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Monter: Conjugation & Translation

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

Monter

If you've ever thought about visiting the south of France, hiking might be an activity you've considered. Maybe the rolling hills, steep villages, and beautiful mountain ranges seem to taunt you. As you walk along the windy streets to your hiking destination, locals may ask what brings you to France. To explain that you are exploring the beautiful countryside by hiking, you can use the verb monter, (mohn-tay) which has several different uses, but generally means 'to climb' or 'to go up.'

The Present Tense

The verb monter is a regular -er verb, meaning it follows the same conjugation patterns as other regular -er verbs that you may already know, such as gagner (to win) or parler (to speak). To conjugate monter in the present tense, along with all other regular -er verbs, you first take the infinitive form of the verb (monter) and remove the final -er from it (monter becomes mont-). Next, you add the endings found in the chart below.

Here is the conjugation pattern for monter and other regular -er verbs in the present tense:

VERB: monter (mohn-tay) - to climb

Subject Pronoun Monter Conjugation Pronunciation Translation
je je monte (mohnte) I climb
tu tu montes (mohnte) You climb
il/elle/on il/elle/on monte (mohnte) He/She/One climbs
nous nous montons (mohn-tohn) We climb
vous vous montez (mohn-tay) You climb (plural/formal)
ils/elles ils/elles montent (mohnte) They climb

Now let's take a look at some some present tense conjugations of monter in context. Imagine you've just arrived in the picturesque, steep village of Lacoste, and you plan on walking to the top of the village with a friend. As you begin your hike, you pass some locals.

A beautiful view of Lacoste, France. (Une belle vue de Lacoste, France)
Picture of Lacoste, France

You: Bonjour! (Hello!)

Man: Bonjour, monsieur. Vous montez au chêteau? (Hello, sir. Are you going up to the castle?)

You: Non, pas si loin queça. Je monte jusqu'à la carrière. (No, not that far. I'm going to the quarry.)

Woman: Monsieur, la carrère est plus loin que le château! (Sir, the quarry is farther than the castle!)

Man: Est-ce que vous montez tout seul? (Are you going up by yourself?)

You: Non, voici mon amie Victoria. Nous montons ensemble. (No, this is my friend Victoria. We are going up together.)

You exchange pleasantries, they encourage you to take lots of photos, and you start your hike!

The Future Tense

When you use the verb monter in the future tense, things get a little tricky but are still pretty straightforward. As a regular -er verb, it follows the standard conjugation as other regular -er verbs.

VERB: monter (mohn-tay) - to climb

Subject Pronoun Monter Conjugation Pronunciation Translation
je je monterai (mohn-teh-ray) I will climb
tu tu monteras (mohn-teh-rah) You will climb
il/elle/on il/elle/on montera (mohn-teh-rah) He/She/One will climb
nous nous monterons (mohn-teh-rohn) We will climb
vous vous monterez (mohn-teh-ray) You will climb (plural/formal)
ils/elles ils/elles monteront (mohn-teh-rohn) They will climb

You and your friend Victoria enjoyed your hike but are now ready to get on your way.

You: A la prochaine! (See you next time!)

Victoria: Oui, je monterai encore une fois dans deux semaines sans les valises. (Yes, I will go up again one more time in two weeks without the suitcases.)

Man: Nous monterons avec vous, si vous voulez. (We will go up with you, if you want.)

Victoria: C'est très gentil, merci! (That's very nice, thank you!)

The Passé Composé

In the passé composé, the conjugation gets a little bit tricker. You may remember from other lessons that in the passé composé, there are a few verbs that can use both avoir and être as the helping verb, depending on if you are using the main verb as a transitive or intransitive verb. Monter is one of those verbs.

If you are using monter as an intransitive verb (meaning, it is not followed by a direct object), it is conjugated with être in the passé composé. An example of the verb monter used as an intransitive verb is the following sentence: Je suis monté sans elle. (I went up without her.)

When verbs in the passé composé are conjugated with être as the helping verb, the past participle must match the subject in terms of gender and/or number. Take a look at the chart below to see how this is done.

VERB: monter (mohn-tay) - to climb

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