Gagner: Translation & Conjugation

Instructor: Rebecca Rosenbarker

Rebecca has taught French and English as a Second Language (ESL). She has a master's degree in ESL. Rebecca currently lives in France.

This lesson introduces the French verb ''gagner,'' including its translation and conjugation. The verb's conjugation is shown in the present tense, future tense, and passé composé. A short quiz to test your knowledge follows this lesson.

Gagner in French: Translation and Conjugation

Are you a competitive spirit? Do you love to play games against your friends, or participate in sports? If so, the verb gagner (gahn-yay), which means 'to win,' is a verb you must learn.

Picture yourself at a friend's house during your study abroad semester in Paris. A heated game of Monopoly is coming to a close, and your friend just has one more turn. You cross your fingers and wait...wait...wait….you've done it! They land on Boardwalk where you have a hotel and you win the game! But how can you express your excitement? The use of the verb gagner will let you do just that. Let's take a look at the verb to see how it can be used across different tenses and with varying subjects.

Are you a competitive person? Do you like to win? Avez-vous un comportement competitif? Est-ce que vous aimez gagner?
Celebrating a Soccer Win

The Verb Gagner in the Present Tense

The verb gagner is a regular -er verb, meaning that it is conjugated like other regular -er verbs that you might already know, such as parler (to speak) or chanter (to sing). To conjugate gagner in the present tense, you take the infinitive form of the verb (gagner), remove the final -er from the infinitive (gagner becomes gagn-), then add the endings as seen below in the chart.

Here is the conjugation pattern for gagner and other regular -er verbs in the present tense.

VERB: gagner (gahn-yay) - to win

Subject Pronoun Gagner Conjugation Pronunciation Translation
je je gagne (gahn-yeh) I win
tu tu gagnes (gahn-yeh) You win
il/elle/on il/elle/on gagne (gahn-yeh) He/She/One wins
nous nous gagnons (gahn-yohn) We win
vous vous gagnez (gahn-yay) You win (plural/formal)
ils/elles ils/elles gagnent (gahn-yeh) They win

It is important to realize the second 'g' in the infinitive and conjugations of the verb gagner is not a hard -g- sound like in the English word 'great.' Since it is followed by the letter -n, French pronunciation and spelling rules dictate that is should be pronounced differently. The closest sound we have in English is something like an 'ny' combination sound, like in the word 'canyon.'

Let's see some examples of the verb gagner being used in the present tense. Picture yourself once again at your friend's game night. Your friend Rémi just paid you his last dollar for landing on your property during Monopoly, and your other friends Nathalie and Siméon were there to witness.

You: Je gagne encore! (I win again!)

Rémi: Tu gagnes à chaque jeu de société! (You win every board game!)

Nathalie: Non, Rémi, Siméon et moi, normalement nous gagnons quand nous jouons en equipes. (No, Rémi, normally Siméon and I win when we play on teams.)

Do you think you would win? Est-ce que vous pensez que vous gagnerez?
Picture of a Board Game

The Verb Gagner in the Future Tense

Since the verb gagner is a regular -er verb, its conjugation in the future tense also follows a set pattern. Here is the conjugation of gagner in the future tense.

VERB: gagner (gahn-yay) - to win

Subject Pronoun Gagner Conjugation Pronunciation Translation
je je gagnerai (gahn-yeh-ray) I will win
tu tu gagneras (gahn-yeh-rah) You will win
il/elle/on il/elle/on gagnera (gahn-yeh-rah) He/She/One will win
nous nous gagnerons (gahn-yeh-rohn) We will win
vous vous gagnerez (gahn-yeh-ray) You will win (plural/formal)
ils/elles ils/elles gagneront (gahn-yeh-rohn) They will win

The game night discussion continues:

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