Verb Drills Series : Why only 12 verbs?
A question we often get is why we do not offer 100s of different verb drills...
First obvious reason is that each verb is more than 2.5 hours of audio recordings and doing 100s of verbs would take a lifetime :-) Remember that unlike many websites/products out there, these are real recordings with natural intonation, NOT computer generated voices with unrealistic glidings and pronunciations.
Second is that these verbs were particularly chosen to help you across ALL French verbs:
Être are the 2 most important verbs in French, not only because of their meanings, but also because they are called “auxiliary” verbs: they are used to form tenses such as passé-composé, plus-que-parfait, futur antérieur, past conditional…. for all other verbs. Since they both start with vowels, there are important glidings and liaisons that are often missed by students (who tend to know the way they are spelled but not the correct modern pronunciation).
Chanter is a great example of the conjugation of the regular ER verbs (also called verbs of the 1st group). 90% off French verbs follow this logic of conjugation, about 5000 verbs in total. Only “aller” ends in ER in the infinitive and is irregular.
Finir is a great example of the conjugation of the regular IR verbs (also called verbs of the 2nd group). About 300 French verbs follow this logic of conjugation.
s’asseoir, I wanted to conjugate a reflexive verb starting with a vowel to help you train on the glidings and liaisons happening with the pronouns. Furthermore, “asseoir” is a verb most students have a very hard time pronouncing, just because it looks so weird when it is written. So I killed 2 birds with one stone.
The other 7 verbs (
boire) are some of the most common French irregular verbs, and the ones I have noticed students make the most mistakes with.
We will possibly add more verbs in the future but for the moment, we feel that working diligently with these 12 key verbs will help you tremendously with all the other forms.