I have always this issue. I don't know when I should bend a verb. It's easy when I first use the keyword "I, me, you, we" etc, but when it comes to sentences like this:

but its tools for identifying...

For me, the word identify in french is identifier. Here it's an -er verb and I talking about tools and not a single tool.

So the verb identifier would be identifient, but that so

mais ses outils pour identifient....

That sounds wrong. So in this case, how do I know that I should bend the verb identifier or use it as it is?

1 Answer 1


Identifying is the present participle of the verb to identify. The verb is used as such, it is not conjugated to any person, so there is no personal pronoun, no subject. The tools are not a subject. The sentence only says that these tools are designed to identify something, but there is no action going on.

The French present participle is much less used than its English counterpart which is often translated by the French infinitive, an unconjugated form of a verb as well, e.g.:

Smoking is forbidden -> Fumer est interdit

so the right form to use in your case is the infinitive:

mais ses outils pour identifier [...]

  • So when a verb is not connected to a person, or persons, then I should not bend the verb?
    – euraad
    Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 10:46
  • For example quand l’identification de système arrive dans le monde par Ho- et Kalman, qui étaient . Here I bending être to étaient because I talking about two persons or more, who was....
    – euraad
    Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 10:47
  • The relative pronoun qui is the subject of the verb être here. The verb is conjugated at the second person plural because it refers to Ho and Kalman, two person indeed. By the way, I say "conjugate" or "inflect" a verb, not "bend".
    – jlliagre
    Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 13:13
  • Thank you so much.
    – euraad
    Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 19:09

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