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Râler Meaning & Translation – To Moan and groan, Complain

Râler Meaning & Translation – To Moan and groan, Complain

Today we’ll look at French verb that you’re likely to learn when traveling in France but not necessarily in the textbooks: Râler. Meanings of râler include to moan and groan, to grumble, complain, whine, bellyache and grouse. Arrête de raler ! (stop complaining!).


to moan and groan, complain

Râler = To moan and groan, complain, whine, grumble

Râler Meaning & Translation

Word origin

The verb râler (to moan and groan) is related to the noun râle (wheeze). Raler comes from Old Provençal rasclar, which in turn comes from the Latin radere (to shave, scratch, scrape).


Râler is a regular ER verb. This means that its endings are the same as all other regular ER verbs when conjugated in the present tense.

Je râle I moan and groan
Tu râles You moan and groan (singular, informal)
Il, elle râle He, she moans and groans
Nous râlons We moan and groan
Vous râlez You moan and groan (plural, formal)
Ils, elles râlent They moan and groan

Example sentences

The translations for all of these sentences are interchangeable, meaning you can use to complain, to whine, to moan and groan, etc.

In this first example, the verb arrêter (to stop) is followed by the preposition de + infinitive to mean “to stop doing something”. This lesson on our site covers verbs followed by de + infinitive.

Arrête de râler. On va bientôt y arriver.

Stop complaining! We’ll be there soon!

This example sentence uses the expression ça commence à bien faire, which translates to “This is getting ridiculous!”.

Ces enfants n’arrêtent pas de râler et ça commence à bien faire !

These kids don’t stop whining and it’s getting ridiculous!

In this example, the verb commencer (to start) is followed by the preposition à + infinitive, meaning “to start doing something”. This lesson on our site covers verbs followed by à + infinitive.

Les consommateurs commencent à râler pendant les periodes d’inflation.

Consumers start complaining during periods of inflation.

Noun râleur = complainer

Râleur as a noun transaltes to complainer, moaner or whinger. In the following example sentence, we loosely translated gros râleur (literally large sized complainers) to “people who complain all the time”.

Les gros râleurs m’énervent facilement.

People who complain all the time bother me easily.

Il y a trop de râleurs dans le monde aujourd’hui.

There are too many complainers in the world today.


Et voilà ! You know know how to use râler (to moan and groan, complain) in French. Now check out our lesson covering the the informal yet highly useful verb bosser (to work, to work hard).

La fille est en train de râler. = The girl is complaining.

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on FrenchLearner, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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