MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

412 views

Why do some verbs take 'etre' in the perfect tense? And how can I memorise them?

The majority of French verbs are take a conjugated form of the verb 'avoir' (to have) when forming the perfect tense, similarly to English. However, there is an important minority of verbs that use a conjugated form of the verb 'etre' (to be) when forming this tense. These verbs are called intransitive verbs, meaning that they do not take a direct object. These verbs often refer to a change in state or place, and although there aren't many, they are very important! 

For example;
J'ai vu la montre - I've seen the watch (watch = direct object)
Je suis descendu - I went down (no direct object) 

Fortunately there's a nice trick to memorise these verbs. All you have to do is meet MRS VAN DER TRAMP, the agreable Dutch lady who never objects! 

Monter --> monté (went up)
Retourner --> retourné (returned)
Sortir --> sorti (went out)

Venir --> venu (came)
Arriver --> arrivé (arrived)
Naître --> né (was born)

Descendre --> descendu (went down)
Entrer --> entré (entered)
Rester --> resté (stayed)

Tomber --> tombé (fell)
Rentrer --> rentré (went back in)
Aller --> allé (went)
Mourir --> mort (died)
Partir --> parti (left)

Henry  P. Mentoring French tutor, GCSE French tutor, Mentoring Spanis...

1 year ago

Answered by Henry , a GCSE French tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

103 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£22 /hr

Lavinia M.

Degree: Classics (Bachelors) - Cambridge alumni University

Subjects offered: French, Italian+ 1 more

French
Italian
-Personal Statements-

“ABOUT ME I am a Cambridge graduate in Classics, currently on a Screenwriting MA at Scotland Screen Academy. I have also studied Comparative Literature at Sorbonne University in Paris. Learning languages and writing are my passions, an...”

£18 /hr

Penny P.

Degree: Modern Languages (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered: French, German

French
German

“Hi Everyone! I'm Penny and I tutor French and German GCSE and A-Level. I've recently finished my second year at Exeter University studying French, German and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Having sat through ...”

£18 /hr

Stephen J.

Degree: Classics (Bachelors) - Bristol University

Subjects offered: French, Latin+ 3 more

French
Latin
English Language
Classical Greek
Classical Civilisation

“About Me:I am a second year mature student at the University of Bristol, studying Classics. I harbour a true love for the Classics, as well as for English and French literature, and I find great pleasure in sharing this enthusiasm ...”

About the author

Henry P.

Currently unavailable: for regular students

Degree: Modern Foreign Languages (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: French, Spanish

French
Spanish

“I love languages! I studied French & German up to A-level, I did a 1 year Polish course in Krakow, I learnt conversational Dutch over the course of two summers working in a Dutch-owned campsite in France and now at university I am con...”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Other GCSE French questions

What is the difference between "tu" and "vous" ?

What is the conditional?

How do you conjugate "avoir" in the first person of the imperfect?

How is the perfect tense formed with avoir?

View GCSE French tutors

Cookies:

We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok