How to Conjugate "Appeler" (to Call)

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In French, you will use the verb appeler when you want to say "to call." Yet, in order for the verb to make sense in a sentence, it needs to be conjugated. That is the subject of this lesson and by the end, you'll be conjugating appeler with ease.

Conjugating the French Verb Appeler

Appeler is a stem-changing verb. If you notice, in the nous and vous present tense as well as the imperfect, the "ll" changes back to the single "l" found in the original verb.

Other than that minor difference, the conjugation of appeler is similar to regular -er verbs.

In reality, this is one of the easier French verbs to conjugate and the chart will help you tremendously. It shows the verb form for the present, future, and imperfect past as well as the present participle.

Simply match up the subject pronoun with the form of appeler and you're on your way to forming a complete sentence in French. For instance, to say "I call," you will say "j'appelle " and for "we will call," say "nous appelerons."

SubjectPresent Future Imperfect
j'appelleappelleraiappelais
tuappellesappellerasappelais
ilappelleappelleraappelait
nousappelonsappelleronsappelions
vousappelezappellerezappeliez
ilsappellentappellerontappelaient

Appeler's Present Participle

The present participle of appeler is appelant. Beyond it's use as a verb for "calling," you might also use it as an adjective, gerund, or noun in certain circumstances.

Another Past Tense for Appeler

You can also use the passé composé for the past tense conjugation of appeler. You will need to use the verb's past participle of appelé along with the auxiliary verb, which is avoir in this case.

For example, to say "I called," you will use "j'ai appelé." For "he called," you say "il a appelé" in French.

The "ai" and "a" are conjugations of avoir.

More Conjugations of Appeler

You may not always need these forms of appeler, but they are good to know. The passé simple and imperfect subjunctive are used in formal writing, so unless you do that, they're not very important.

Yet, you should be aware of the subjunctive and conditional forms of appeler, particularly as you learn more conversational French. The ​subjunctive will be used when the verb is uncertain or subjective. The ​conditional will be used when the verb is dependent upon circumstances.

SubjectSubjunctiveConditionalPassé SimpleImperfect Subjunctive
j'appelleappelleraisappelaiappelasse
tuappellesappelleraisappelasappelasses
ilappelleappelleraitappelaappelât
nousappelionsappellerionsappelâmesappelassions
vousappeliezappelleriezappelâtesappelassiez
ilsappellentappelleraientappelèrentappelassent

Finally, we must discuss the  imperative form of appeler. This is used for short, expressive sentences that have a request or demand. It's very useful for a verb like appeler.

The primary difference here is that you do not need to use the subject pronoun because the verb takes care of it. For example, if you want someone to "Call me!" you will say "Appelle-moi!" rather than "Tu appelle-moi!"

 Imperative
(tu)appelle
(nous)appelons
(vous)appelez

Another Way "to Call"

As you might imagine, appeler is just one piece in the French vocabulary for phone conversations. Of course, it can be used in other contexts such as "call out" or "call on" someone and neither has to do with a phone. For very specific phone calling, look to the verb téléphoner.