I've just started learning French, and I had a question about which verb forms would be the most useful to commit to memory.
I ask this with the way I studied Latin and German in mind. In the case of the former, we have four principal parts for each verb (present active indicative 1st person singular, present active infinitive, perfect active indicative 1st person, perfect passive participle — e.g., amo, amare, amavi, amatus); with the latter, there are three (infinitive, 3rd person preterite, past participle — e.g., arbeiten, arbeitete, gearbeitet). Memorizing these made it very easy to derive the various permutations of tenses, voices, moods, etc. for a verb. (Alongside this, a further consideration for German would be the auxiliary verb used with the past participle, a feature I know exists in French as well.)
So far, I haven't been able to find an analogous compartmentalization in French. And, given the language's significantly greater complexity as it pertains to verbs, I was wondering what forms beyond the infinitive would be most helpful to know. Or perhaps thinking about the matter in this way isn't quite the way to go for French?