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

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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

Bold indicates the addition of an extra "L"

PronounPresent TenseFuture (simple) TensePast (passé composé) TenseImperfect TenseConditional 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

-ETER Irregularities: Jeter (to Throw) Conjugation

Bold indicates the addition of an extra "T"

PronounPresent TenseFuture (simple) TensePast (passé composé) TenseImperfect TenseConditional 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

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

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.

PronounPresent TenseFuture (simple) TensePast (passé composé) TenseImperfect TenseConditional 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

-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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