French ER Past Tense

Here are the correct Past tenses for the ER verb manger, and the English translation

Je mangeai – I ate

Tu mangeas – You ate (singular)

Il mangea – He ate

Nous mangeâmes – We ate

Vous mangeâtes – You ate (plural)

Ils mangèrent – They ate

[private]Notice how the ending of the verb and the word before it is in BOLD. This is to help

you see the differences.

So how do we go about memorising these endings?

What do I mean by endings? The eai, eas, ea, eâmes, eâtes and èrent that are

attached to the end of “mang” of manger.

Ever hear of the number rhyme system?

1 nun – Je

2 shoe – Tu

3 tree – Il

4 door – Nous

5 hive – Vous

6 sticks – Ils

We are going to use this system to help us memorise the endings of the present tense


Did you notice above that those French words had Je, Tu, il, Nous, Vous and ils at the

start of them? These words and those endings need to be correctly matched up in

order for the correct French tense to be got.

Just like before when you memorised ER present tense verbs we need a location to

start off our memory route. As we are working in the past I feel it fitting to use a

museum or an old building.

Let’s begin our memory route.

Stage one.

I’m standing at the entrance to the museum in my local town. I notice a nun is

standing there at the main gates. Remember as it is a nun (rhyme’s with one) I know

it’s the Je prefix.

The nun is singing a tune, very very loudly. So loudly in fact it hurts my ears! But

what is she singing? She’s singing “E I, E I, O” just like the “Old McDonald” had a

farm tune.

She’s also ringing a bell in time with her singing. The bell helps give the mental scene

in my mind some action, as well as being clearly able to hear the bell to help secure

the scene in my memory.

Stage two.

After going through the main gates I enter the lobby area of the museum. I make my

way towards the ticket desk where I am greeted by a giant shoe behind the counter! I

am totally amazed at the sight of this, and notice the laces on the shoe are acting as

arms. I hand the giant shoe $10 for admission and he hands me a plate of CHEESE

and said “only eat a small amount of EAS as you might get ill”.

Stage three.

I leave the lobby area and begin my tour around the museum. The start of the museum

tour begins downstairs on the level below so I make my way over to the elevator. The

elevator door opens and a big oak tree dressed in waiter’s uniform stands there and

asks to see my cheese ticket. I show it and just then an EEL (il) appears from one of

the branches and takes a bite out of m cheese. I shout at the eel “EAh, that’s not on!

That Eel is stealing my cheese, EAh!

Stage four.

On exiting the elevator I am told by the tree to walk to the end of a long corridor to

begin my tour. I walk to the end of it and notice a large oak door, closed over. I notice

the handle on the door and go to grab it. But the handle is shaped like a noose. Very

unusual I think to myself. I try it anyway and knock on the door with the noose door

knocker. A short moment later the door opens and an old man says to me “You may

come in, but you must not make A MESS (eâmes). I promise him I won’t and enter.

Stage five.

After entering the big oak door I walk over to a glass display and notice a big bee hive

in it. There looks like fresh honey dripping from it too! I notice in the corner of my

eye a yellow bear’s paw reaching over and dipping its paw into the honey. It’s

Whinnie the Pooh and he’s eating the honey – eâtes.

Stage six.

I leave the beehive and Pooh bear and head towards the exit. But the door is made up

of lots and lots of sticks, some lying broken on the floor beside the door. I try to open

the door made of sticks but it’s very weak and flimsy. Next minute two eels wrap

around my arm and hand that’s on the door handle, and I say to them “Eels, èrent you

meant to be up a tree branch in the elevator?”[/private]

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3 Responses to “French ER Past Tense”

  1. like regarder or ecouter. do i pronounce the same as i do with ez?

  2. Hi, finally i am busy in surfing with net for my blog or website. I want to collect a themes or ideas for my blog. Thanks for the useful information and also soon, i will come here to see the development..

  3. Hi,I as wondering What percentage of French verbs end in -er "he first group"?Any other statistics about French verbs would be very helpful.thanks

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