MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

250 views

How do I form the passé composé?

The passé composé is one of the past tense forms in French. It is used to describe events that happened and finished in the past - for example, I ate a sandwich is j'ai mangé un sandwich. To form the passé composé, you need two things: the auxiliary verb and the passé composé form of the verb you're trying to conjugate. 

The auxiliary verb will be 'avoir' or 'être'. Most French verbs take avoir - so, your first chunk of forming the passé composé is the present tense of this verb in whatever appropriate form for person. For example: j;'ai, tu as, il/elle/on a, nous avons, vous avez, ils ont. 

There are a handful of French verbs that take être, however. There is an easy way to remember these: they are the DR MRS VANDERTRAMP verbs! Devenir, revenir, monter, rester, sortir, venir, aller, naître, descendre, entrer, rentrer, tomber, retourner, arriver, mourir, partir. It might seem like a lot to remember but if you keep trying to memorise you will be fine! Here you just use the present tense form of être like you did with avoir - so, je suis, il/elle/on est, nous sommes, vouz êtes, ils/elles sont. 

For regular French verbs forming the passé composé is quite easy for the next step - ER verbs need their ER chopping off, and an é adding on. IR verbs have their IR chopped off and an is added. RE verbs have their RE chopped and replaced with a u. For example: manger = mangé, finir = fini, rendre = rendu. There are quite a few irregular verbs such as faire, boire, even the auxiliary verbs themselves are difficult - but with practise we can memorise them and they'll stick in our brains! 

In terms of agreeing our passé composé, the verb at the end doesn't need to agree with the subject (eg je or elle) unless the auxiliary verb is être. 

EG: j'ai mangé une pomme et elle a mangé une pomme VS je suis sorti et elle est sortie. 

Happy conjugating!!

Maddison S. A Level French tutor, GCSE French tutor, GCSE English tut...

6 months ago

Answered by Maddison, a GCSE French tutor with MyTutor


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

157 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£20 /hr

Eleanor F.

Degree: BA Modern Foreign Languages (French and Ab initio Russian) (Bachelors) - Birmingham University

Subjects offered:French, German+ 2 more

French
German
English Literature

“Hi - I'm Ellie, and I'm in my first year at the University of Birmingham, where I'm studying French and beginner's Russian. I love languages - both the logical, grammatical aspect and the more creative side, where you explore literatu...”

£22 /hr

Maria P.

Degree: Classics (Masters) - Edinburgh University

Subjects offered:French, Latin+ 5 more

French
Latin
History
English Literature
English Language
Classical Greek

“INTRODUCTION A self-motivated and conscientious multilingual Classics student at the University of Edinburgh, with a passion for the Arts and Humanities.  EXAMINATION BOARDS AND SUBJECTS TAUGHT I can assist pupils studying the follow...”

£18 /hr

Anna S.

Degree: Modern & Medieval Languages (Bachelors) - Cambridge University

Subjects offered:French, German+ 1 more

French
German
-Oxbridge Preparation-

“Hi! I'm Anna and I'm a third-year student, studying Modern & Medieval Languages (French & German) at Cambridge. As part of my studies, I am spending a year living abroad, studying in Montpellier. If you are looking for help with Frenc...”

About the author

Maddison S. A Level French tutor, GCSE French tutor, GCSE English tut...

Maddison S.

Currently unavailable: for new students

Degree: French and Linguistics (Bachelors) - Oxford, Lady Margaret Hall University

Subjects offered:French, English Literature+ 3 more

French
English Literature
English Language
.MLAT (Modern Languages)

“I am a French and Linguistics student at the University of Oxford. Ever since I can remember, language has been my passion, and everything language-related has interested me - so much so that I aspired to study it at one of the best i...”

You may also like...

Other GCSE French questions

How do you know when to use the imperfect tense and when to use the perfect tense?

What's the best way to prepare for the listening exam?

How do you form the conditional tense and when do you use it?

When should I use the subjonctif?

View GCSE French tutors

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

mtw:mercury1:status:ok