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Verbs for TO BECOME at FrenchHour

Verbes DEVENIR quelque chose d’autre

Verbs for ‘to become’ or ‘to make’ something else

You can express the idea of ‘becoming’ or ‘making’ something else by adding –IR or –ER to an adjective in its feminine form.

  • These verbs may be used with the reflexive pronoun SE.
  • Not all adjectives work this way.

Verbs in –IR

  • Take the feminine form of the adjective.
  • Sometimes, –IR verbs require a little adjustment to mean ‘to become something’; such as adding
    • a prefix R-, A-, RA-, RE- or EM-
    • dropping the E in the case of an adjective ending in -E
    • a C before –IR in the case of an adjective ending in R
    • T becomes a D before –IR
  • The conjugations of these verbs work the same way as the verb finir They are regular –IR verbs.
  1. belle …. embellir …. to make more beautiful
  2. bleue …. bleuir …. to become blue
  3. bonne …. abonnir …. to become better (wine)
  4. claire …. éclaircir …. to make lighter/brighter/clearer
  5. douce …. adoucir …. to become/make softer
  6. dure …. durcir …. to become hard/difficult
  7. fraiche …. ra/fraîchir  …. to become fresh, coldish, to cool down
  8. froide …. refroidir …. to become cold/er, to cool down
  9. grande …. grandir, agrandir …. to become tall/er, to grow older, to make bigger/taller
  10. grosse …. grossir …. to become big/fat/more important
  11. jeune …. rajeunir …. to become/look young/er
  12. mince …. mincir …. to become thinner, to slim down
  13. moche …. amochir …. to make ugly
  14. molle …. mollir, ramollir …. to become/make soft/er
  15. noble …. anoblir or ennoblir …. to make noble or to make nicer, shinier
  16. noire …. noircir …. to become black, to darken
  17. pâle …. pâlir …. to get pale, to turn white
  18. profonde …. approfondir …. to deepen
  19. riche …. enrichir …. to become/make richer
  20. rose …. rosir …. to become pink
  21. rouge …. rougir …. to become red, to blush
  22. tiède …. tiédir …. to become tepid, to cool down
  23. verte …. verdir …. to become green
  24. vieille …. vieillir …. to become/grow old/er

Verbs in –ER

  • –ER verbs require a little adjustment to mean ‘to become something’.
  • The conjugations of these verbs work the same way as the verb aimer They are regular –ER verbs.
  1. gai …. égayer …. to make more cheerful
  2. haut …. rehausser …. to make higher
  3. joli …. enjoliver …. to become/make nicer
  4. petit …. rapetisser …. to make little, to belittle


Exercice – Practice


  1. Il faut que tu ramollisses le beurre.
  2. Approfondissez le sujet !
  3. Ça ne nous rajeunit pas.
  4. Ce vin s’abonnit d’année en année.
  5. Elle va noircir mon histoire.
  6. Il a bleui après le bain de mer.
  7. Il a ennobli la situation.
  8. Il faut que vous grandissiez.
  9. Tu mincirais si tu mangeais moins.
  10. Il pâlit tout d’un coup.
  11. Ils se sont enrichis rapidement.
  12. Je rougis facilement.
  13. La pâte à modeler a durci.
  14. La tarte tiédissait sur la fenêtre.
  15. Le nombre d’adhérents grossit tous les jours.
  16. Le problème ne fut jamais éclairci.
  17. Les arbres verdissent au printemps.
  18. Les nuits rafraichiront la température.
  19. Les rideaux égayaient la pièce.
  20. Nous vieillirons ensemble.


  1. You need to soften the butter.
  2. Go deeper in the topic!
  3. That takes us back.
  4. This wine is becoming better every year.
  5. She’s going to darken my story.
  6. He became blue after swimming in the sea.
  7. He made the situation look a lot nicer.
  8. You have to be taller.
  9. You’d slim down if you ate less.
  10. He turned white all of a sudden.
  11. They became richer quickly.
  12. I blush easily.
  13. The play dough has become hard.
  14. The pie was cooling down on the windowsill.
  15. The number of members gets bigger every day.
  16. The problem was never cleared.
  17. Trees become green in the spring.
  18. Nights will cool down the temperature.
  19. The curtains were making the room more cheerful.
  20. We’ll grow old together.

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