Danser: Definition, Conjugation & Synonyms

Instructor: Susan Binkley

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

The verb 'danser,' means 'to dance' in English. This lesson will show you how to use that verb. We'll look at a common situation where you might hear it, view the conjugation, and learn a few sentences with the verb.

Using the Verb Danser

You and your French friends are gathered around your phone, looking at pictures from a great party last night. There are so many pictures of so many people! Your friend Daniel sees a picture of you but can't tell what you're doing. You tell him you're dancing!

Ah, je danse! (pronounced: zhuh dahnss), you tell him.

Tu danses? (You're dancing? pronounced: too dahnss), he asks.

You reply that in the next picture on your phone, Pauline and Jacques are dancing too.

Ils dansent aussi! (They dance; pronounced: eel dahnss).

Ils dansent.

Did you notice the forms of danser (pronounced: dahn say) that are used? Danser is the infinitive form of the verb, or the basic form. When we use it with a pronoun such as je to say 'I dance,' we use the appropriate form, or conjugation: je danse.

The verb danser isn't too difficult to recognize or to remember because it is spelled a lot like the English equivalent, to dance. Just remember, though, that it is spelled with an s in French, and in English, we use a c (danser=to dance).

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

Forms of Danser

Here's the conjugation chart for danser:

VERB: Danser (dahn say)

Subject Pronoun Danser Conjugation Pronunciation Translation
je je danse (zhuh dahnss) I dance, I am dancing
tu tu danses (too dahnss) You dance, you are dancing
il/elle/on il/elle/on danse (eel/el/ohn dahnss) he/she dances, he/she is dancing
nous nous dansons (noo dahn ssohn) we dance, we are dancing
vous vous dansez (voo dahn say) you dance, you are dancing
ils/elles ils/elles dansent (eel/el dahnss) they dance, they are dancing

The conjugation of this verb is the same as the other verbs that follow the pattern for verbs ending in -er. Since this verb fits the normal pattern of verbs ending in -er, we call this a 'regular' -er verb.

Other Examples of Danser

Let's get back to pictures from that party, and look at some more examples of danser.

Julie then asks you if Marc is also dancing in the pictures.

Marc danse aussi?

Oui, you tell her. Il danse beaucoup! (He dances a lot!)

It seems like just about every picture from that party shows people dancing. Daniel then asks if all of you dance often, and you reply, 'Yes, we dance often!'

Vous dansez sovent?

Oui, nous dansons souvent.

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