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March 29, 2017

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About the Passe Compose, could I get a few notes on that please. I would also like notes on the Terminology.

  • FRENCH - ,

    I'm not too sure what you mean about "notes on the Terminology." IF the question is about the name "passé composé" it is one of two past tenses in telling a story. The other tense is "l'imparfait."

    The passé composé is composed of either the auxiliary/helping verb avoir or être in the Present Tense plus the past participle. The endings of the past participle of regular verbs are "é" for -er verbs, "i" for -ir verbs and "u" for -re verbs. There are, however, irregular verbs and I'll be happy to give you a list when you are ready for that. (parler = parlé / finir = fini / répondre = répondu)

    Sixteen verbs are conjugated with être and when you are ready, I'll give you a list. Essentially they are verbs of "coming and going" and when you study l'imparfait, no doubt you will meet "Dr & Mrs Vandertramp" plus "The House of être."

    The purpose of the passé composé is for an ACTION that has both a beginning and an end. Picture a series of snapshots = / / / / / He woke up, he got up, he got washed, etc. The usual English translation could be 2 things: a) he DID get up, b) he GOT up.

    L'imparfait is the easiest tense because to form both regular and many irregular verbs, it is the "nous" stem plus the endings: -ais, -ais, -ait, -ions, -iez, -aient. (boire = buvons = je buvais) What surprises many students is that the verbs that end in -ions in the Present Indicative (étudions) have forms ending in -iions and -iiez in the Imperfect for nous and vous.

    Now I want you to picture a movie camera grinding away: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ because the purpose of the l'imparfait is for ONGOING action. Obviously it had a beginning, but as far as you know, it may never have an ending, because we are focusing on the MIDDLE of the event. The usual translation is one of 3 things in English: a) he WAS gettING up, b) he USED TO get up (repeated action over and over) and c) he GOT up. Note that the 3rd meaning is just like the 2nd in the passé composé. That means that you have to set the scene, or paint the backdrop with l'imparfait and then shake it up with the action and the passé composé.

    I'll stop here because it may be more information than you need or want just now.

    If this did not cover what you wanted, please repost.

    Sra (aka Mme)

  • FRENCH - ,

    Thanks very much for the notes=)

    By Terminology I meant, whats an infinitive, an auxiliary, and past participle.

  • FRENCH - ,

    Infinitive = The simple or basic form of the verb.
    Ex travailler (to work) , partir (to go)

    There are two auxiliary verbs in French: avoir (to have) and être (to be), used to conjugate compound tenses.
    Ex = J’ai travaillé, je suis parti



    The past participle, called le participe passé in French, is very similar in French and English. The French past participle usually ends in -é, -i, or -u, while its English equivalent usually ends in -ed or -en. The past participle has three main uses in French:

    1. With an auxiliary verb, the past participle forms compound tenses such as the passé composé:

    J'ai travaillé hier.
    I worked yesterday.

    Il est arrivé à midi.
    He arrived at noon.


    2. With être, the past participle is used to conjugate the French passive voice.

    Le ménage est fait tous les jours.
    The housework is done every day.

    Ce film sera suivi d'une discussion.
    This movie will be followed by a discussion.


    3. Standing alone or with être, the French past participle may be an adjective. Note that in some instances, the participe passé must be translated by the English present participle.

    Fatigué, je suis rentré à minuit.
    Tired, I went home at midnight

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