How to Conjugate the French Verb 'Rater' ('to Miss, Fail')

Simple conjugations for the French verb rater

Rater, pronounced "rah tay," is a French verb that's conjugated like all French regular -er verbs. It means literally "to miss, fail, go wrong, make a mess of," as in:

  • Ça ne rate jamais. > It never fails.
  • Anne a raté son train. > Anne missed her train.
  • Robert a raté son pizza. > Robert made a mess of his pizza.

Expressions and Usage

  • La bombe a raté sa cible. > The bomb missed its target.  
  • rate le bac > fail the high school diploma
  • rater le bus, le coche > to miss the bus, coach / miss the window of opportunity
  • rater la correspondance > miss the connection
  • Tue viens de la rater. > You just missed her.
  • Occasion à ne pas rater > an opportunity not to be missed
  • (familiar) Je t'avais dit qu'elle serait en retard, et ça n'a pas raté ! > I told you she'd be late, and sure enough she was !
  • Tais-toi. Tu vas tout faire rater ! > Be quiet or you'll ruin everything !
  • Le coup a raté.  > The gun failed to go off. 
  • (Familiar) J'ai raté mon coup. > I made a mess of it.
  • C'est une émission à ne pas rater. > This programme is a must.
  • Il rate toujours les mayonnaises. > His mayonnaise always goes wrong.
  • Rater sa vie > to make a mess of one's life
  • (pronominal reflexive) Il s'est coupé les cheveux lui-même, et il s'est complètement raté !  > He cut his hair himself and made a complete mess of it !
  • Elle est tombée de vélo, elle ne s'est pas ratée ! > She fell off her bike, but she didn't hurt herself.

'Rater' Is a Regular French '-er' Verb

The majority of French verbs are regular -er verbs, as rater is. (There are five main kinds of verbs in French: regular -er, -ir, -re verbs; stem-changing verbs; and irregular verbs.)

To conjugate a regular French -er verb, remove the -er ending from the infinitive to reveal the verb's stem. Then add the regular -er endings to the stem. Note that all regular -er verbs share conjugation patterns in all tenses and moods.

Below are all the simple conjugations of the verb rater. The compound conjugations, which include a conjugated form of the auxiliary verb avoir and the past participle raté, are not included.

You can apply the same endings in the table to any of the regular French -er verbs listed below.


French regular -er verbs, by far the largest group of French verbs, share a conjugation pattern. Here are just a few of the most common regular -er verbs:

  • aimer > to like, to love
  • arriver > to arrive, to happen
  • chanter > to sing
  • chercher > to look for
  • commencer* > to begin
  • danse > to dance
  • demander > to ask for
  • dépenser > to spend (money)
  • détester > to hate
  • donner > to give
  • écouter > to listen to
  • étudier** > to study
  • fermer > to close
  • goûte > to taste
  • jouer > to play
  • laver > to wash
  • manger* > to eat
  • nager* > to swim
  • parler > to talk, to speak
  • passe > to pass, spend (time)
  • penser > to think
  • porter > to wear, to carry
  • regarder > to watch, to look at
  • rêver > to dream
  • sembler > to seem
  • skier** > to ski
  • travailler > to work
  • trouve > to find
  • visiter > to visit (a place)
  • voler > to fly, to steal

*All regular -er verbs are conjugated according to the regular -er verb conjugation pattern, except for one small irregularity in verbs that end in -ger and -cer, known as spelling-change verbs.

**Though conjugated just like regular -er verbs, watch out for verbs that end in -ier.

Simple Conjugations of the Regular French '-er' Verb 'Rater'

Present Future Imperfect Imperative
je rate raterai ratais
tu rates rateras ratais rate
il rate ratera ratait
nous ratons raterons rations ratons
vous ratez raterez ratiez ratez
ils ratent rateront rataient
Subjunctive Conditional Passé simple Imperfect subjunctive
je rate raterais ratai ratasse
tu rates raterais ratas ratasses
il rate raterait rata ratât
nous rations raterions ratâmes ratassions
vous ratiez rateriez ratâtes ratassiez
ils ratent rateraient ratèrent ratassent

Present participle: ratant

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Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate the French Verb 'Rater' ('to Miss, Fail')." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). How to Conjugate the French Verb 'Rater' ('to Miss, Fail'). Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "How to Conjugate the French Verb 'Rater' ('to Miss, Fail')." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 31, 2023).