Past Participle Agreement in French

Past Participle in English:

Only one auxiliary verb to build the present tense: to have, for example: I have danced
the video:

French Past Participle:

2 auxiliary verbs to have: j’ai dansé and also to be: je suis allé (only if “je” is a boy), but if we say “elle est allée” (she went), you can see there is an agreement between the past participle and the subject of the sentence. ans this is the rule:

1. With the verb to be as an auxiliary verb, there is an agreement between the subject and the past participle:

– Elle est allée
– Elles sont allées
– Nous sommes allés

2. With the verb to have, there is no agreement between the subject and the past participle

so we will write “elle a dancé”, however:
Elle a mangé la tarte (she ate the pie) with a pronoun becomes:
Elle l’a mangée

Rule: when the object (here the pronoun) is before the verb to have, you must agree it with the past participle. (the agreement is not with the subject, but with the direct object)

In our example, the word pie is feminine in French, so when it becomes the pronoun “la” or l’ before the verb to have, you must add an final “e” to the past participle.

Another example:

J’ai mangé le gâteau = je l’ai mangé (gâteau or l’ are masculine)

J’ai révisé mes lessons = je les ai révisées (lesson or les are feminine)

J’ai pris la voiture (I have taken the car) = je l’ai prise (voiture or l’ are feminine)

French Past Participle: French prepositional verbs have no direct object but indirect ones, so no agreement: je lui ai écrit (even of lui is a girl because the verb is écrire à)

Pascal Dherve

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Pascal Dherve

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