Verbs ending in -ETER and -ELER such as geler, acheter, congeler ... are semi-regular -ER verbs in Le Présent Indicatif, which means that, even though they take the regular -ER endings of Le Présent Indicatif, their spelling and subsequently their pronunciation vary.
The majority of -ETER and -ELER verbs double the T or L in stem-changing conjugations. To practise these verbs, see the lesson Conjugate -eter and -eler verbs in the present tense in French (Le Présent) - main rule (ll / tt)
However, some verbs follow a different pattern.
Instead of doubling the T or L, the following verbs add an accent è to the first -e (-eter/-eler) of je/tu/il/elle/on/ils/elles conjugations.
Conjugation of GELER (to freeze) in Le Présent Indicatif in French
Note that the nous and vous forms don't change.
Also note that the accent changes the pronunciation: gèle/gèles/gèlent are pronounced [jell], whereas gelons/gelez are [juh-lon / juh-ley]
Conjugation of ACHETER (to buy) in Le Présent Indicatif in French
Again, the nous and vous forms don't change, and again the accent changes the pronunciation: achète/achètes/achètent are pronounced [achette], whereas achetons/achetez are [achuh-ton / achuh-tey]
This is the complete list of verbs that follow this rule. There are relatively few and some are very rare, so the ones you're most likely to use marked with *:
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)
* 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
Consider 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.
To study other -E(-)ER and -É(-)ER verbs, see Conjugate -é(-)er, -e(-)er verbs in the present tense in French (Le Présent) (except -eter and -eler)
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