Demystifying 'Recevoir': A Guide to Understanding Reception in French

May 15th, 2023 - Vera

Understanding the nuances of French verbs can be a challenging yet rewarding part of mastering the language. One such verb, ‘recevoir’, meaning ‘to receive’, plays a significant role in daily conversations, formal contexts, and idiomatic expressions. This comprehensive guide will delve into the conjugation, usage, and common phrases involving ‘recevoir’, enabling learners to more confidently navigate the French language.

Understanding ‘Recevoir’

The verb ‘recevoir’ is a third-group French verb that translates to ‘to receive’ in English. It belongs to the category of irregular -oir verbs, a collection of verbs known for their irregular conjugation patterns.

Here’s a glance at the conjugation of ‘recevoir’ in the present tense:

The past participle of ‘recevoir’ is ‘reçu’, which is used with the auxiliary verb ‘avoir’ to form compound tenses. For instance, ‘j’ai reçu’ translates to ‘I received’ or ‘I have received’.

Basic Usage of ‘Recevoir’

The primary use of ‘recevoir’ is to denote the action of receiving something, whether it be a physical item or an abstract concept.

‘Recevoir’ in Different Tenses

As ‘recevoir’ is an irregular verb, its conjugation doesn’t follow the regular patterns. Here are the conjugations for some commonly used tenses:

Advanced Uses of ‘Recevoir’

Beyond its basic meaning, ‘recevoir’ can also be used in different contexts:

  1. Hospitality: ‘Recevoir’ is commonly used to refer to hosting or accommodating guests. For instance, ‘Elle va recevoir des invités ce soir’ means ‘She is going to host guests tonight’.

  2. Broadcasting: In terms of media, ‘recevoir’ can be used to describe the reception of a broadcast signal. For example, ‘Je ne reçois pas la chaîne de télévision’ translates to ‘I do not receive the television channel’.

Common Expressions with ‘Recevoir’

Like many French verbs, ‘recevoir’ is used in various idiomatic expressions:

Conjugation Practice with ‘Recevoir’

Regular practice is key to mastering the conjugation of ‘recevoir’. Here are some exercises to help you practice:

  1. Present Tense: Write a few sentences describing what you are currently receiving, using ‘recevoir’ in the present tense.

  2. Past Tense: Reflect on a time when you received something significant, and describe it using ‘recevoir’ in the past tense.

  3. Future Tense: Think about something you will receive in the future, and describe it using ‘recevoir’ in the future tense.

  4. Conditional Tense: Imagine scenarios where you would receive something, using ‘recevoir’ in the conditional tense.

Mastering ‘Recevoir’

Here are some strategies to help you learn and use ‘recevoir’ effectively:

  1. Consistent Practice: Regularly use ‘recevoir’ in different tenses and contexts. This will not only improve your conjugation skills but also enhance your vocabulary.

  2. Learn Idiomatic Expressions: Familiarize yourself with common expressions involving ‘recevoir’. They will give you a more nuanced understanding of the French language and culture.

  3. Engage with French Media: Reading books, watching movies, and listening to music in French are great ways to see ‘recevoir’ in context. This will make the learning process more engaging and enjoyable.

  4. Use in Real-Life Situations: Try to use ‘recevoir’ in your daily life. For instance, talk about something you received or a time when you hosted guests.


The French verb ‘recevoir’ embodies a wide range of concepts, from receiving items and news to hosting guests and receiving broadcast signals. By understanding ‘recevoir’, you can express these ideas more accurately and confidently in French. As you continue your journey of learning French, embrace the complexity and richness of this beautiful language. Bonne chance avec votre apprentissage du français! (Good luck with your French learning!)

Achieve fluency with ListLang—it's free!

ListLang Logo
Start learning in under a minute.
Download ListLang iPhone AppDownload ListLang Android App