Friday, 27 March 2009

The irregular passé composé

Just when you thought you had the hang of the perfect tense along come quite a few exceptions. If you want to say that you drunk something you would have to say j’ai bu quelque chose, even though the verb is boire and ends with –re. If it were regular it would be j’ai boiru but once you have heard j’ai bu or nous avons bu or ils ont bu a few times then you wouldn’t think about boiru. It would sound really strange to hear boiru but I suppose it is the sort of mistake that could be made by a ‘novice’. You soon get used to bu.

Two irregular verbs that you have to know are the very common verbs être et avoir. Ja’ai été means that I have been... J’ai eu means I had... Learn these participles because they open other French language doors.

I’ll mention two other irregular participles because they are useful and easily confused. Plaire means to please, and pleuvoir means to rain, so ça m’a plu means it pleased me (or more usually I enjoyed it) and il a plu means it rained.

A bientôt

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