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Verbs conjugated with both “être” and “avoir” in the “passé composé”

March 14, 2013

As we have seen in the post on the “passé composé“, most of the verbs are conjugated with the auxiliary “avoir“. Pronominal verbs and a few other verbs (aller, venir, entrer, retourner, partir etc.) are conjugated with the auxiliary “être“.

Some verbs are conjugated in the passé composé with both “être” and “avoir”. When they are intransitives (= they are not followed by an object), they are conjugated with the auxiliary “être“. When they are transitives (= they are followed by an object), they are conjugated with the auxiliary “avoir“. 

Here are the most common verbs which can be both transitives and intransitives : 

DESCENDRE

  • Il est descendu de l’arbre.
  • He came down from the tree.
  • वह पेड़ से उतर गया / नीचे आया।
  • Il a descendu la bouteille.
  • He took the bottle down / downstairs. 
  • उसने बोटल उतारा / नीचे किया।

MONTER

  • Il est monté dans l’abre.
  • He climbed up in the tree.
  • वह पेड़ में चढ़ा।
  • Il a monté l’enfant dans l’arbre.
  • He put the child up in tree. 
  • उसने बच्चे को पेड़ में चढ़ाया।
  • Il est monté dans sa chambre.
  • He went upstairs in his room.
  • वह ऊपर अपने कमरे में गया।
  • Il a monté son livre.
  • He put his book upstairs.
  • उसने अपनी किताब उपर रखी।

SORTIR

  • Il est sorti.
  • He went out.
  • वह निकला।
  • Il a sorti ses vêtements de l’armoire.
  • He took his clothes out from the cupboard.
  • उसने अपने कपड़े अलमारी से निकाले।

PASSER

  • Il est passé par ici.
  • He went by this place.
  • वह यहाँ से गुज़र गया।
  • Il a passé ses vacances ici.
  • He spent his holidays here.
  • उसने अपनी छुट्टियाँ यहाँ गुज़ारी।

If you face difficulties in identifying if the verb is transitive or intransitive, it may help to translate the sentence in Hindi. For example, when “sortir” means “निकलना” (“nikalna”), then, “sortir” is intransitive and you have to use the auxiliary “être“, and when “sortir” means “निकालना” (“nikaalna”), then, “sortir” is transitive and you have to use the auxiliary “avoir“.

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