Verbs: passé composé (compound past) for "avoir"
The passé composé (compound past) is an action or event COMPLETED in the past. It is referred to as composé (compound) as it is made up of more than one element. It is made up of the helping verb, which expresses when the action took place, and the main verb, which expresses what action took place. Many english learning books refer to the first verb, the "when" verb, as the "helping" verb.
- Step 1:
Most french verbs use avoir (to have) as their "when/helping" verb. So it is necessary to revisit the well known verb avoir :
- Step 2:
Now you need to add the action verb, and the rules are nice and simple - as they are usually the same for every subject, regardless of gender or number. Only the helping verb changes.
2.1 Verbs whose base verbale ends in ~er, you drop the ~er and add
2.2 Verbs whose base verbale ends in ~ir, you drop the ~ir and add
2.3 Verbs whose base verbale ends in ~re, you drop the ~re and add
(NOTE: The base verbale is the basic, un-conjugated form of a verb, previously called the infinitive of the verb in French.)
Here are some examples:
er: to eat | belongs to the 1st group of french verbs.
é: I have eaten | tu as mang
é: you have eaten | il a mang
é: he has eaten | elle a mang
é: she has eaten
nous avons mang
é| vous avez mang
é| ils ont mang
é| elles ont mang
NOW PLEASE NOTE - there are lots of exceptions to this simplified overview. And I will be tracking down these exceptions and grouping them together. This above idea has been presented to me from "Countdown to French" by Gail Stein. This is a book I highly recommend.
In here she also notes the following exceptions:
- ending in
avoir . .. . . . eu . . . . .had
boire . . . . . .bu . . . . .drank
connaître . connu . known
croire . . . . . cru . . . . believed
devoir . . . . .dû . . .. . .had to, owed
lire . . . . . . . .lu . . . . . .read
pleuvoir . . .plu . . .. . rained
pouvoir . . . pu . . . . . .was able to
recevoir . . .reçu . . . .received
savoir . . . . .su . . . . . .known
voir . . . . . . .vu . . . . . .seen
voloir . . . . .voulu . . .wanted
- ending in
mettre . . . mis . . . . .put (on)
prendre . . pris . . . . .took
- ending in
conduire . conduit . driven, drove
dire . . . . . . dit . . . . . said, told
écrire . .. . . écrit . . . written, wrote
- just irregular
être . . . . . . été . . . . .been
faire . . . . . .fait . . . . .made, done
offrir . . . . . offert . . .offered
ouvrir . . . . overt . . . opened
Next go check out the post: `. Verbs: passé composé (compound past) for être
Thank you - yes I made a typo - that I have just corrected. (see above), being that I needed to include both "pleuvoir" to rain , and "pouvoir" was able to.
Thank you so much for picking that up :) And here is a lingot to help say thank you. I really appreciate it when people pick up things I get wrong !
This is an amazing help tool for me to learn the French Past, which has been very difficult to go through. :D Thank you very much - here i a lingot!