1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. French Past Tense?


French Past Tense?

Bonjour à tous,

I've been learning French on Duolingo while also utilizing other sources for a while now and have become quite good at speaking and comprehending the language, but still have yet to master le passé composé. I like to use Duolingo simply because it's repetitive and helps with my learning style. I was wondering in which checkpoint/lesson does the past tense get introduced?


May 1, 2020


[deactivated user]

    It is introduced in Housing and then spread over another five or six skills.


    Where is its other part? It's upto checkpoint 5.


    I believe that's because these 'Scope and Sequence' documents were created as part of the CEFR-aligning of the French, Spanish and English courses (which is why they don't exist for other courses), and only the content up to and including checkpoint 5 has been CEFR-aligned for now. What you see after checkpoint 5 is mostly old stuff and some B1-level content that's still in development.


    There is an excellent podcast called coffee break French. the whole of season 2 concentrates on the tenses and it is explained in an easy to understand way.


    Thanks for that!


    For past tense you use the translation for "had" which can be 'a' 'as' 'avons' or 'avez.' Then, make sure that the verb ends with an é.


    In passé composé the subject is followed by the conjugated form of avoir (or sometimes être) and then the past participle of the verb in question.

    For regular er verbs drop the er and add é. Jouer becomes joué. J'ai joué: I palyed.

    For regular re verbs drop the re and add u. Attendre becomes attendu. Tu as attendu: you waited.

    For regular ir verbs you just drop the r. Choisir becomes choisi. Il a choisi: he chose.

    Irregular verbs just have to be learned on a case by case basis.

    Ils ont été: They have been/they were.

    Nous avons eu: We have had/we had.

    Nous sommes allés: We have gone/we went (notice that it is sommes not avons.)

    Check out https://conjugator.reverso.net/conjugation-french.html for pretty much any verb in all it's forms.


    I've been doing the little past tense lessons on past tense that are on the phone app but not available here on the site...not sure why. Anyway, I'm having trouble with the concept of "verbs that show motion". Why is marcher NOT motion and takes avoir, but tomber IS and takes ETRE. There are several verbs liike this.

    Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.