Creer in French: Definition & Conjugation

Instructor: Susan Binkley

Susan has taught college-level French and has a PhD in French studies.

The verb 'créer' means 'to create' in English. In this lesson, we will learn how to use this verb in everyday conversation. We will view the conjugation and look at several sentences with the verb.

Using the Verb Créer

Let's say that you're spending a year on a study program in France and you've signed up for art classes. You and your friends think it's a great way to get your mind off studying--a chance to be creative! So what are your art projects in class? You and your friends have a conversation about it:

  • 'Tu crées (pronounced: too kray) une oeuvre d'art?' your friend François asks lightheartedly. ('Are you creating a masterpiece?')
  • 'Non, je crée (pronounced: zhuh kray) un vase,' you reply. ('No, I'm creating a vase.')
  • 'Tu crées un vase?' asks Robert, who is also in the art class. Sandrine et moi, nous créons (pronounced: kray ohn) un vase aussi. ('Sandrine and I are creating a vase, too.')
  • You know that your classmates Janine and Charles are creating a mural painting for art class, so you reply: 'Ils créent (pronounced: eel kray) une peinture murale.' ('They are creating a mural.')
  • François isn't taking art, but he is studying engineering. For one of his projects, he and Paul are creating a robot. 'Je crée un robot géant avec Paul,' he says. ('I'm creating a giant robot with Paul.')
  • 'Alors, vous créez (pronounced: voo kray ay) un chef d'oeuvre!' you respond, laughing. ('So you are creating a masterpiece!')

Creer: to create
to create

Did you notice the different forms of créer (pronounced: kray ay) in the sentences above? Créer is the basic form of the verb that means 'to create.' This basic form is called 'the infinitive.' When we use it with a pronoun such as je to say 'I create,' we use the appropriate conjugation, je crée, in this case.

Forms of Créer

Let's take a look at the verb créer in the present tense for all the forms. Here's the conjugation chart for créer:

Subject Pronoun Créer Conjugation Pronunciation Translation
je je crée (zhuh kray) I create, I am creating
tu tu crées (too kray) you create, you are creating
il/elle/on il/elle/on crée (eel/el/ohn kray) he/she creates, he/she is creating
nous nous créons (noo kray ohn) we create, we are creating
vous vous créez (voo kray ay) you create, you are creating
ils/elles ils/elles créent (eel/el kray) they create, they are creating

The conjugation of the verb créer follows the same pattern as other verbs ending in -er, such as parler. It is what we call a 'regular' -er verb.

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