Regarder: Definition & Conjugation

Instructor: Susan Binkley

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

The verb 'regarder,' means 'to watch' and 'to look at' in English. This lesson will show you how to use 'regarder' correctly when you speak and write in French. 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 Regarder

It's a rainy afternoon in Paris, so no one in your travel group wants to leave the hotel. Too bad there is so much rain! You turn on the TV and find a tennis match to watch. Your French travel guide, Vincent, knocks at the door and asks if you're watching TV: Tu regardes (pronounced: too ruh-gard) la télévision? You reply, Oui, je regarde (pronounced: zhuh ruh-gard) un match de tennis ('I am watching a tennis match'). Vincent tells you that David and Thomas, in the room next door, are watching it also: David et Thomas, ils regardent (pronounced: eel ruh-gard) le match aussi.

regarder

Did you notice the forms of regarder (pronounced: ruh-gar-day) that are used? Regarder is the infinitive form of the verb, or the basic, generic form. When we use it with a pronoun such as je to say 'I watch,' or 'I am watching,' we use the appropriate form, or conjugation: je regarde.

Vincent then tells you that Caroline is in her room looking at the map of Paris, and Michelle is looking at her post cards: Caroline regarde un plan de Paris et Michelle regarde ses cartes postales.

In English, we say that we are looking 'at' something, but in French, we don't need to add the word for 'at' with regarder. The English 'at' is already part of the French verb, regarder. In other words, 'look at' is all rolled into one word: regarder.

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

Forms of Regarder

Here's the conjugation chart for regarder:

VERB: Regarder (ruh-gar-day)

Subject Pronoun Regarder Conjugation Pronunciation Translation
je je regarde (ruh-gard) I watch, I am watching; I look at, I am looking at
tu tu regardes (too ruh-gard) you watch, you are watching; you look at, you are looking at
il/elle/on il/elle/on regarde (eel/el/ohn ruh-gard) he/she watches, he/she is watching; he/she looks at, he/she is looking at
nous nous regardons (noo ruh-gar-dohn) we watch, we are watching; we look at, we are looking at
vous vous regardez (voo ruh-gar-day) you watch, you are watching; you look at, you are looking at
ils/elles ils/elles regardent (eel/el ruh-gard) they watch, they are watching; they look at; they are looking at

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 Regarder

Let's get back to your travel group, and look at some more examples of regarder.

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