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In the phrase

Les garçons ont passé leur examen et tous l'ont eu.

I understand that it means

The boys took their tests and all of them passed.

But what I can't figure out is what is the expression used on the phrase. “Avoir avoir”?

Or avoir can just mean “passed” and there is no expression at all?

  • Maybe the confusion comes from « ont eu » which is just the passé composé of avoir for ils/elles? – Derek Allums Apr 21 at 12:02
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    avoir is used as the equivalent of the English passed: J'ai eu mes examens = I passed my tests – Still_learning Apr 21 at 13:15
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    I think the sentence is poor French (so if it comes from your French teacher... well...). Avoir un examen means "to take an exam" and not "to pass an exam" ("passer" is a false friend in this case: "passer un examen" would be "to take an exam"). It makes no sense in your sentence, which is then redundant and means literaly "the boys took their tests and all of them took it". If you pass an exam, you can then have a degree, etc. Then it would be more correct to say "les garçons ont passé leur examen et tous l'ont réussi" or "les garçons ont passé leur examen et tous ont eu leur diplôme". – Greg Apr 21 at 13:51
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C'est la conjugaison du verbe avoir au passé composé, à la 3ème personne du pluriel.

Passé composé

j'ai eu
tu as eu
il/elle/on a eu
nous avons eu
vous avez eu
ils/elles ont eu
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