7.1 Formation of the past tenses


7.1.1 The passé composé
We have already met the passé composé in french survival guide II. We differentiate between transitive (have an object) and intransitive verbs (do not have an object). Transitive verbs form the passé composé with avoir (to have), intransitive verbs with être (to be).

transitive verbs intransitive verbs
French English French English
subject  auxiliary  perfect
 participle
subject  auxiliary  perfect
 participle
subject  auxiliary  perfect
 participle
subject  auxiliary  perfect
 participle
  J' (m) ai acheté I (m) have bought. Je (m) suis venu. I (m) have come.
  J' (f) ai acheté I(f) have bought. Je (f) suis venue. I (f) have come.
  Tu (m) as acheté You (m) have bought. Tu (m) es venu. You (m) have come.
  Tu (f) as acheté You (f) have bought. Tu (f) es venue. You (f) have come.
  Il a acheté He has bought. Il est venu. He has come.
  Elle a acheté She has bought. Elle est venue. She has come.
  Nous
(m)
avons

acheté

We (m)

have

bought.

Nous
(m)
sommes

venus.

We (m)

have

come.
  Nous (f) avons acheté We (f) have bought. Nous (f) sommes venues. We (f) have come.
  Vous
(m)
avez

acheté.

You (m)

have

bought.

Vous
(m)
êtes

venus.

You (m)

have

come.
  Vous (f) avez acheté. You (f) have bought. Vous (f) êtes venues. You (f) have come.
  Ils

ont

acheté

They
(m)
have

bought.

Ils

sont

venus.

They
(m)
have

come.

  Elles ont acheté They (f) have bought. Elles sont venues. They (f) have come.

Once again we can see that the perfect participle after être changes according to the gender and the number of the person it refers to.





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