Help with French past tense?

I'm learning French and we're doing past tense right now. I'm doing a workbook section online with past tense with avoir. and this question popped up: "Où sont les cerises? Les enfants les ont toutes______".. since its avoir ( i assumed ) i entered 'mangé' but the answer is actually mangées. Could someone clarify why it changes? i know with etre they change in number and gender. But I thought manger was a verb that was conjugated in the past with avoir, and they dont seem to change.. ie. its mangé regardless of if its je, nous, vous, etc. could someone clarify?

5 Answers

  • Rodica
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    A. Passive voice (être):

    - Likewise, verbs conjugated in the passive voice must agree in gender and number with their subject - not their agent.

    - Les voitures sont lavées par mon fils. The cars are washed by my son.

    - Ma mère est aimée de tous mes amis. My mother is loved by all my friends.

    - Les livres sont lus par les étudiants. The books are read by the students.

    B. Agreement with direct object

    - Avoir verbs: The majority of French verbs are conjugated with avoir in the compound tenses and do not agree with their subjects. However, avoir verbs require agreement with their direct objects or direct object pronouns when these precede the verb. (There is no agreement when the direct object follows the verb or with an indirect object.)

    Il a vu Marie. / Il l'a vue. He saw Marie. / He saw her.

    Elle a acheté des livres. / Elle les a achetés. She bought some books. / She bought them.

    As-tu lu les livres que j'ai achetés? Have you read the books I bought.

    Tu avais perdu les clés. / Tu les avais perdues. You had lost the keys. / You had lost them.

    J'ai trouvé les clés que tu avais perdues. I found the keys that you had lost.

    Voici les livres qu'il m'a donnés. Here are the books he gave me.

    Exceptions: There is no direct object agreement with the causative or with verbs of perception.

    Il les a fait travailler. He made them work.

    L'histoire que j'ai entendu lire The story that I heard read.

    C. Agreement with direct object/subject

    - Pronominal verbs: Pronominal verbs are a combination of all of the above. All pronominal verbs take être in the compound tenses, but the past participles do not necessarily agree with their subjects. When the reflexive pronoun is the direct object of the sentence, the past participle must agree with it (the direct object and subject are one and the same).

    Elle s'est couchée à minuit. She went to bed at midnight.

    Ils se sont arrêtés à la banque. They stopped at the bank.

    Ana, tu t'es lavée ? Ana, did you wash (yourself)?

    However, when the reflexive pronoun is the indirect object, the past participle does not agree:

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  • 4 years ago

    Well, the question wasn't very specific... But there are three main forms of the past tense in French : passé composé, passé simple, and imparfait. Unless you are writing something of literary merit, I would avoid using the passé simple. By going to google and searching for Frech Conjugator you're sure to find something that can give you specific answers for verbs you need to conjugate.

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  • Frasp
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    Où sont les cerises? -> Les enfants les ont toutes MANGÉES

    You have to use the ''passé composé'' here. When you have to use this tense, you can either do it with ''être'' (to be) or ''avoir'' (to have). When you have to use ''être'' to conjugate this tense its verbs have to agree with their pronouns, meaning:

    Je suis allé(e)

    Tu es allé(e)

    Il est allé

    Elle est allée

    On est allé(e/s/es)

    Nous sommes allé(s/es)

    Vous êtes allé(e/es/s)

    Ils sont allés

    Elles sont allées

    (e) <-- when the person you're saying it to/talking about, is a woman.

    When you use the verb ''avoir'' to conjugate phrases into this tense, the verb changes whenever the DIRECT OBJECT is placed IN FRONT of the ''avoir''-verb, meaning:

    Le mec? Oui, je l'ai vu.

    La fille? Oui, je l'ai vue.

    Les mecs? Oui, je les ai vus.

    Les filles? Oui, je les ai vues.

    La pomme que j'ai mangée

    Le truc que j'ai mangé

    Les pommes que j'ai mangées

    Les trucs que j'ai mangés.

    This only works with direct objects... so :

    La fille dont je t'ai parlé (= indirect object)

    La fille auquelle j'ai dit que... (=indirect object)


    Hope it's clear now!

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    I agree with Frasp. This is tricky part of French grammar, even for native French speakers... ;)

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    when a words fem you have to add an e.if it's plural, you add an s. if it's fem & plural you add es

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