Rever: Meaning & Conjugation

Instructor: Susan Binkley

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

'Rever' is a verb in French that means 'to dream' 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 Rêver

Imagine that you and your French-speaking friends from Québec are talking about where you'd like to travel some day. You've always dreamed of going to Paris, so you say, ''I dream about Paris!'': Je rêve de Paris! (pronounced: zhuh rev duh par ee).

You ask your friend Isabelle if she dreams of Paris, too: Tu rêves (pronounced: too rev) de Paris, aussi? No, she's already been to Paris, so she says, ''I dream of Rome.'' Je rêve de Rome. You know that Robert studies Italian, so he dreams of going to Rome, too. Il rêve (pronounced: eel rev) de Rome, aussi. (''He dreams of Rome, too.'')

Claire and Daniel join the conversation and say that they dream of going to Bordeaux someday: Nous rêvons (pronounced: noo reh vohn) de Bordeaux. You know a few other friends who would love to go to visit the wineries in Bordeaux, so you add, Thomas et Julie, ils rêvent (pronounced: eel rev) de Bordeaux, aussi (''Thomas and Julie dream of Bordeaux, too'').

Il reve. (He dreams.)

Did you notice the forms of rêver (pronounced: reh-vay) that are used? Rêver, which means ''to dream,'' is the infinitive form of the verb--the basic, generic form. When we use it with a pronoun such as je to say ''I dream'' or ''I am dreaming,'' we use the appropriate form, or conjugation: je rêve.

Forms of Rêver

Now, let's take a look at the verb conjugation in the present tense for all the forms. Here's the conjugation chart for rêver:

Subject Pronoun Rêver Conjugation Pronunciation Translation
je je rêve (zhuh rev) I dream, I am dreaming
tu tu rêves (too rev) you dream, you are dreaming
il/elle/on il/elle/on rêve (eel/el/ohn rev) he/she dream, he/she is dreaming
nous nous rêvons (noo re-vohn) we dream, we are dreaming
vous vous rêvez (voo re-vay) you dream, you are dreaming
ils/elles ils/elles rêvent (eel/el rev) they dream, they are dreaming

The conjugation of this verb is the same as the others 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.

More Examples of Rêver

Let's get back to you and your friends and look at some more examples of rêver.

Nicole and Sabine stop by and hear you talking about your dreams of going to far-away places. But they dream of simply traveling: Nous rêvons de voyager. You'd like to know if they, too, dream of Paris, so you ask, Vous rêvez de Paris? They answer Oui, nous rêvons de Paris, de Rome, de Florence, de Bordeaux…!

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