Irregular French Verbs: -ELER, -ETER and -E_ER Verbs

Updated on December 2, 2016

Within the French language, there is really only one true irregular verb ending in -er! That verb is 'aller' - to go. It has its own unique set of endings for the different tenses.

All the other -ER verbs have slight variations of the standard conjugation system used. Below are the conjugations and defined irregularities of -ELER -ETER and -E_ER verbs with tabulated and bolded examples of where the differences from standard conjugation lay.

-ELER and -ETER Ending Verbs

The irregularity of words that end in either -ELER or -ETER is fairly simple. When using these verbs with particular tenses, the letter "L" or "T" respectively is doubled, and normal conjugation is used e.g. je jette instead of je jete (which would have been standard conjugation)

The Future Tenses

In the future and conditional tenses, -ELER and -ETER verbs will always need you to double the "l" or "t" respectively.

The "Nous"/"Vous" Exception in the Present, Subjunctive, and Imperfect

Whenever you use any form apart from "nous" or "vous", -ELER and -ETER ending verbs will double the letter "L" or "T" respectively. This means you do not double "L" or "T" when using the "nous" or "vous" form. Remember, this rule only applies for the present, subjunctive and imperative tenses.

The Past Is Exempt from This Rule

The past tenses do not use this rule and do not double the letter "L" or "T" in -ELER and -ETER verbs respectively. This includes the imperfect, present participle and past participle, as well as the imperfect subjunctive tense.

- ELER Irregularities: Appeler (to Call) Conjugation

Pronoun
Present Tense
Future (simple) Tense
Past (passé composé) Tense
Imperfect Tense
Conditional Tense
j'
appelle
appellerai
ai appelé
appelais
appellerais
tu
appelles
appelleras
as appelé
appelais
appellerais
il/elle/on
appelle
appellera
a appelé
appelait
appellerait
nous
appelons
appellerons
avons appelé
appelions
appellerions
vous
appelez
appellerez
avez appelé
appeliez
appelleriez
ils/elles
appellent
appelleront
ont appelé
appelaient
appelleraient
Bold indicates the addition of an extra "L"

-ETER Irregularities: Jeter (to Throw) Conjugation

Pronoun
Present Tense
Future (simple) Tense
Past (passé composé) Tense
Imperfect Tense
Conditional Tense
je/j'
jette
jetterai
ai jeté
jetais
jetterai
tu
jettes
jetteras
as jeté
jetais
jetteras
il/elle/on
jette
jettera
a jeté
jetait
jettera
nous
jetons
jetterons
avons jeté
jetions
jetterons
vous
jetez
jetterez
avez jeté
jetiez
jetteriez
ils/elles
jettent
jetteront
ont jeté
jetaient
jetteraient
Bold indicates the addition of an extra "T"

List of -ELER Verbs

The following verbs take the conjugation rule of doubling their letter "L" in the above mentioned and tabulated way! Be sure to watch out for the exceptions to this rule.

appeler - to call
épeler - to spell
rappeler - to call back, recall
renouveler - to renew

-E_ER Exceptions: Celer, déceler, harceler, receler, ciseler, démanteler, écarteler, encasteler, geler, congeler, décongeler, dégeler, surgeler, marteler, modeler, and peler are all conjugated like -E_ER verbs instead of conjugating like the above -ELER verbs.

(See below for -E_ER explanation)

List of -ETER Verbs

The following are some of the common verbs that double their "T" as mentioned above for -ETER verbs.

feuilleter - to leaf through
hoqueter - to hiccup
jeter - to throw
projeter - to project
rejeter - to reject

Exceptions: acheter, racheter, corseter, crocheter, fileter, fureter, haleter are all conjugated like -E_ER verbs instead of like the above -ETER verbs.

Remember what you're working for :)
Remember what you're working for :)

-E_ER

Any -ELER or -ETER verb that is conjugated like an -E_ER (where _ is a consonant) verb will use an "è" instead of a normal e before where the double "L" or "T" would appear on the above -ELER and -ETER verbs.

For example, it would be "je jette" and "il appelle" (double "T's" and "L's" ) but "je modèle" and "il modèle" (the "e" before the "L" is an "è" instead).

Just for efficiency, it should be noted that all -E_ER verbs work this way and so taking a verb like "lever" that does not end in an -ELER or an -ETER, you can see that the place where the "è" is put is the same place where the extra "T" or "L" is put in the above -ETER and -ELER verbs.

See the table below for clarification.

-E_ER Irregularities: Lever (to Lift) Conjugation

Pronoun
Present Tense
Future (simple) Tense
Past (passé composé) Tense
Imperfect Tense
Conditional Tense
je/j'
lève
lèverai
ai levé
levais
lèverais
tu
lèves
lèveras
as levé
levais
lèverais
il/elle/on
lève
lèvera
a levé
levait
lèverait
nous
levons
lèverons
avons levé
levions
lèverions
vous
levez
lèverez
avez levé
leviez
lèveriez
ils/elles
lèvent
lèveront
ont levé
levaient
lèveraient
Bold words indicate where the change has been made (where the è has been added). Notice how it is exactly the same places as doubling the "L" and "T" in -ELER and -ETER verbs.

-E_ER Conclusion

As you can see, -E_ER verbs use the same rules that -ELER and -ETER verbs use.

The rule of using a grave accented e: è on the first e of the "E_ER" ending on an -E_ER verb is the same as that of the one of doubling the letters "L" and "T" in -ELER and -ETER verbs.

  • The change occurs in all forms (with all pronouns) in the future tenses (future and conditional). E.G. je lèverai, nous lèverions
  • The change also occurs in the present, subjunctive, and imperative tenses, but not in the "nous" and "vous" form of the verbs where a normal "e" is used. I.E je lève but nous levons (no accent on the first e of the E_ER ending)
  • As with -ELER and -ETER verbs, the past tenses do not use this change and do not double use the "è" . This includes the imperfect, passé composé, present participle, past participle and the imperfect subjunctive tense. E.G. Je levais, elle a levé.

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