Parler Conjugation: How To Conjugate “To Speak” In French

Conjugation charts for parler (to speak, talk) in French

The French verb parler means “to speak” and “to talk”. The conjugation of parler in the present tense is: je parle (I speak), tu parles (you speak), il/elle parle (he/she speaks), nous parlons (we speak), vous parlez (you speak, formal and plural) and ils/elles parlent (they speak.

Parler conjugation in the present tense.

The verb parler is often the first verbs students learn. Parler is a regular -er verb. This means that its endings are the exact same as all other “regular” verbs that end in -er in the infinitive form.

This page on our site covers regular verbs in detail. For now we’ll look at parler in detail, observing its conjugations in six major tenses necessary for speaking fluently: the present, passé composé, imperfect, future, conditional and subjunctive.

Parler conjugation chart

Before we go any further, let’s take a look at the verb conjugation charts of parler. Further down the page we’ve presented conjugation tables with example sentences.

Parler conjugation chart

Parler conjugation tables with example sentences

In the following section we’ll look at conjugation of parler in six major French verb tenses. This page on our site provides a useful explanation of six verb tenses that are necessary to speak fluently.

Present tense

In the present tense, je parle translates to both “I speak” and “I am speaking”.

Je parleI speakJe parle français.I speak French.
Tu parlesYou speak (familiar singular)Tu parles bien. You speak well.
Il/elle parleHe/she speaksElle parle espagnol.She speaks Spanish.
Nous parlonsWe speakNous parlons de Pierre. We're talking about Pierre.
Vous parlezYou speak (formal, plural)Vous parlez trop fort.You're speaking too loudly.
Ils/elles parlentThey speakIls parlent ensemble.They're speaking together.

The following YouTube video by Alexa does a great job teaching the pronunciation of parler when conjugated in the present tense.

Passé composé

The second tense we’ll look at is the passé composé, a commonly used French past tense. This page on our site covers the passé composé in detail.

J'ai parléI spokeJ'ai parlé à Pierre. I spoke to Pierre.
Tu as parléYou spoke (informal singular)Tu as parlé au téléphone.You spoke on the phone.
Il/elle a parléHe/she spokeIl a parlé à sa mère. He spoke to his mother.
Nous avons parléWe spokeNous avons parlé hier. We spoke yesterday.
Vous avez parléYou spoke (formal, plural)Vous avez parlé au patron.You spoke to the boss.
Ils/elles ont parléThey spokeIls ont parlé aux enfants.They spoke to the kids.

Imperfect tense

The imperfect tense, or imparfait is another commonly used French past these. Je parlais can translate to both “I spoke” and “I used to speak”. This page on our site covers the imperfect tense in detail.

Je parlaisI used to speak, was speakingJe parlais à Martin quand tu es arrivé. I was speaking to Martin when you arrived.
Tu parlaisYou used to speak, were speaking (informal singular)Tu parlais allemand quand tu étais un enfant.You used to speak German when you were a child.
Il/elle parlaitHe/she used to speak, were speakingElle parlait français pendant son enfance.She used to speak French during her childhood.
Nous parlionsWe used to speak, were speakingNous parlions de vous quand vous avez téléphoné.We were talking about you when you called.
Vous parliezYou used to speak, were speaking (plural, formal)Vous parliez couramment avant.You used to speak fluently.
Ils/elles parlaientThey used to speak, were speakingAvant ils se parlaient tout le temps.They used to speak to each other all the time.

Future tense

The following table is of parler conjugated in the futur simple tense. This page on our site covers the two main French future tenses.

Je parleraiI will speakUn jour, je parlerai couramment.I will speak fluently some day.
Tu parlerasYou will speak (singular informal)Un jour, tu parleras le japonais.Someday you will speak Japanese.
Il/elle parlera He/she will speakIl parlera avec sa femme. He will speak with his wife.
Nous parleronsWe will speakNous parlerons au patron. We will speak to the boss.
Vous parlerezYou will speak (formal, plural)Vous parlerez du projet.You will speak about the project.
Ils/elles parlerontThey will speakIls parleront après le cours.They will speak after the class.

Conditional tense

The conditional tense is the “would tense”. Hence, je parlerais means “I would speak”. This page on our site covers the conditional tense in detail.

Je parleraisI would speakJe parlerais à Jean si j'avais le temps.I would speak to Jean if I had the time.
Tu parleraisYou would speak (singular, informal)Tu parlerais le français si tu étudiais un peu.You would speak French if you studied a bit.
Il/elle parleraitHe/she would speakIl parlerait le chinois s'il habitait en Chine.He would speak Chinese if he lived in China.
Nous parlerionsWe would speakNous parlerions ensemble mais ce n'est pas possible.We would speak together but it's no possible.
Vous parleriezYou would speak (formal, plural)Vous parleriez l'espsgnol si vous habitez au Mexique.You would speak Spanish if you lived in Mexico.
Ils/elles parleraientThey would speakIls se parleraient plus souvent mais ils n'ont pas le temps.They would speak to each other more often but they don't have the time.

Subjunctive mood

The following table shows the conjugations for parler in the subjunctive mood, which is a tense that’s often used for expressing wishes, emotions and doubts.

que je parlethat I speakIl faut que je parle français en France. I have to speak French in France.
que tu parlesthat you speak (singular, informal)Je veux que tu parles plus fort.I want to to speak louder.
qu'il/elle parlethat he/she speaksJe doute qu'elle parle le chinois. I doubt she speaks Chinese.
que nous parlionsthat we speakIl faut que nous parlions demain.We need to speak tomorrow.
que vous parliezthat you speak (plural, formal)Je suis heureux que vous parliez ensemble.I am happy you are speaking together.
qu'ils/elles parlentthat they speakJe suis ravi qu'ils parlent le japonais.I'm delighted they speak Japanese.

Suggested resource:

One of the most daunting areas that all beginners face is figuring out the right approach to learning French verb conjugations. I have been working with Camille from Frenchtoday.com since 2016 and strongly suggest looking at her post entitled The Secret To Mastering French Verb Conjugation.

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About 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, FrenchLearner.com, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.