Introduction to the verb caler
The English translation of the French verb caler is “to stall” or “to falter”. It is pronounced as “ka-leh”.
The word caler is derived from the Old French word “cale” which means “to wedge” or “to prop up”. It was originally used in the context of using a wedge or support to keep a ship steady. Eventually, it came to be used figuratively to mean a lack of progress or delay in completing a task.
In everyday French, caler is often used in the Plus-que-parfait tense, which expresses an action that occurred before another past action. It is generally used to describe a situation where something was supposed to happen, but was delayed or hindered.
Here are three simple examples of caler being used in the Plus-que-parfait tense, with their English translations:
- J’avais calé mon réveil pour 6 heures, mais il n’a pas sonné. (I had set my alarm for 6 o’clock, but it didn’t ring.)
- Nous avions calé notre rendez-vous depuis longtemps, mais il a plu et on a dû l’annuler. (We had scheduled our meeting a long time ago, but it rained and we had to cancel it.)
- Tu avais calé sur ton devoir et c’est pour ça que tu n’as pas pu le finir à temps. (You had stalled on your homework, that’s why you couldn’t finish it on time.)
Table of the Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of caler
|Pronoun||Conjugation||Short Example||English Translation|
|je||j’avais calé||J’avais calé le moteur.||I had stalled the engine.|
|tu||tu avais calé||Tu avais calé la voiture.||You had parked the car.|
|il||il avait calé||Il avait calé le vélo.||He had propped up the bike.|
|elle||elle avait calé||Elle avait calé son vélo.||She had balanced her bike.|
|on||on avait calé||On avait calé le camion.||One had stopped the truck.|
|nous||nous avions calé||Nous avions calé la table.||We had propped up the table.|
|vous||vous aviez calé||Vous aviez calé la chaise.||You had balanced the chair.|
|ils||ils avaient calé||Ils avaient calé le meuble.||They had stabilized the furniture.|
|elles||elles avaient calé||Elles avaient calé leur vélo.||They had balanced their bikes.|
Other Conjugations for Caler.
Struggling with French verbs or the language in general? Why not use our free French Grammar Checker – no registration required!
Get a FREE Download Study Sheet of this Conjugation 🔥
Simply right click the image below, click “save image” and get your free reference for the caler Plus-que-parfait tense conjugation!
Caler – About the French Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense
Common everyday usage patterns
Sequencing of past events
Hypothetical or reported speech
Interactions with other tenses
I hope you enjoyed this article on the verb caler. Still in a learning mood? Check out another TOTALLY random French verb conjugation!