Introduction to the verb chevaler
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The English translation of the French verb chevaler is “to knight” or “to confer knighthood.” It is pronounced “she-va-leh.”
The word chevaler comes from the Latin word “caballarius,” meaning “horseman” or “knight.” In everyday French, it is most often used in the Passé Antérieur tense, which is the past tense used for actions that occurred before another past action.
Three simple examples of its usage in this tense are:
Le roi chevala son fils pour son courage au combat.
Translation: The king knighted his son for his courage in battle.
Elle chevala son frère pour ses services envers le royaume.
Translation: She conferred knighthood upon her brother for his services to the kingdom.
Les chevaliers chevalèrent leur seigneur après leur victoire contre l’ennemi.
Translation: The knights knighted their lord after their victory against the enemy.
Table of the Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of chevaler
|I had knighted
|Tu eusses chevalé
|You had knighted
|Il eût chevalé
|He had knighted
|Elle eût chevalé
|She had knighted
|On eût chevalé
|One had knighted
|Nous eûmes chevalé
|We had knighted
|Vous eûtes chevalé
|You had knighted
|Ils eurent chevalé
|They had knighted
|Elles eurent chevalé
|They had knighted
Other Conjugations for Chevaler.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb chevaler
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chevaler
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chevaler
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chevaler
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chevaler
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chevaler
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chevaler
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chevaler (this article)
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chevaler
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chevaler
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chevaler
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chevaler
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chevaler
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chevaler
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chevaler
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chevaler
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb chevaler
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Chevaler – About the French Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense
The French Passé Antérieur tense, often referred to as the “past anterior” in English, is a literary and formal past tense that is not commonly used in everyday spoken French. It is primarily found in written language, particularly in literature, historical texts, and formal writing. This tense is used to express actions that occurred before another action in the past, serving a similar purpose to the past perfect tense (passé composé) in English.
Formation of the Passé Antérieur
The Passé Antérieur is formed by using the third person singular of the passé simple (simple past) tense of the auxiliary verb “avoir” or “être,” followed by the past participle of the main verb.
The choice between “avoir” and “être” as the auxiliary verb depends on the main verb and its transitivity or intransitivity. Here is the basic structure:
1. For verbs that use “avoir” as the auxiliary verb:
– J’eus (I had) + past participle (of the main verb)
2. For verbs that use “être” as the auxiliary verb:
– Je fus (I was) + past participle (of the main verb)
Common Usage Patterns
As mentioned earlier, the Passé Antérieur is primarily used in formal and literary contexts. It is rarely used in everyday spoken French, where the passé composé and imparfait are more commonly used to express past actions. Some common patterns of usage include:
The Passé Antérieur is frequently used in literature to describe past events in a succinct and formal manner.
It is used in historical narratives to recount past actions and events.
In formal and academic writing, the Passé Antérieur can be employed to convey events in the past with a sense of formality and precision.
Interactions with Other Tenses
The Passé Antérieur often interacts with other tenses, especially when narrating past events in a chronological order:
Passé Composé (Present Perfect)
The Passé Antérieur can be used to indicate an action that occurred before another action expressed in the passé composé. For example: “Il eut terminé son travail avant que je ne sois arrivé.” (He had finished his work before I arrived).
The Passé Antérieur may be used in conjunction with the imparfait to convey a sequence of past actions. For instance: “Elle arriva après que nous eûmes commencé.” (She arrived after we had started).
Futur Antérieur (Future Perfect)
In the context of storytelling or narration, the Passé Antérieur can be used to describe events that happened before a future action expressed in the futur antérieur. For example: “Il partira après qu’il aura fini.” (He will leave after he has finished).
Passé Antérieur is a formal past tense used in written language and literary contexts to describe actions that occurred before another action in the past. It is not commonly used in everyday spoken French where you should instead use the passé composé and imparfait for discussing past events.
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