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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/0000602

How to know when to use "avoir" or "etre" in past tense?

Hi everyone. I'm really confused on when to know if I should use "avoir" or "etre" in past tense. I know that "etre" is used for motion verbs, but it's still super confusing. Do you have any tips?

April 26, 2020

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jojo553168

There is a rather short list of verbs using être, but these are very common verbs. Some verbs can also take both avoir and être, with a different meaning.
https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/auxiliary-verbs/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GScottOliver

A general rule is that être is used with intransitive and reflexive verbs, and avoir is used with others. It may not be complete, but it’s a start.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/0000602

can you give an example of an intransitive verb and a reflexive verb?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElbaMota2

Reflexive verb, for example, se laver. Je me suis lavé for first person. Although laver would not be conjugated with etre as it is not a verb of movement, since it is reflexive, it uses etre.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/0000602

Thank you so much. That makes sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Summerstor5

I wash myself. Je me lave.

We will meet again tomorrow. Nous nous rencontrons déjà demain.

I remember that. Je me souviens de ça.

The pronoun refers back to the subject.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Manuel599019

An intransitive verb does not have a direct object for example the verb "sortir" can be transitive or intransitive; when it is used as a transitive verb it is conjugated with the auxiliary "avoir".

J'ai sorti ma voiture du garage. I took my car out of the garage

When it is used intransitively it is conjugated with the verb être.

Je suis sorti de la maison. I got out of the house

https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/grammar/sortir-can-be-used-with-avoir-or-etre-in-le-passe-compose-and-changes-meaning


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElbaMota2

Etre is mostly used with verbs that require movement (e.g. descendre, ascendre, venir, aller, although there are exceptions like naitre, mourir, devenir). You use avoir with the other verbs :) (e.g. manger, etre, chanter). I hope that helps!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/0000602

It does help. Thank you! And yes, I get confused with the exceptions like naitre and mourir. I was like: but that's not movement, why is it "etre" T.T!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OCaollaidhe

In a philosophical way, naître, mourir et devenir can be viewed as verbs of movement from one state of being to another...

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