Appeler – To Call

The French language is renowned for its rich vocabulary and intricate grammar rules. As a French learner, one verb that you’ll frequently encounter is “appeler,” which means “to call” or “to name” in English. In this blog post, we will explore the various ways to use and conjugate this versatile verb.

  1. Basic Meaning and Usage:
    The primary meaning of “appeler” is to call someone or something by a specific name. For instance, “Je m’appelle Marie” translates to “My name is Marie.” It can also be used in the context of making a phone call, as in “Je t’appelle demain,” meaning “I will call you tomorrow.” Remember that “appeler” is a regular -er verb, so its conjugations follow a specific pattern.
  2. Conjugation in the Present Tense:
    To properly use “appeler” in the present tense, you must add the appropriate endings to the verb stem. Here is an outline of its conjugation:
    • Je m’appelle (I call myself)
    • Tu t’appelles (You call yourself)
    • Il/elle/on s’appelle (He/she/one calls himself/herself/oneself)
    • Nous nous appelons (We call ourselves)
    • Vous vous appelez (You call yourselves)
    • Ils/elles s’appellent (They call themselves)
  3. Reflexive Use:
    “Appeler” is often used as a reflexive verb, with the reflexive pronoun “se” preceding the verb. In this case, it translates to “to call oneself” or “to name oneself.” For example, “Elle s’appelle Juliette” means “She calls herself Juliette.” Note that the reflexive pronoun must agree with the subject in gender and number.
  4. Compound Tenses:
    To construct compound tenses like the passé composé or the future tense, you need to use the auxiliary verb “avoir” (to have) and the past participle “appelé.” Here are a few examples:
    • J’ai appelé (I called)
    • Tu as appelé (You called)
    • Il/elle/on a appelé (He/she/one called)
    • Nous avons appelé (We called)
    • Vous avez appelé (You called)
    • Ils/elles ont appelé (They called)
  5. Expressions and Variations:
    “Appeler” is also used in various idiomatic expressions and variations. Here are a couple of examples:
    • “Appeler à la rescousse”: This translates to “to call for help” or “to call in reinforcements.”
    • “Rappeler”: This verb means “to call back” or “to remind.” For instance, “Je te rappelle plus tard” means “I will call you back later.”
    • “S’appeler autrement”: This phrase means “to be called something else” or “to have another name.”

Understanding how to use the French verb “appeler” is an essential step towards fluency. By mastering its conjugations and exploring its various meanings, you’ll be able to confidently use this verb in a variety of contexts. Keep practicing, and soon you’ll be calling yourself a proficient French speaker!

So, go ahead and start incorporating “appeler” into your everyday French conversations. Bonne chance! (Good luck!)