Questions tagged [passé-composé]

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35
votes
8answers
118k views

Différence entre le passé simple et le passé composé

Je sais que le passé simple ne s'emploie presque jamais à l'oral, où il a été remplacé par le passé composé. Cependant, j'ai déjà lu des textes dans lesquels les deux temps ont été employés côte à ...
13
votes
5answers
10k views

“C'est” in passé composé

I am learning passé composé, and I am not exactly sure what is the equivalent of “c'est” in this past tense? First, I though that I should do: “c'a été”, as for être the auxiliary is avoir and the ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Comment utiliser le passé composé et l'imparfait en présence d'une indication de temps supplémentaire ?

Pour préciser ma question, je voulais savoir l'emploi de ces deux temps dans les exemples suivants. 2008-maintenant à Paris. Que dit-on ? A. J'ai habité à Paris depuis 2008, et j'habite encore à ...
9
votes
3answers
6k views

Imparfait vs. passé composé for “devoir”?

I'm completely clear on the different uses of the two tenses, except for pretty much this one verb. Can I get some different examples, with translations, of when you would say Il devait as opposed to ...
8
votes
2answers
919 views

Utilisation du passé simple au quotidien

J'étudie la langue française par moi-même et j'utilise Internet pour mon apprentissage. Je crois que je suis de niveau A1. Depuis que j'ai commencé, j'ai appris le passé simple. J'ai lu qu'à l'oral, ...
8
votes
3answers
721 views

Why do some verbs take être as an auxiliary?

I have a good handle on which verbs take être as an auxiliary, but why does être exist as an auxiliary? Is there some linguistic or historical rationale for existence of two auxiliary verbs in French? ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Imparfait or Passé Composé: “j'étais absent” or “j'ai été absent”?

I am a beginner in French language and I still find it hard to wrap around my head between Imparfait and Passé Composé. I know that Imparfait is used to describe continuous actions in past as well as ...
7
votes
3answers
717 views

La sévérité de l'usage incorrect de l'imparfait vs le passé composé

Je dois avouer que de temps en temps j'ai toujours des difficultés en choisissant le temps correct entre l'imparfait et le passé composé. Je voudrais savoir quelle est la sévérité de l'emploi du ...
7
votes
1answer
133 views

Why is “être” used in “Son estomac s'est mis à gronder.”

If I understand correctly, the sentence means "His stomach started to rumble/growl". I just don't understand which tense is it? If "se mettre a faire + infinitive" means to "begin doing something" (...
7
votes
1answer
415 views

The perfect tense of reflexive verbs

Why do reflexive verbs form their perfect (passé composé) forms with "être". Does it have any historical reasons?
6
votes
3answers
10k views

Negative expressions in passé composé

How are negative expressions (ne pas, ne aucun(e), ne que, ne jamais, ne plus) formed in the passé composé and is there a way to predict whether it forms around or after the auxilary?
6
votes
2answers
15k views

“J'ai” or “j'ai eu”—is there a difference in meaning?

Which of these two sentences makes more sense? J'ai mon permis de conduire OR J'ai eu mon permis de conduire?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Pour décrire une journée : le passé composé ou l'imparfait ?

La page 33 dans Advanced French Grammar de V. Mazet prétend ceci : The passé composé is used for naming, as opposed to describing, actions that happened within a defined period of time. The key ...
4
votes
4answers
129 views

Should we say “l'indépendance a été officielle” or “est devenue officielle”?

I am writing a sentence about Vietnamese independence, and I want to express that Vietnam was officially independent in 1954. Here is my sentence: L’indépendance de Viêt Nam a été officielle dans ...
4
votes
2answers
553 views

Why is there an 'a' here?

I saw this on the web: Il m'a écrit une lettre. Why is there an 'a'? Shouldn't it be "me"?
4
votes
1answer
139 views

“Alors qu'il s'était allongé” or “alors qu'il s'était allongeait”?

I saw the following sentence in the tale "three little pigs" (you have to start somewhere, right :); Alors que le petit cochon venait juste de finir de construire sa maison et qu'il s'était allongé ...
4
votes
2answers
970 views

« Je n'avais pas le temps » ou « Je n'ai pas eu le temps » ?

Quelle est la différence entre : Je n'avais pas le temps. et Je n'ai pas eu le temps. Dans quelles occasions utilisez-vous chaque phrase ?
4
votes
1answer
97 views

“Passé composé” vs imparfait" [duplicate]

Is there any efficient way to differentiate between "passé composé" and "imparfait"? In the current state of my knowledge , I am able to differentiate only for certain cases , e.g I know descriptions ...
4
votes
2answers
56 views

Is the past participle in passé composé variable to number/gender if *en* is put before it?

I have found the following sentence: J’en ai reçus, des courriers de sa part ! I thought the conjugated past participle is reçu since the auxiliary is avoir, and also the content of en is put ...
4
votes
2answers
165 views

What is the difference between “le repas était délicieux” and “le repas a été délicieux”?

I studied at French class that "passé composé" is used as simple past in French language while it means present perfect. When I visited French sites, they mostly use "passé simple". So my question is ...
4
votes
1answer
185 views

Does the French passé composé have an “emphasis on the result of an action”?

For what I mean by "emphasis on the result of an action," please consider this pair of questions: Have you been to Paris? Were you in Paris? The first one may be said to have an "emphasis" on ...
4
votes
2answers
988 views

Translation of “I was there”

-- A: Were you at the party yesterday evening? -- B: Yes, I was there! What should be the translation of "I was there"? -- A: Est-ce que tu as été à la fête hier soir? -- B: Oui, j'y ai ...
4
votes
1answer
736 views

Passé composé vs imparfait: when to use which? [duplicate]

I am currently learning the imparfait tense, and I am confused about how it is different from the passé composé? In which cases would I use the imparfait instead of passé composé, and vice versa?
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Example of using “devoir” in passé composé? [closed]

Can any one offer a relatively simple example sentence that uses devoir in the passé composé? I'm having trouble figuring out when it would be used.
3
votes
3answers
103 views

Modification de « rien » au passé composé

Je sais quand on utilise « rien » au passé, il se place entre le verbe auxiliaire et le participe passé (e.g. je n'ai rien vu), mais comment ça s'écrit quand on ajoute une locution prépositive pour ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

Agreement with a plural noun in passé composé

Please help me understand how does the main verb in passé composé change (especially when the subject is not singular). It would be helpful if you could detect the mistakes in the following sentences (...
3
votes
3answers
633 views

L'accord du participe passé dans les temps composés

I have some difficulties grokking this subject, after reading a lot here and other sites, I've tried to create a flow chart that summarizes all the different cases, so it can be used by French ...
3
votes
2answers
142 views

Negation of a verb in the “passé Composé” and used with a “COI”

I have a sentence like this: Elle a écrit à ses parents? How can I answer this question? Is it: Non, elle n'a pas lui écrit. Non, elle n'a lui écrit pas. Non, elle ne lui a écrit pas. Non, ...
3
votes
2answers
186 views

« Il a été constaté » ou « Il était constaté »

Soit la phrase Il a été constaté que les élastomères chargés après relaxation convergent vers un état dit stationnaire ou encore d’équilibre. et sa variante Il était constaté que les ...
3
votes
3answers
623 views

Is using “I went” – “je suis allé” instead of “I left” – “je suis parti(e)” correct?

The French text book I have (Equipe Dynamique) uses "Je suis parti" in the Vocabulary section to say "I went with my parents/a friend" instead of "Je suis allé" and I am wondering why.
3
votes
1answer
199 views

Quel temps du verbe pour parler du passé?

Je lisais un passage qui parlait des événements et des gens du passé, mais en ce qui concerne les verbes, il y avait quelques-uns conjugués au passé composé, quelques-uns au présent, quelques-uns a l'...
3
votes
2answers
114 views

Tense in “I had a cold (for three days) last week.”

"I had a cold last week." Should this be translated using the imparfait "J'avais un rhume la semaine dernière" or the passé composé "J'ai eu un rhume la semaine dernière"? I think it should be the ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

Conjugaison de l'auxiliaire en passé composé

J'ai un doute: C'est Hier c'est moi qui a décidé ou Hier c'est moi qui ai décidé Pourriez vous me dire la bonne réponse et pourquoi?
2
votes
5answers
2k views

How to say “we didn't have fun there” in French ?

Nous sommes allés à la piscine. I then want to say that we didn't have fun there because the water was too cold. Can I say: Nous n'allons pas eu nous amuser parce que l'eau était trop froide. ...
2
votes
3answers
306 views

Il a été capturé / il est capturé

I was reading a French article and I came upon this structure a few times: Il a été capturé. But in school, for what I can remember we were only taught this: Il est capturé. So what is the ...
2
votes
3answers
463 views

Why is “Personne n'arrivait” using passé composé and not imparfait?

I would like to extend further this question No one has arrived in English would translate to Personne n'est arrivé in French. In English we would use present perfect tense because it signifies ...
2
votes
1answer
361 views

Auxiliary for the verb “passer”

We know some of the "movement verbs" need to change back to use avoir in compound tenses if there is a direct object after the verb. For this case, which one is correct? J'ai passé la rue. Je ...
2
votes
2answers
478 views

Why do the french use the imperfect tense when saying “I was” and “it was”?

Is "I was" in french "J'étais" or "Je fus" because I thought "J'étais" would be "I used to be" because it is in the imperfect tense but I have never seen "Je fus" before?? Basically what I am trying ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Full list of verbs conjugated with “être” and “avoir”

I've found a partial list of verbs that are conjugated with être and avoir: Monter, Passer, Retourner, Sortir, Apparaître. Can someone add others and explain their differences? Your help is ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

When to use imparfait or passé composé for simultaneous actions?

I would like to know whether the following sentences are correct: (in the spirit of “When X was happening, Y happened” or “when X happened, Y was happening”) Les enfants regardaient la télé quand ...
2
votes
2answers
191 views

Quel temps dois-je utiliser en traduisant : le passé composé ou l'imparfait ?

J'ai une phrase comme ci-dessous : When he was a child, they lived in a cottage in the jungle Quelle traduction est correcte ? Quand il était enfant, ils vivaient dans une petite maison dans la ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Rules of thumb for auxiliary verbs (avoir/être) in passé composé?

Can someone point to some strict rules or rules of thumb for using être/avoir for passé composé for irregular verbs? Does it follow from change of radical for different tense? In German, a change of ...
2
votes
2answers
67 views

L'imparfait, le plus-que-parfait ou le passé composé

I am having troubles to understand the choice of the verbal times in the examples below. I don't understand why we should use le passé composé in the first one and l'imparfait in the second one? I ...
2
votes
3answers
92 views

Passé Composé or Imparfait with souvent

Here we use the word "souvent in the sentence". Should I use: Il a souvent lu ce livre or Il lisait souvent ce livre Can anyone briefly let me know when to use passé composé and when to use l'...
2
votes
2answers
115 views

Why are all verbs in conditional+past tense sentence structure imparfait?

Example sentence En Anglais- "While I was studying, you were watching TV" Correct translation-"Pendant que j’étudiais, tu regardais la télé" Obviously the first part aka the conditional of ...
2
votes
2answers
323 views

Two meanings of the verb “apprendre”

In the past tense, "apprendre" goes like this : J'ai appris à lire for "I learned to read" But what if you want to use it in the other meaning? Want I mean is that, verbally, you can say J'ai ...
2
votes
1answer
109 views

Why the need to say “je l'ai été” instead of “je l'étais”?

Vous avez l'air d'être l'un d'eux, comme je l'ai été moi-même, autrefois. Vous avez l'air d'être l'un d'eux, comme je l'étais moi-même, autrefois. The phrase "I used to be one of them myself" ...
2
votes
2answers
243 views

How to decide if an action has been completed or not to use imparfait?

I get very confused between using passé composé and imparfait. I know that imperfect is used for repeated actions, descriptions, state of mind or habitude but when it comes to changing the tense I can'...
2
votes
2answers
140 views

Can the pronoun 'en' replace the verb 'voyager' to express quantity?

Here is the model answer style the textbook presents me with: Modèle: As-tu trop d'argent? (assez) Answer: Non, je n'en ai pas trop. J'en ai assez. How would one answer the following question ...
2
votes
2answers
42 views

How to conjugate “passé composé” with “vous” for movement verbs?

I have seen in some books that an "s" is used in their conjugation. For example "vous est partis". But isn't it the case that "vous" refers to a singular noun ? What should i write in the exam if the ...