Passé Composé Tense

Notes on the passé composé (simple past tense)

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  • Created on: 05-05-12 12:05
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The Passé Composé
The simple past tense
Meaning: I ate, I have eaten, I did eat
I spoke, I have spoken, I did speak etc.
It refers to something in the past that is over and done with.
E.g. I worked for 40 years
We visited her
Formation: The passé compose consists of 2 parts ­ an auxiliary verb and a
past participle.
The auxiliary verb is either avoir or être:
(some verbs and all reflexive verbs use être)
Avoir Être
je ai suis
tu as es
il/elle/on a est
nous avons sommes
vous avez êtes
ils/elles ont sont
The past participle:
For ­er verbs, drop the ­er ending and add ­é
parler ­ parlé
For ­ir verbs, drop the ­ir and add ­i
finir - fini
For ­re verbs, drop the ­re and add ­u
répondre ­ repondu
Regular Verbs with avoir
parler to speak
j'ai parlé
tu as parlé
il/elle/on a parlé
nous avons parl

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I spoke, I have spoken, I did speak
vous avez parlé
ils/elles ont parlé
finir to finish
j'ai fini
tu as fini
il/elle/on a fini
nous avons fini
vous avez fini
ils/elles ont fini
I finished, I have/am finished, I did
répondre to speak
j'ai répondu
tu as répondu
il/elle/on a répondu
nous avons répondu
vous avez répondu
ils/elles ont répondu
I answered, I have answered, I did answer
Irregular Verbs
Irregular verbs have irregular past participles.…read more

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voir to see vu
conduire to drive conduit
connaître to know (person) connu
courir to run couru
dire to say dit
écrire to write écrit
dormir to sleep dormi
falloir to be necessary fallu
lire to read lu
ouvrir to open ouvert
offrir to offer offert
souffrir to suffer souffert
pleuvoir to cry plu
rire to laugh ri
suivre to follow suivi
vivre to live vécu
valoir to be worth valu
E.g.…read more

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ils/elles ont été
I was, I have been
The passé compose with être
Être is used as an auxiliary verb with the following verbs (most of them
express movement or a change of state):
Regular verbs
aller to go
arriver to arrive
partir to leave
sortir to go out
entrer to enter, come in
monter to go up, get on (a train, bus, plane), get in (a car)
descendre to go down, get off (a train, bus, plane), get out of (a car)
passer…read more

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R etourner
A rriver
M onter
P artir
* The past participle of être verbs agrees with the gender and number
of the subject of the verb.
Feminine singular subject ­e is added to the past participle
Masculine plural subject ­s is added
Feminine plural subject ­es is added
When a woman writes about herself she will write je suis allée.
If a group of females are addressed, you would write vous êtes allées.
E.g.…read more

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Vous vous êtes amusé(e)(s) You enjoyed yourself(ves)
Ils/elles se sont amusé(e)s They enjoyed themselves…read more


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