Epeler: Meaning & Conjugation

Instructor: Tracey Phelan

Tracey has a master's degree in education and has taught grades 4-12, from beginners to advanced level students in both French and Spanish.

Roses are red, violets are blue, bees smell flowers...WAIT! It's not a Smelling Bee, it's a SPELLING BEE! Let's learn the meaning and conjugation of the French verb 'épeler' (to spell) and have some fun along the way! We'll learn about what makes this verb irregular: its S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G!

Épeler l'Abeille

Épeler l'Abeille is a happy little bee that speaks and spells only in French!

His first name, the verb épeler, means 'to spell' in French, and it's conjugated mostly like a regular -ER verb in the present tense with a few SPELLING changes to make the verb live up to its name.


Epeler ne parle pas anglais. (Epeler does not speak English.)
Happy French Bee

Conjugation of Épeler

VERB: épeler (ay-puh-lay) - to spell

Subject Pronoun Épeler Conjugation Pronunciation Translation
je j'épelle (jay-pell-uh) I spell
tu tu épelles (too ay-pell-uh) you spell
il/elle/on il/elle/on épelle (eel/ell/ohn ay-pell-uh) he/she/one spells
nous nous épelons (noo zay-puh-lohn) we spell
vous vous épelez (voo zay-puh-lay) you (all) spell
ils/elles ils/elles épellent (eel/ell zay-pell-uh) they spell

And those SPELLING changes are the sticking point of this verb!


Epeler a des lettres en plus. (Epeler has some extra letters.)
angry bee

Did you see that the je, tu, il/elle/on, and ils/elles forms add an extra 'l' because they have silent endings? This verb is called a 'stem-changing verb' because the silent ending forms do something different from the nous and vous forms, but all forms still have regular -ER verb endings.

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