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CarameliciousMonday 27th of June 2005 02:49:15 AM
Passé Composé - Introduction to Passé Composé ( Avoir & Être )
(These examples and explinations were taken from: “The Ultimate French Review and Practice” Book by: David M. Stillman and Ronni L. Gordon)

[color=red]AVOIR[/color]
• The passé compose is used to express an action completed in the past. The passé compose of most verbs consists of a present tense form of the auxiliary verb avoir followed by a past participle.
o Example: The Conjugation of Parler in Passé Composé
 J’ai parlé – I spoke / said
 Tu as parlé – You spoke / said
 Il/Elle/On a parlé – He/She/One spoke / said
 Nous avons parlé – We spoke / said
 Vous avez parlé – You spoke / said
 Ils/Elles ont parlé – They spoke / said
You can see, if you do not know the conjugations for avoir, you probably need to learn them. There is a lesson on conjugation in the discuss, the avoir conjugation is in there.
• The past participle of a regular verb is formed by replacing the infinitive ending by the appropriate participle ending: é for –er verbs; i for –ir verbs; u for –re verbs.
o Parler → Parlé; Finir → Fini; Vendre → Vendu
 **** Just like in everything else there are some verbs that have irregular past tense participles, I will make a list of these and post them as a reply to this post.


Forming the Negative Structure in the Passé Composé Tense

 The negative form of the passé compose is formed by placing the ne before the conjugated form of Avoir and Pas ( or the other negative words: For the other negative words see the Affirmitive and Corrosponding Negative Words Lesson ) after it.
o Tu n’as pas encore fait tes devoirs?
 Haven’t your done your homework yet?
o Non je n’ai rien écrit. Je n’ai jamais eu tant de difficulté.
 No, I haven’t written anything. I’ve never had so much trouble.


 When the inversion ( inversion = one of the forms of forming a question in French) is used to ask a question in the passé compose, the subject pronoun and the auxiliary verb are inverted. In negative questions the ne and the pas (or the other negative words) are okaced around athe interted auxiliary verb and pronoun. Negative questions with the inversion in the passé compose are limited to formal language.
 - Les Durand ont-ils decidé de vendre leur appartment?
• - Have the Durands decided to sell their apartment?
 - Oui, N’avez-vous pas vu l’announce dans le journal?
• - Yes, didn’t you see the adveristment in the newspaper?





[color=red]ÊTRE[/COLOR]

 A small number of French verbs form the passé compose with the être rather than the avoir. Most of these verbs express motion or describe a change in state. When the passé compose is formed with être, the past participle agrees in gender and number with the subject. Otherwise most of the rules are basically the same


THINGS TO STUDY: *~*~* THE CONJUGATIONS OF BOTH THE VERBS AVOIR AND ÊTRE; THE PAST PARTICIPLE ENDINGS; MAKING THINGS AGREE IN NUMBER AND GENDER (ADD –“e” TO THE END WITH FEMININE THINGS;

Exercises for this unit are located in the Assignments Thread