How to Conjugate "Lever" in French

The French verb for "to lift."

Father lifting his daughter in the air
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In order to say "to lift" or "to raise" in French, you will use the verb lever. Now, if you want to say "lifted" or "will lift," then a conjugation is necessary. This is not one of the easiest French verbs to change to the present, future, and past tense, but a quick lesson will get you started.


Verb conjugations are required to change the ending so it matches the tense of the verb's action. We do the same in English by adding -ed to form the past tense or -ing to say that something is happening right now. 

It's a bit more complicated in French, however. Rather than using the same ending no matter if we're talking about me, you, we, or they doing something, the ending changes with every subject pronoun as well as each tense. Unfortunately, that means you have more words to memorize. Rest assured, it does get easier with the more conjugations you learn.

Lever is a stem-changing verb and it follows a pattern found in other verbs that end in -e_er. Essentially, in the present and future forms, the first e needs a grave accent and becomes è. The only exception is the vous present tense.

Using the chart, you can easily learn the proper conjugations for lever. For instance, to say "I am lifting," you would say "je lève." Likewise, "we will lift" is "nous lèverons."

Subject Present Future Imperfect
je lève lèverai levais
tu lèves lèveras levais
il lève lèvera levait
nous lèvons lèverons levions
vous levez lèverez leviez
ils lèvent lèveront levaient

The Present Participle

Creating ​the present participle of lever is extremely simple. All you need to do is add -ant to the verb stem of lev- and you get levant. Not only is this a verb, but it can also be used as an adjective, gerund, or noun in some circumstances.

The Passé Composé and Past Participle

Beside the imperfect, you can express the past tense in French using the passé composé. It's rather easy, you will just need to conjugate the auxiliary verb avoir to match the subject, then add the past participle levé.

For example, "I lifted" is "j'ai levé" and "we lifted" is "nous avons levé."

More Simple Conjugations to Learn

Among the other simple conjugations of lever that you might need are the verb moods known as the subjunctive and conditional. The subjunctive says that the verb's action may not happen because it is uncertain. Similarly, the conditional is used when the action will only happen if something else also occurs.

With less frequency, you may come across the passé simple and the imperfect subjunctive. Each of these is a literary verb form and primarily found in formal French writing. While you may not need them, it's good to be able to associate them with lever.

Subject Subjunctive Conditional Passé Simple Imperfect Subjunctive
je lève lèverais levai levasse
tu lèves lèverais levas levasses
il lève lèverait leva levât
nous levions lèverions levâmes levassions
vous leviez lèveriez levâtes levassiez
ils lèvent lèveraient levèrent levassent

When you want to express lever in short and direct sentences, use the imperative form. In this one, there's no need to include the subject pronoun: use "lève" rather than "tu lève."

(tu) lève
(nous) levons
(vous) levez
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Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate "Lever" in French." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). How to Conjugate "Lever" in French. Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate "Lever" in French." ThoughtCo. (accessed February 3, 2023).