Conjugate -eter and -eler verbs in Le Présent - exceptions in 'è'

Verbs ending in -ETER and -ELER such as geler, acheter, congeler ... are semi-regular -ER verbs in Présent indicatif, which means that, even though they take the regular -ER endings of Présent indicatif, their spelling and subsequently their pronunciation vary. 

The majority of -ETER and -ELER verbs follow this rule: they double the T or L with je/tu/il/elle/on/ils/elles.  
To practise these verbs, see the related lesson Conjugate -eter and -eler verbs in Le Présent - main rule (ll / tt)

HOWEVER with every rule come exceptions ! 

The following-ETER and -ELER verbs behave differently.
They always and only take the accent è on the first -e (-eter/-eler) with je/tu/il/elle/on/ils/elles (they can never double the T or L).

Here is the example of GELER (to freeze):

je gèle
tu gèles
il/elle/on gèle
nous gelons
vous gelez
ils/elles gèlent
Note that ONLY the nous and vous forms don't change.

Of course, the pronunciation is affected: gèle/gèles/gèlent are pronounced [jell], whereas gelons/gelez are [juh-lon / juh-ley]

And here is the example of ACHETER (to buy):

j'achète
tu achètes
il/elle/on achète
nous achetons
vous achetez
ils/elles achètent
Note that ONLY the nous and vous forms don't change.

Of course, the pronunciation is affected: achète/achètes/achètent are pronounced [achette], whereas achetons/achetez are [achuh-ton / achuh-tey]

Here is the complete list of exceptions, so you just need to know them (or at least the ones you might actually use (*), as most of the other ones are extremely rare!) :

-ELER:
agneler - to yean / give birth to a lamb
celer - to conceal
receler - to conceal / to receive, hold stolen goods
ciseler - to chisel
démanteler - to dismantle / take down
écarteler - to quarter
s'encasteler - to be hoof bound
geler - to freeze
dégeler - to thaw (out)
congeler - to freeze [something]
surgeler - to quick-freeze [something]
marteler - to hammer
modeler - to model, to mould [US: to mold]
peler - to peel (off)
- ETER:
acheter - to buy
racheter - to buy again, to acquire, to buy back
bégueter - to bleat (goat)
corseter - to corset
crocheter - to pick (a lock), to crochet
fileter - to thread
fureter - to rummage, to nose about
haleter - to pant

 

Look and listen at these other examples:

Le détective démantèle des réseaux criminels, et vous les démantelez avec lui.
The detective dismantles criminal networks, and you dismantle them with him.

Elles rachètent sa maison, et vous rachetez la leur.
They buy her house back and you buy theirs back.

Tu achètes des bananes et nous achetons des tomates.
You buy bananas and we buy tomatoes.

La route gèle en hiver.
The road freezes in winter.

Je pèle les pommes de terre et vous pelez les pommes.
I'm peeling the potatoes and you're peeling the apples.

Ma grand-mère ne congèle jamais les légumes, mais nous, nous congelons tout !
My grandma never freezes vegetables, but we freeze everything!

Ma petite sœur furète partout, mais nous, nous ne furetons jamais.
My little sister rummages everywhere, but we never rummage about.

And to study other -E(-)ER and -É(-)ER verbs, see Conjugate -é(-)er, -e(-)er verbs in Le Présent (except -eter and -eler)

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

La route gèle en hiver.
The road freezes in winter.


Je pèle les pommes de terre et vous pelez les pommes.
I'm peeling the potatoes and you're peeling the apples.


Ma petite sœur furète partout, mais nous, nous ne furetons jamais.
My little sister rummages everywhere, but we never rummage about.


Tu achètes des bananes et nous achetons des tomates.
You buy bananas and we buy tomatoes.


Ma grand-mère ne congèle jamais les légumes, mais nous, nous congelons tout !
My grandma never freezes vegetables, but we freeze everything!


Le détective démantèle des réseaux criminels, et vous les démantelez avec lui.
The detective dismantles criminal networks, and you dismantle them with him.


Mes amis pèlent tous les étés !
My friends' skin peels every summer.


Elles rachètent sa maison, et vous rachetez la leur.
They buy her house back and you buy theirs back.


Q&A Forum 5 questions, 11 answers

MMA2Kwiziq community member

Mes oncles ________ des pommes de terre dans la cuisine. --> Are there two correct translations?

Mes oncles ________ des pommes de terre dans la cuisine.

My uncles are peeling potatoes in the kitchen.

HINT: Conjugate 'peler' (to peel) in Le Présent

I believe there are two correct answers to this question:

1) Mes oncles pèlent des pommes de terre dans la cuisine.

2)Mes oncles sont en train de peler des pommes de terre dans la cuisine.

I put the second option and got marked wrong. Am I correct in thinking this should be acceptable?

Asked 6 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Both sentences are correct. The second one just stresses the fact that they are in the middle of it right now. Since the lesson is about the conjugation of -eler verbs, that's the reason, I think, the solution didn't include the second one. It's also the standard translation, whith minimal reference to any required context.

MM asked:View original

Mes oncles ________ des pommes de terre dans la cuisine. --> Are there two correct translations?

Mes oncles ________ des pommes de terre dans la cuisine.

My uncles are peeling potatoes in the kitchen.

HINT: Conjugate 'peler' (to peel) in Le Présent

I believe there are two correct answers to this question:

1) Mes oncles pèlent des pommes de terre dans la cuisine.

2)Mes oncles sont en train de peler des pommes de terre dans la cuisine.

I put the second option and got marked wrong. Am I correct in thinking this should be acceptable?

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LathaB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

wanted to know why double nous in nous,nous congelons tout! Merci

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

This is just a stylistic repetition of the subject:

Mais nous, nous congelons tout! -- But us, we freeze everything.

wanted to know why double nous in nous,nous congelons tout! Merci

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JanetA2Kwiziq community member

Puzzling translation

Mes amis pèlent tous les étés !
My friends' skin peels every summer

Should this be "My friends peel every summer"  as the French seems to imply more than one friend ?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Janet,

Peler in this intransitive (without an object) form means to lose your own skin as in peeling after sunburnt. So I think the word skin was added in the translation to clarify the meaning but i don't think it is necessary.

Peler comes from 'peau' (skin) and it means enlever la peau in a transitive form (peeling something.) e.g.

Je vais peler mon raisin avant de le manger. (I am going to peel my grapes before eating them.)

Il faut peler et couper les pommes de terre en petits dés. (You have to peel and cut the potatoes into little cubes.)

On peut manger une pomme sans la peler. (You can eat an apple without peeling it.)

Hope this helps!

 

 

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
"My friends' skin" does imply more than one friend, because the apostrophe comes after the s.
JanetA2Kwiziq community member
Thanks, but then it should be peel and not peels. Is the word 'skin' just implied in the French?
AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Although "friends'" is plural, skin is singular, so "peels" is correct.
JanetA2Kwiziq community member
Merci bien :)

Puzzling translation

Mes amis pèlent tous les étés !
My friends' skin peels every summer

Should this be "My friends peel every summer"  as the French seems to imply more than one friend ?

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HarrietA1Kwiziq community member

All e-er and é-er verbs take the è?

Would it make sense to just think of it as all e-er and é-er verbs (except jeter/appeler and derivatives) taking an è, rather than trying to remember all the exceptions? Or is using the double L/T on the ones that take it preferable?
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Harriet ! The reason why we divided it in three lessons is that: - as you wrote, all e-er and é-er take "è" BUT eter and eler verbs which have *different* exceptions - some eter and eler take only "ll" or "tt" - some eter and eler take only "èl" or "èt" I hope that makes it clearer! À bientôt !
GC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I was thinking the same thing.....just group all the -eler and -eter verbs together and make the jeter/appeler verbs (+ derivatives) the exceptions - it seems much simpler and easier to remember to me.

Even though I appreciate the three lessons explaining everything in detail,  I would like to know if the "ll" and "tt" versions are considered the 'preferred' conjugations.

All e-er and é-er verbs take the è?

Would it make sense to just think of it as all e-er and é-er verbs (except jeter/appeler and derivatives) taking an è, rather than trying to remember all the exceptions? Or is using the double L/T on the ones that take it preferable?

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JenniferC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Paul et anne achètent leur première maison

Could this be phrased as Paul et Anne sont en train d'acheter leur première maison
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Jennifer ! Yes, you could also use Le Présent Progressif here to emphasise the fact that the action is in the process of happening.
JenniferC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Mercie Aurélie

Paul et anne achètent leur première maison

Could this be phrased as Paul et Anne sont en train d'acheter leur première maison

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