Passe Compose: Formation and Usage:

I. An action completed in the past

As-tu étudié ce weekend ?
Did you study this weekend?

Ils ont déjà mangé.
They have already eaten.

II. An action repeated a number of times in the past

Oui, j’ai mangé cinq fois hier.
Yes, I did eat five times yesterday.

Nous avons visité Paris plusieurs fois.
We’ve visited Paris several times.

III. A series of actions completed in the past

Quand je suis arrivé, j’ai vu les fleurs.
When I arrived, I saw the flowers.

Samedi, il a vu sa mère, a parlé au médicin et a trouvé un chat.
Saturday he saw his mother, talked to the doctor, and found a cat.

Related lesson: Repeating auxiliary verbs

The passé composé has three possible English equivalents. For example, j’ai dansé can mean

  1. I danced   (simple past)
  2. I have danced   (present perfect)
  3. I did dance   (past emphatic)

The passé composé is a compound conjugation, which means it has two parts:

  1. present tense of the auxiliary verb (either avoir or être)
  2. past participle of the main verb

Note: Like all compound conjugations, the passé composé may be subject to grammaticalagreement:

  • When the auxiliary verb is être, the past participle must agree with the subject
  • When the auxiliary verb is avoir, the past participle may have to agree with its direct object

Source: Frenchabout.com

 

Table of a regular verb conjugated in p.c.

French passé composé conjugations
AIMER (auxiliary verb is avoir)
j’ ai aimé nous avons aimé
tu as aimé vous avez aimé
il,
elle
a aimé ils,
elles
ont aimé
IRREGULAR FORMS OF PAST PARTICIPLES:

TABLE 1 Past Participles Ending in – u:
Irregular Verb Past Participle English Translation
avoir eu had
boire bu drank
connaître connu known, knew
croire cru believed
devoir had to, owed
lire lu read
pleuvoir plu rained
pouvoir pu was able to
recevoir reçu received
savoir su knew
voir vu seen, saw
vouloir voulu wanted


TABLE 2 Past Participles Ending in – is:
Irregular Verb Past Participle English Translation
mettre mis put (on)
prendre pris took

TABLE 3 Past Participles Ending in – it:
Irregular Verb Past Participle English Translation
conduire conduit driven, drove
dire dit said, told
écrire écrit written, wrote

TABLE 4 Other Irregular Past Participles
Irregular Verb Past Participle English Translation
être été been, was
faire fait made, done, did
offrir offert offered
ouvrir ouvert opened