Conjugate avoir in Le Passé Simple

Look at avoir in le Passé Simple:

Quand j'eus enfin l'opportunité de le rencontrer, je tombai malade.
When I finally had the chance to meet him, I fell ill.

Tu eus beaucoup de problèmes cette année-là.
You had a lot of problems that year.

Il eut vite froid sans son manteau.
He got cold quickly without his coat.

Nous eûmes juste le temps de prendre notre train.
We had just enough time to catch our train.

Vous eûtes une migraine tout le long du voyage.
You had a migraine the whole trip.

Soudain, ils eurent l'impression d'être suivis.
Suddenly, they felt like they were being followed.


To conjugate avoir in le Passé Simple, here is what to do:

'e-' + endings: -us, -us, -ut, -ûmes, -ûtes, -urent


ATTENTION: It's easy to confuse j'eus (Passé Simple) with j'ai eu (Passé Composé)!

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources



Kwiziq community member

27 April 2017

2 replies

Accents on u in "eûmes" and "eûtes"

According to the spelling reform accents on u and i should be dropped unless needed to distinguish words. You do not seem to apply the reform.


Kwiziq language super star

1 May 2017


Bonjour Johannes, Thanks for writing. The reform does not say that the accents *should* be dropped, but rather than they *can* be dropped unless required to distinguish words. We have chosen to continue using the traditional spelling but we of course allow the new spelling as well.


Kwiziq community member

1 May 2017


Dear Laura Your pupils will write French. Readers will expect consistency. Microsoft Word allows to set the spellchecker to Traditional, New or both. We look up to you for guidance. What do you recommend? Thank you very much! Johannes