"It is her suitcase that she has lost."

Translation:C'est sa valise qu'elle a perdue.

September 12, 2017



Umm, wait a moment, don't past participles only decline if the auxiliary is être?

September 12, 2017


When the direct object comes before the auxiliary verb, the past participle agrees with the direct object. Since « valise » is feminine, you add an e to the past participle « perdu ». Do you understand?

September 12, 2017


In this example, we have the relative pronoun que representing the direct object, not the direct object itself. Therefore, the rule is:

When a verb in a compound tense (a tense where an auxiliary verb is required, such as the passé composé) is conjugated with avoir and either the direct object or a pronoun representing the direct object is placed before the verb, the past participle must agree with the direct object.

September 13, 2017


I will just add that relative pronouns have the same "nature" as their antecedents, which means that the direct object "que" is feminine and singular, since "valise" is the feminine singular antecedent of "que".

September 15, 2017



se departir means lost something according to word reference at http://www.wordreference.com/fren/departir

so would "c'est sa valise que elle s'est departie" make sense? If not then how can you use "se departir" here.

September 21, 2017


You have to be aware that "se départir de" is literary and not used in everyday conversations.

Grammatically speaking, this verb has an indirect object, and this must be reflected in the relative pronoun as well:

  • C'est la valise dont elle s'est départie (= of which)
September 21, 2017


@sitesurf, You said,"Grammatically speaking, this verb has an indirect object, and this must be reflected in the relative pronoun as well:

<pre>C'est la valise dont elle s'est départie (= of which) </pre>

" Doesn't "que" accomplish that?

Also, even though literary, does "se departir" always have to be followed by "de"? In the word reference example, it's difficult to see that. @ http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/d%C3%A9partir/23592?q=departir, it does say,"se departir de".

September 21, 2017


"que" is the direct object relative pronoun and "de que" is incorrect. When "de+que" is needed, please use "dont".

"départir qqch à qqun" with the meaning of "to assign stg to sb" is never used.

"se départir de qqch" with the meaning of "to lose stg" is literary and rarely used, except in set phrases like "se départir de sa bonne humeur" (to lose one's good mood).

September 21, 2017


Good question. First see fartspeed's response, which is absolutely correct.

Then, just for the record, I'd like to add that past participles also decline when they're being used as adjectives (just like any adjective would), e.g. la porte ouvert*e "the open door" which declines for gender, or les carreaux poli*s "the polished tiles" which declines for number.

So to be clear, past participles decline in three situations:

  • When they're part of the passé composé and the auxiliary verb is être (including reflexive/reciprocal verbs)

  • When they come after the direct object, regardless of whether or not the auxiliary verb is être

  • When they're being used as adjectives

EDIT: I really dislike this asterisk-based markup; I wish Duolingo used tag-based like [B][/B] because my asterisks never parse correctly and my greater-than/less-than symbols continually mysteriously disappear.

September 13, 2017

  • Upvoted just for the edit.
September 13, 2017


I used "portmanteau" rather than valise and it was marked wrong. Does anyone know why?

July 21, 2018


Spelling: un porte-manteau (coat hanger)

July 21, 2018


c'est LA valise qu'elle a perdue de même que pour elle a perdu LA vue par contre on dirait elle a perdu SA valise Le français peut aussi être compliqué!!

May 5, 2019


"C'est LA valise qu'elle a perdue" n'a pas le même sens que "c'est SA valise qu'elle a perdue".

Dans le 1er cas, on montre la valise qu'elle a perdue et qui, manifestement, a été retrouvée.
Dans le 2e cas, on explique que ce qu'elle a perdu, c'est sa valise et pas son parapluie ou la valise de quelqu'un d'autre.

May 6, 2019
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