée

How do you say we tried to telephone at the bank.

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MichaelC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

"les verres" - "wipes glasses" ou "wipes the glasses"?

Un des réponses correctes était "elle essuie les verres." La traduction était "She wipes glasses." Est-ce-que ca ne doigt pas "She wipes THE glasses."?
Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour Michael, Je pense que vous ayez raison. In her job, she wipes glasses ---> Dans son petit boulot , elle essuie verres From day to day, she wipes some glasses ---> Au jour le jour, elle essuie quelques verres In her job as dishwasher, she wipes the glasses ---> Dans son travail comme lave-vaisselle, elle essuie les verres En regardant ces exemples-ci, nous pouvons voir les changements des articles. Bonne chance
MichaelC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Merci, Ron.
DonaldC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Ron: Je crois que vous avez fait une petite erreur. . J'aurais dit: . Je pense que on n'utilize que le subjonctif avec un négatif. Est-ce que j'ai raison? Et vous pensiez que personne ne lit vos réponses. Don
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour Donald, Bien sûr, de temps en temps je pense qu'il n'y ait personne ce qui lit mes réponses. En ce qui concerne votre question, «J'aurais dit: . Je pense que on n'utilize que le subjonctif avec un négatif. Est-ce que j'ai raison?» Ma réponse est oui et non. Voici l'explication: De la leçon par Aurélie -- With sans que, the use of the ne explétif is quite tricky, so look at these guidelines: - If the main verb is NOT used with negations, then you CANNOT use the ne explétif. - If the main verb is used with a negation, you can use the ne explétif, but it is considered optional: Alors, il y a plusieurs cas lequel il faut utiliser le ne explétif, i.e. You usually find the ne explétif in subjunctive subordinate clauses following verbs with negative connotation (e.g. to fear, to avoid, to doubt). Here, the ne explétif is used to emphasize the negative aspect of what came before it. À moins que + ne explétif + Le Subjonctif = Unless you do Plutôt que + ne explétif + Le Subjonctif = Rather than you do Avant que + ne explétif + Le Subjonctif = Before I do C'est possible que j'ai fait une petite erreur; lequelle de mes réponses faites-vous allusion ? Merci.

"les verres" - "wipes glasses" ou "wipes the glasses"?

Un des réponses correctes était "elle essuie les verres." La traduction était "She wipes glasses." Est-ce-que ca ne doigt pas "She wipes THE glasses."?

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