French Passé Composé – Être and Avoir – Mini Lesson


SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH A MINI FRENCH LESSON ON THE PASSE COMPOSE

👉 Scroll down to watch my mini-lesson and to hear all examples read and explained 👈

This is a mini lesson on the passé composé with both être and avoir as helping verbs.  Let’s do an exercise together to see how well you know the passé composé rules.  


TOMBER – TO FALL

👉 Elle _____ (tomber) de son vélo.  

👉 She fell from her bike.

LA REPONSE:

👉 Elle est tombée de son vélo.

L’EXPLICATION:

Etre is the helping verb for the verb tomberClick here for a list of all verbs that use être as helping verb. When using être as helping verb, you have to make the past participle agree with the subject in number and gender.  In this case, the subject is feminine and singular, so we need to add an E.


LIRE – TO READ

👉 Tu _____ (lire) quel livre?

👉 Which book did you read?

LA REPONSE:

👉 Tu as lu quel livre?

L’EXPLICATION:

Avoir is the helping verb for the irregular verb lire.  No agreement is required when avoir is the helping verb


RENDRE VISITE – TO VISIT (A PERSON)

👉 Ils _____ (rendre) visite à leurs amis. 

👉 They visited their friends.

LA REPONSE:

👉 Ils ont rendu visite à leurs amis.

L’EXPLICATION:

Avoir is the helping verb for the verb rendre.  No agreement is required when avoir is the helping verb.  Here’s a reminder that you don’t use the verb visiter when visiting people.  The verb you need is rendre visite.


SORTIR – TO GO OUT

👉 Nous _______ (sortir) au cinéma.

👉 We went out to the cinema.

LA REPONSE:

👉 Nous sommes sorti(e)s au cinéma.

L’EXPLICATION:

Etre is the helping verb for the verb sortir when it isn’t followed by a direct object. Nous is always plural, so we definitely need to add an S to the past participle.  In the case where nous is also feminine, we would need to also add an E


ALLER – TO GO

👉 Je _______ (aller) au café.

👉 I went to the café.

LA REPONSE:

👉 Je suis allé(e) au café.

L’EXPLICATION:

Etre is the helping verb for the verb aller.  If the subject je is feminine, we need to add an E to the past  participle.


METTRE – TO PUT / TO SET

👉 Elles _______ (mettre) la table.

👉 They set the table.

LA REPONSE:

👉 Elles ont mis la table.

L’EXPLICATION:

Avoir is the helping verb for the verb mettre.  Therefore, no agreement is needed.


SE COUCHER – TO GO TO BED

👉 Elles _______ (se coucher).

👉 They went to bed.

LA REPONSE:

👉 Elles se sont couchées.

L’EXPLICATION:

Etre is the helping verb for the reflexive verb se coucher, and for all other reflexive verbs as well. The subject is feminine and plural, so we add an E and an S to the past participle. 


RELATED POSTS:

👉 French Passé Composé Story – Le Passé Composé

👉 French -ER verbs with negation – Present and Passé Composé

👉 Être – Aller – Avoir – Faire: Conjugation Charts with Pronunciation

👉 Common French Reflexive Verbs


WATCH THE MINI-LESSON TO HEAR JENNIFER READ ALL OF THE SENTENCES AND EXPLANATIONS:





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