It says in a textbook on this website (personactivelearn) that when you are using the auxiliary of 'avoir' in a past tense sentence that the past participle doesn't change to agree with the subject.... par exemple:

J'ai fait Tu as fait Il/Elle/On a fait

Is this just the rule for the verb 'faire' or is it true that the past participle doesn't change when the auxiliary verb is avoir??

Because i seem to think that 'manger' would be:

Elle a mangée or Ils ont mangés

Let me know if im wrong. Sorry about massive text^^

  • Several questions already asked about this. Agreement with a plural noun in passé composé, Agreement of the COD with “avoir” duplicate
    – None
    Jul 31, 2017 at 15:58
  • In conjugations, it does not change. Elle a mangé. Except with a direct object in the feminine, feminine plural or masculine plural: les, la, Elles les a mangées [les pommes]; elle les a mangés [le poisson]. Il a fait les travaux. Il les a faits [silent s] la semaine dernière. But the tricky bit is not even that. The tricky bit is getting the pronunciation right when there is an e or es added as in: Elle a fait des glaces maisons. Et elle les a faites l'année dernière, Pronounced: faite, the s is silent, of course.
    – Lambie
    Jul 31, 2017 at 17:28

1 Answer 1


Generally the past participle does not change with the auxiliary avoir, except for the case it is placed before the verb and there is a Complement d'objet direct-COD in the sentence. In this case the participle will inherit from the COD.

For example:

Le singe a volé une pomme. The participle does not change. Pomme is the COD.

La pomme que le singe a volée est rouge. The participle changes.

Les pommes que le singe a volées sont rouges. Changes too.

  • Would the verb 'manger' not change then? Would it stay as: Jul 31, 2017 at 15:54
  • J'ai mangé, Tu as mangé, il a mangé etc or would it be elle a mangée? Jul 31, 2017 at 15:54
  • 1
    Elle a mangé, j'ai mangé and so on but: les frites qu'elle a mangées
    – dannemp
    Jul 31, 2017 at 16:14
  • Can't you just say direct object pronoun in English?
    – Lambie
    Jul 31, 2017 at 17:24
  • @BenjaminCutting But les frites sont mangées. Detailed in this very clear answer.
    – None
    Jul 31, 2017 at 17:37

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