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“Partir” Conjugation in French: Get Ready to Leave with Our Guide

The French word partir is an irregular verb that can be used in numerous different circumstances, but by far the most common is to say “leave”. It’s also one of the most frequently used verbs in the French language, so if you want to talk about leaving in French, then you need to learn the partir conjugation sooner rather than later.

What does the partir conjugation mean?

1. To leave, meaning to start to exit a place

  • Je dois partir de chez moi à 6 heures pour arriver à l’heure – I need to leave my house at 6 to be there on time

2. To go away, on a trip or on vacation

  • Elle part au ski avec sa famille – She is going skiing with her family

3. To set off quickly from a standstill, for example, to mark the start of a race

  • À vos marques ! Prêts ? Partez ! – On your marks, get set, go! (Or: ready, steady, go!)

4. It can be used to show a literal or figurative starting point

  • L’avion est parti de Londres – The plane departed from London
  • Il est parti de rien – He came from nothing

5. To refer to death

  • Après une longue maladie, mon père est parti au début du mois – After a long illness, my father passed away at the beginning of the month

6. Partir is also a verb we can use to talk about the way in which something starts

  • Ça part mal – It’s off to a bad start
  • C’est mal parti – It’s off to a bad start

Partir conjugaison in the present tense (Présent)

In the present tense, this verb is pretty straightforward if you’re already familiar with other -ir verbs such as sortir, mentir, servir or sentir. The stem for the first, second and third-person singular forms is “par-” to which we add the endings s, s and t. For the plurals, we use the stem “part-” and add the usual present tense endings -ons, -ez and the silent ending -ent. The French language only has one present tense, so we can also translate it to the present continuous “to be leaving”.

Je pars

I leave

Tu pars

You leave

Il/elle/on part

He/she/it leaves

Nous partons

We leave

Vous partez

You leave (formal/plural)

Ils/elles partent

They leave

  • Je pars dans 30 minutes si tu veux venir avec moi – I’m leaving in 30 minutes if you want to come with me
  • Nous partons en vacances cet été – We’re going on vacation this summer
  • Il part à 7h tous les matins – He leaves at 7 a.m. every morning

Partir Conjugation Imperfect Tense (l’imparfait)

To show that an action used to take place or was in the process of happening at a moment in the past, you need to use the French imperfect tense. The imperfect endings, which are the same for all verbs, are added onto the stem, which in this case is part-.

Je partais

I used to leave/was leaving

Tu partais

You used to leave/were leaving

Il/elle/on partait

He/she/it used to leave/was leaving

Nous partions

We used to leave/were leaving

Vous partiez

You used to leave/were leaving (formal/plural)

Ils/elles partaient

They used to leave/were leaving

  • Je partais en voiture quand j’ai vu le cambriolage – I was leaving in my car when I saw the burglary
  • Elle partait en plein nuit puis elle revenait comme si de rien n’était – She used to leave in the middle of the night and come back as if nothing had happened
  • A mon époque, les profs partaient en même temps que les enfants – In my day, the teachers left at the same time as the children

Partir French Conjugation in le Passé Composé

French verbs in the past tense are usually conjugated with the auxiliary “avoir”, but some verbs take the auxiliary “être” instead. Partir is one of those verbs. Simply conjugate the verb “être” for each person and then add the past participle “parti” with an additional “e”, “s” or both, depending on whether the subject is feminine, plural, or both.

Je suis parti·e

I left

Tu es parti·e

You left

Il/elle/on est parti·e

He/she/it left

Nous sommes parti·e·s

We left

Vous êtes parti·e·s

You left (formal/plural)

Ils/elles sont parti·e·s

They left

  • Tu es parti parce que tu ne voulais pas me voir ? – Did you leave because you didn’t want to see me?
  • Nous n’avons pas pu le faire changer d’avis, alors nous sommes partis We couldn’t change his mind, so we left
  • Elles sont parties lorsqu’elles ont entendu l’alarme se déclencher – They left when they heard the alarm go off

Partir Conjugation Future Tense (le futur simple)

The future simple tense is formed with the whole word “partir” ending in the letter “r”, plus the future endings specific to each person. This tense is used for events in the non-immediate future, as well as for making predictions.

Je partirai

I will leave

Tu partiras

You will leave

Il/elle/on partira

He/she/it will leave

Nous partirons

We will leave

Vous partirez

You will leave (formal/plural)

Ils/elles partiront

They will leave

  • Je partirai dès que j’aurai fini mes devoirs – I’ll leave as soon as I finish my homework
  • Nous partirons tôt pour éviter les embouteillages – We’ll leave early to avoid traffic jams
  • Elles partiront en voyage autour du monde l’année prochaine – They’ll go on a trip around the world next year

Partir Conjugation Near Future (le futur proche)

The near future tense in French is formed from the verb “aller” in the present tense, followed by the infinitive of the verb. The choice between the near future tense and the simple future tense depends on the context and intention; for example, the near future is best suited for actions that are going to happen right away.

Je vais partir

I am going to leave

Tu vas partir

You are going to leave

Il/elle/on va partir

He/she/it is going to leave

Nous allons partir

We are going to leave

Vous allez partir

You are going to leave (formal/plural)

Ils/elles vont partir

They are going to leave

  • Je vais partir pour Paris demain matin – I’m going to leave for Paris tomorrow morning
  • Nous allons partir en vacances la semaine prochaine – We’re going on vacation next week
  • Ils vont partir d’ici 10 minutes – They’re going to leave in 10 minutes

Partir in the Conditional (le conditionnel présent)

The conditional is a mood, rather than a tense, and it is useful to know the partir conjugation in the conditional mood to talk about what would happen if a certain condition were met. It is formed with the future stem, partir-, and the imperfect verb endings.

Je partirais

I would leave

Tu partirais

You would leave

Il/elle/on partirait

He/she/it would leave

Nous partirions

We would leave

Vous partiriez

You would leave (formal/plural)

Ils/elles partiraient

They would leave

  • Si j’avais plus de temps, je partirais une semaine à la mer – If I had more time, I’d go to the sea for a week
  • S’il n’y avait pas la question de l’argent, elle partirait et ne reviendrait jamais – If money wasn’t an issue, she would leave and never come back
  • Un avion partirait de JFK vers Ibiza si la demande était plus importante – A plane would depart from JFK to Ibiza if there were more demand

Partir Conjugation Subjunctive Mood (le Subjonctif Présent)

The subjunctive mood is used for hypothetical situations, and actions or events that are possibilities, wishes or uncertainties rather than facts. The subjunctive sentence must have a main clause ending in que, this can express orders, advice, emotions, and doubts, among other things. It is followed by a subject and then the subjunctive form of a verb.

que je parte

that I leave

que tu partes

that you leave

qu’il/elle/on parte

that he/she/it leaves

que nous partions

that we leave

que vous partiez

that you leave (formal/plural)

qu’ils/elles partent

that they leave

  • Il est important que tu partes avant la fin de la journée – It’s important that you leave before the end of the day
  • Je veux que vous partiez avec moi à la plage demain – I want you to go to the beach with me tomorrow
  • Il faut que nous partions en même temps – We must leave at the same time

Sortir vs Partir

“Sortir” and “partir” are two similar verbs in French, but they have slightly different meanings. Sortir means to go out for social or leisure activities, and also to get out of or exit a specific place.

  • Je sors au cinema ce soir – I’m going out to the movies tonight
  • Je sors de cette piece – I’m going out of this room

Partir, on the other hand, is the general departure or movement of leaving one place, to go somewhere unspecified.

  • Nous partons demain – We’re leaving tomorrow
  • Pars, et ne reviens pas ! – Leave, and don’t come back!

Helpful sayings

There are some extremely common French phrases that use the partir conjugation that may be useful to know.

1. Partir en vrille – To spin out of control/All hell breaks loose

Literal translation: To leave in a tailspin

  • Il a insulté la mère de son ami et c’est parti en vrille – He insulted his friend’s mother, and all hell broke loose

2. Partir d’un bon sentiment – To be well-intentioned

Literal translation: To leave from a good feeling

  • M’inviter à son mariage était bizarre, mais je pense que cela partait d’un bon sentiment – Inviting me to his wedding was weird, but I think it was well-intentioned

3. Partir à vau-l’eau – To go downhill

Literal translation: To leave with the water current

  • Le projet est parti à vau-l’eau après le départ du responsable – The project went downhill after the manager left

4. Partir sur quelque chose – To go for/opt for/decide on

Literal translation: To leave on something

  • Pour les invitations, on part sur un lettrage blanc sur fond vert – For the invitations, we’re going for white lettering on a green background

5. Partir à toute vitesse – To leave in a hurry

Literal translation: To leave at all speed

  • Le voleur est parti à toute vitesse avant que l’on puisse voir son visage – The thief left in a hurry before anyone could see his face

6. Partir dans tous les sens – To be all over the place

Literal translation: To leave in all senses

  • Je n’arrive pas à comprendre ta rédaction, tes arguments partent dans tous les sens – I can’t understand your essay, your arguments are all over the place

7. Partir en vadrouille – To wander

Literal translation: To leave on ramble

  • Nous aimons partir en vadrouille, nous ne savons jamais où nous allons – We like to wand, we never know where we’re heading

8. Faire partir quelqu’un – To make someone leave

Literal translation: To make leave someone

  • Je peux le faire partir si vous ne voulez pas qu’il soit là – I can make him leave if you don’t want him here

9. Faire partir quelque chose – To get rid of something

Literal translation: To make leave something

  • Ma mère a fait partir la tache avec du bicarbonate de soude – My mother got rid of the stain with baking soda

Challenge yourself with Clozemaster

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1 thought on ““Partir” Conjugation in French: Get Ready to Leave with Our Guide”

  1. WallacefromBrazil

    Wow didn’t know “partir” was a verb in French too lol and it has mostly the same meanings and usage as it does in Portuguese..

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