How Do I Conjugate Regular Verbs in Passé Composé?

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What have I done to deserve a French class like this? – Some student in grade 7, somewhere

So many verb tenses and so little time…

Today we’re going to talk about how to conjugate regular verbs in passé composé in French. If you’re looking for the present tense, or the future tense, follow the links provided.

The past tense refers to what happened in the past. Especially when the time is very specific in the past. It is an absolute necessity to understand how to conjugate this tense, as we use it all the time.

But what is a regular verb?

Regular verbs are verbs that have been put into categories since they all follow the same pattern.

There are three categories of regular verbs: ER/IR/RE

Each of these categories refers to the endings of the verbs.

Examples:

Marcher is a regular ER verb in present tense

Choisir is a regular IR verb in present tense

Rendre is a regular RE verb in present tense

In order to learn how to conjugate these verbs, we have to learn a little about subjects:

Here are the common subjects in French (for more information, click here):

Je (I)

Tu (You)

Il (He)

Elle (She)

On (We)

Nous (We)

Vous (You/You all)

Ils (They)

Elles (They)

Note: The subject is the thing that does the action in the sentence.

In order to conjugate regular verbs in passé composé, we must first conjugate avoir, in present tense, one of the 8 most common verbs in French. (For a lesson on that, click here).

Finally, here are the steps to conjugating a regular verb in passé composé:

  1. Conjugate avoir in present tense
  2. Remove the ending (ER/IR/RE)
  3. Replace the ending with the correct ending, depending on whether the verb is ER/IR or RE

Simple as that.

For ER Verbs, the pattern is as follows:

SubjectAvoir in Present TenseEnding change
J’aié
Tuasé
Ilaé
Elleaé
Onaé
Nousavonsé
Vousavezé
Ilsonté
Ellesonté

Example: 

Conjugate “marcher” in passé composé for the subject “il”

Il a marché

For IR Verbs, the endings are as follows:

SubjectAvoir in Present TenseEnding change
J’aii
Tuasi
Ilai
Elleai
Onai
Nousavonsi
Vousavezi
Ilsonti
Ellesonti

Example:

Conjugate “choisir” in passé composé for the subject “elles”

Elles ont choisi

For RE Verbs, the endings are as follows:

SubjectAvoir in Present TenseEnding change
J’aiu
Tuasu
Ilau
Elleau
Onau
Nousavonsu
Vousavezu
Ilsontu
Ellesontu

Example:

Conjugate “rendre” in present tense for the subject “vous”

Vous avez rendu

There you have it, how passé composé works for regular verbs in French!

Extra help!

Need more practice? Here are some worksheets you can try out as extra practice.

Interested in getting all the French grammar modules? Look here.

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