How to Use Irregular Verbs in Passé Composé

You’ve learned your tenses. You’ve got your irregular verbs down pat. And then you realize…

You might have to conjugate them into passe compose. Luckily, Alexa Polidoro is here to help.

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This video explains how to use irregular French verbs in the passe compose, the tense used to denote events that happened at a fixed point in the past. The formula is simple: subject + auxiliary + past participle. 90% of the time, the auxiliary is the verb avoir. But when reflexive verbs and movement verbs are conjugated in this form, they use the verb être.

It’s important to know by heart some of the basic past participles, like eu (had), fait (done/made), vu (seen), and allé (gone). Though some resemble their root verbs, many of these irregulars come with an irregular spelling as well.

You’ve got your formula, and you know the rules. All that’s left to do is memorize the past participles, and you’ll be saying, “J’ai répondu à chaque question correctement,” in no time.