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  5. "J'ai passé trois heures ici …

"J'ai passé trois heures ici !"

Translation:I have spent three hours here!

January 21, 2014



And I still haven't passed this lesson... ;-)


"I have stayed here for three hours" that's what I put and that's how I feel lol.


It was also marked wrong, I feel it may be right?


passer (for time) is to spend. To stay would be rester, I think.


Et je n'ai pas déjà passé cette leçon. C'est correct?


je n'ai pas ENCORE.......(assuming you man "haven't yet".......)


Honestly, this lesson is......


Shouldn't it be "je suis passé" since passer is an auxiliary verb? Or does that only apply when passer is meant in a "to pass by" sense?


You're right, "passer" only takes etre as an auxiliary verb when it means certain things (passing by, going by), but it takes avoir for some of its other meanings (give, transmit). (Just a note, the auxiliary verb is the "helping verb," not the main verb itself; in the passé composé, the auxiliary verbs are "avoir" and "etre").


with the meaning of "spend time", you have to use auxiliary avoir.


Is it about whether "passer" is used intransitively (aux être) or transitively (aux avoir)? My impression is that être is never used for verbs used transitively (except if reflexive?).

"passer" seems to be fairly unique in that some sources say you can use either auxiliary when used intransitively; the only other such word in my grammar book is "accourir". If so, how to choose which auxiliary?


A number of verbs expressing movements do use the auxiliary être, like "aller, venir, tomber, passer, monter, descendre...".

Please take a look at this: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/etreverbs.htm

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There are five verbs that can be used transitively or intransitively and these are; monter, descendre, passer, rentrer & sortir.

When passer is used transitively, the object is time, "trois heures".


As soon as the verb has a direct object, the auxiliary will be avoir:

  • j'ai entré la clé (I entered the key)
  • j'ai rentré les chaises (I brought the chairs back in)
  • j'ai monté l'escalier (I went up the stairs)
  • j'ai descendu la colline (I walked/drove down the hill).
  • j'ai passé l'examen (I took the exam); j'ai passé trois heures (I spent 3 hours); j'ai passé l'âge (I am beyond age)... this one is tricky: http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/passer/661830

Some verbs do not have the ability to become transitive and others, even derived "venir" do not use "être" unless some of them are used in passive.

  • venir (être), revenir (être), devenir (être) parvenir (être), se souvenir (être), intervenir (être), survenir (être)
  • contrevenir à (avoir), circonvenir (avoir); prévenir (avoir), convenir (avoir), subvenir à (avoir)


My Collins Robert dictionary does not mention the use of avoir with intransitive passer, only être (avoir for transitive).


it did not accept "I passed three hours here," which is an equivalent translation, I think.


It might be a literal translation... that being said, it's uncommonly said, if ever (I've never heard it). English speakers will more commonly remark about having "passed the time..." but in this context (a specific duration), "correct" usage world be "spent".


Exactly. I passed three hours on dulingo.... no one would ever say that. 'Stayed' is more correct than passed..


But "spent" is what is usually said in English.


Beware of blanked statements. I would say it that way. I think more people would say "I passed three hours on DL" than "I stayed three hours on DL."


I think most people would say "I spent three hours on DL."


Exactly. "Spent 3 hours" would be most common but "passed 3 hours" is far from wrong. I doubt anybody "stays 3 hours" on a website.


You did mean "blanket statements", no? Or were you being humorous?


I said the same, lstarkey, and it did not not accept my answer either. :(


Agreed - this should have been fine.


I said "I have passed three hours here" and it marked me wrong and said "U have passed three hours here" ... reported :)


Problem solved, thank you!


what it wanted to say is: "U will pass three hours here. For being a know-it-all imma swap all of ur passe compose sentences for imparfait and claim it's cause of context. Bwahah-hoo-hoo-ahhah! [mad owl laughter]"

And we all know it's because you made the owl angry, but no one can help :(


Should the final "s" in "heures" be pronounced when preceding "ici?"


No, it shouldn't.


Can't I say "I have stayed here for three hours"?


Do you add an extra "e" at the end of "passé" when the speaker (je) is female? (Duo marked it wrong, but I'm unsure...) Thanks!


Not with auxiliary avoir.

  • je suis passé(e) ici.

  • j'ai passé 3 heures ici.

But there is an exception with auxiliary "avoir": if the verb has a Direct Object that is placed in front of it:

  • les 3 heures que j'ai passées ici (DO = "que" replacing "heures", fem plural).


Ah... got it! Thank you SiteSurf!

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I find it that the French difference between etre and avoir is very similar to the English was and have in forming a past tense - is that somewhat correct?


être = to be
avoir = to have

When forming the French compound tense, you mostly use auxiliary "avoir". But a number of verbs are naturally constructed with auxiliary "être": movement verbs (passer, monter, descendre, aller, venir) and all reflexive verbs (se laver, se reposer, se taire...).


Thank you Sitesurf, you made my day. Years ago, I learned that in Spanish and forgot, now I added Spanish, can't wait until it comes up.

  • 1438

As always - very useful! Thank you Sitesurf!


I said i have passed three times here. How would that be in french?


Je suis passé trois fois ici


I am not a woman but I tried answering as if i was, using "J'ai passée" but was marked wrong. Am I misunderstanding gender here?


No, you are misunderstanding the rule of agreement for past participles.

With auxiliary "avoir", the past participle is invariable (= remains in masculine/singular). Exception: if a direct object appears before avoir, the participle agrees with the direct object.


Ok thanx I'll try and remember that


You must be dedicated to learning a language!


So, it's in passe compose because it has a 3 hour set duration? We know it's over?


I passed three hours here like a king teaching how to say the same with neologisms. These make rich a language like synonyms.


So why wouldn't i have spent here three hours not work.


Because that's the wrong order for an English sentence. (By the way, you don't need the word "not" in your comment because it's already contained in "wouldn't.)


Please elaborate what is wrong with "I have spent here three hours"?


I'm not sure if there is a strict grammatical rule about word order here, but your sentence sounds very awkward. One would say "I have spent three hours here", probably because the object "three hours" goes with the verb "spent".


What troubles me, is this is a French, not English lesson and either response is showing pretty well I understood the French sentence, hence it must be accepted.


You will find that Duo requires proper grammar in both languages. It will sometimes accept idioms. But your word order is neither.


Duolingo is not a person in a room examining each answer, it's a computer program which can only allow for a certain amount of leeway. In many cases, jumbling up the word order of a sentence changes the meaning, so Duo doesn't always allow for that.

I sympathise with trying to learn one foreign language through the medium of another! Must be very difficult.


I think msinykin is exactly right. You would be unlikely to hear a native English speaker use that word order because the thing you have "spent" is "three hours."

You would, however, say "I have been here [for] three hours."


It is not a strictly literal nor idiomatic translation. You might have a point if the sentence said ""J'ai passé ici trois heures." in French but it does not. It says ""J'ai passé trois heures ici" with "ici" at the end of the sentence. "I have spent three hours here" is both a literal and idiomatic rendering of the French sentence.

Also, and I'm not a grammar expert so I may be wrong or not explaining it correctly, "I have spent here three hours" is a little ambiguous. It makes it seem as if "here" could be the object of the sentence. It could reads as if "here" is the thing you spent instead of spending "three hours" at a certain place ("here").

I probably didn't explain myself correctly but word order is more strict in English than it is in other languages and in this case the word order in French and English match (as far as I can tell).


This one is a bit tricky for English speakers. To "spend" a period somewhere is exactly the same as to have "stayed" a period somewhere. I know in French you would use "rester" but translating the other way into into English, "stayed" is acceptable for "passer" in my view.


I can't quite agree. I would never say "I stayed three hours here." It doesn't sound natural to me. I have the impression that "spent" has more to do with the length of time, and "stayed" more to do with the place. So I would likely use a different word order: "I stayed here for three hours." There, that sounds more natural. Then the emphasis is on WHERE I stayed, not on how long. In the former case, the French probably would used rester, as you say.

To pass (passer) is also used in English in this sense: To pass the time. It's related to time, which we "pass" or "spend," not to location - a place in which we "stay."


I would say, "I've waited," and I would only use "I've spent" if I'm referring to time like money, like if I felt I wasted time/money at an arcade.

"I've waited three hours here already!" versus "I've spent three hours here playing Tetris."

If I ever did say "I've stayed," it would be for how long I lived or stayed at a physical place.

"I've stayed at Comfort Inn three times, unfortunately."


Is this normal to say jist like "I spent three hours here"?


I think "I stayed here for three hours" should be considered correct. That is what people would say. Maybe "I have passed three hours here"?


In my experience of speaking and hearing English, the most common expression is "I spent three hours here." "Passed" is used in "I passed the time reading a magazine" etc.

"Stay" is a slightly different concept and has other French words that would be used, eg rester or demeurer. Maybe séjourner.


"I stayed here for three hours" is how I would say it and I am sticking to it no matter what Duolingo says!


In an earlier exercise Duo said you use là and not ici in the past tense. I am confused.


"ici" is "here" and "là" is "there, tense doesn't matter.

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