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Jouer Conjugation: How To Conjugate “To Play” In French

Jouer Conjugation: How To Conjugate “To Play” In French

The conjugation of jouer (Meaning: to play; Pronunciation ʒwe) is: Je joue (I play), tu joues (you play), il/elle joue (he/she plays), nous jouons (we play), vous jouez (you play) and ils/elles jouent (they play). This page provides conjugation tables for jouer in six major verb tenses.

Jouer conjugation in the present tense.

Jouer is a regular -er verb. This means that its endings in the present tense are the same as other regular -er verbs. The endings in the present tense are: -e, -es, -e, -ons, -ez and -ent.

The past participle of jouer is joué (played) and the present participle is jouant (playing).

In this post we cover the following six tenses (see below).

  • Present tense (le présent)
  • Compound past (le passé composé)
  • Imperfect (l’imparfait)
  • Simple future (le future simple)
  • Conditional (le conditionnel)
  • Subjunctive (le subjonctif)

Uses of jouer

Jouer à + sport/game

In the context of playing both sports and games, the French use the construction jouer à + sport/game. For example:

  • Le garçon joue au foot-ball. The boy plays soccer.
  • Ils jouent aux échecs. They play chess.

Jouer de + musical instrument

In the context of playing playing musical instruments, the French use the construction jouer de + musical instrument. For example:

  • Marie joue de la flute. Marie plays the flute.
  • Paul joue du violon. Paul plays the violin.

To play

On its own, jouer means to play. These usages are the same in English: to play for fun or to play a role.

  • Les enfants jouent dans le jardin. The kids play in the yard.
  • Le comedien joue un rôle dans le film. The actor plays a role in the movie.

Jouer conjugation table

Below we’ve included a conjugation table of jouer in six major verb tenses. Further down the page we’ve included complete conjugation charts with example sentences.

Jouer conjugation table

Jouer conjugation charts

Present tense (le présent)

In the present tense, je joue translates to “I play” and “I am playing”.

Je joueI playJe joue du violon depuis cinq ans. I have been playing the violin for five years.
Tu jouesYou play (informal, singular)Tu joues au foot avec vos camarades de classe.You play soccer with your classmates.
Il/elle joueHe/she playsElle joue de la flute devant le public.She plays the flute in front of the audience.
Nous jouonsWe playNous jouons aux cartes tous les week-ends.We play cards every weekend.
Vous jouezYou play (formal, plural)Vous jouez un rôle dans la pièce.You play a role in the play.
Ils/elles jouentThey playLes enfants jouent ensemble après l'école.The kids play together after school.

Compound past (le passé composé)

The French use the passé composé to express past actions which occurred at specific times. J’ai joué translates to “I played”.

J'ai jouéI playedJ'ai joué au tennis hier après-midi.I played tennis yesterday.
Tu as jouéYou played (informal, singular)Tu as joué aux dames avec les enfants. You played checkers with the kids.
Il/elle a jouéHe/she playedElle a joué de la harpe quand elle était au lycée.She played the harp when she was in high school.
Nous avons jouéWe playedNous avons joué aux cartes la semaine dernière.We played cards last week.
Vous avez jouéYou played (formal, plural)Vous avez joué du piano pour le concert de Noël.You played the piano for the Christmas concert.
Ils/elles ont jouéThey playedElles ont joué à hockey sur glace contre l'équipe candienne.They played ice hockey against the Canadian team.

Imperfect (l’imparfait)

The French use the imperfect tense (l’imparfait) to describe past actions which occurred at undefined times. Je jouais translates to “I used to play” and “I was playing”.

Je jouaisI was playing, used to playJe jouais au foot quand les adultes sont arrivés.I was playing soccer when the adults arrived.
Tu jouaisYou were playing, used to play (informal, single)Tu jouais de la guitare quand le public a commencé à applaudir.You were playing the guitar when the audience started applauding.
Il/elle jouaitHe was playing, used to playElle jouait au volley quand elle était jeune.She used to play volleyball when she young.
Nous jouionsWe were playing, used to playNous jouions aux cartes quand le téléphone à sonné.We were playing cards when the phone rang.
Vous jouiezYou were playing, used to play (formal, plural)Vous jouiez du piano pendant très longtemps. You played the piano for a very long time.
Ils/elles jouaientThey were playing, used to playLes garçons jouaient quand ils étaient jeunes. The boys used to play together when they were young.
Elle joue du violon. She plays the violin.

Simple future (le future simple)

The French use the simple future to express future events. Je jouerai translates to “I will play”.

Je joueraiI will playJe jouerai au foot la semaine prochaine.I will play soccer next week.
Tu jouerasYou will play (informal, singular)Tu joueras de la clarinette au concert ce soir. You will play clarinet at the concert tonight.
Il/elle joueraHe/she will playElle jouera avec ses amis demain soir.She will play with her friends tomorrow evening.
Nous joueronsWe will playNous jouerons ensemble après l'école.We'll play together after school.
Vous jouerezYou will play (formal, plural)Vous jouerez un rôle très important dans la politique du pays.You will play a very important role in the country's politics.
Ils/elles jouerontThey will playIls joueront du violon au festival de musique.They will play the violin at the music festival.

Conditional (le conditionnel)

The French use the conditional tense (le conditionnel) to express hypothetical situations which “would” occur. Je jouerais translates to “I would play”.

Je joueraisI would playJe jouerais au foot si j'avais des crampons.I'd play soccer if I had cleats.
Tu joueraisYou would play (informal, singular)Tu jouerais avec tes amis su tu avais du temps libre.You would play with your friends if you had free time.
Il/elle joueraitHe/she would playElle jouerait dehors s'il faisait beau.She would play outside if it were nice out.
Nous jouerionsWe would playNous jouerions ensemble mais ce n'est pas possible ce weekend. We'd play together but it's not possible this weekend.
Vous joueriezYou would play (formal, plural)Vous joueriez au basket si la salle de sport était ouverte.You'd play basketball if the gym were open.
Ils/elles joueraientThey would playIls joueraient aux cartes s'ils n'étaient pas occupés ce soir.They would play cards if they weren't busy tonight.

Subjunctive (le subjonctif)

The French use the subjunctive mood to express wishes, emotions and doubts. Que je joue translates to “that I play”.

que je jouethat I playIl est content que je joue du violon.He's happy that I play the violin.
que tu jouesthat you play (informal, singular)Je doute que tu joues avec ton petit frère.I doubt you're playing with your younger brother.
qu'il/elle jouethat he/she playsJe ne sais pas si elle joue de la flute. I don't know if she plays the flute.
que nous jouionsthat we playIl faut que nous jouions ensemble plus souvent!We need to play together more often!
que vous jouiezthat you play (formal, plural)Je veux que vous jouiez avec les enfants. I want you to play with the kids.
qu'ils/elles jouentthat they playIl faut qu'ils jouent une autre chanson.They need to play another song.
Jouer (to play)

More French verb tables:

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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