Conjugate mourir, naître, décéder, devenir, rester (+ être) in Le Passé Composé (conversational past)

In Le Passé Composé, most verbs use avoir as the auxiliary verb but a fixed number of verbs use être instead.  

They are almost all verbs to do with movement (See Conjugate coming and going verbs (+ être) in Le Passé Composé (conversational past)), but also those to do with states of being (birth, death, becoming, staying).

Have a look at the following examples:

Je suis né en avril.
I was born in April.

Marie, tu es restée avec Lucas hier.
Marie, you stayed with Lucas yesterday.

Il est mort l'année dernière.
He died last year.

Nous sommes devenus bons amis.
We became good friends.

Vous êtes restées dans le train.
You stayed on the train.

Elles sont devenues danseuses.
They became dancers.

 

The pattern for these verbs in Le Passé Composé:

être (le Présent)  +   past participle of the verb

 
ATTENTION:
Because they're using être as auxiliary verb, their past participles have to agree with the subject of the verb.

 
 

List of the "being and state" verbs and their past participles

Mourir (to die) –> mort
Naître (to be born) –> 
Décéder (to decease) –> décédé
Devenir (to become) –> devenu
Rester (to stay / remain) –> resté

 

There is also a "house diagram" known as the maison d'être showing these verbs in one easy-to-remember picture on wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:La_maison_etre.jpg   
 
 
 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Marie, tu es restée avec Lucas hier.
Marie, you stayed with Lucas yesterday.


Je suis resté à la maison.
I stayed at home.


Vous êtes restés mes petits garçons.
You remained my little boys. 


Nous sommes devenus bons amis.
We became good friends.


Elles sont devenues danseuses.
They became dancers.


Je suis né en avril.
I was born in April.


Vous êtes restées dans le train.
You stayed on the train.


Il est mort l'année dernière.
He died last year.


Ils sont décédés le mois dernier.
They died last month.



Q&A Forum 5 questions, 13 answers

KrissaC1Kwiziq community member

In the quiz Je suis devenu une pianiste why isn’t an “e” added to devenu because the person is feminine?

Asked 5 months ago
AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Are you sure it didn't say: "Je suis devenu pianiste"? The word pianiste can be m/f. Of course "une pianiste" must be feminine, but un/une is not required in that sentence.

KrissaC1Kwiziq community member

Yes you are correct it did say je suis devenu pianiste. I had thought that meant feminine. Thanks for the clarification Krissa 

In the quiz Je suis devenu une pianiste why isn’t an “e” added to devenu because the person is feminine?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

MelodyB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Participle form for "vous", and for "elles"

Vous can mean one person (polite ? ) form, or more than one person. So "vous (Gareth) êtes resté à la maison"; vous (Laura) êtes restée à la maison" and "vous (Laura and Aurélie) êtes restées à la maison" ? I'm making my best guesses here. Vous is not included in the lesson. And elles is not included in the lesson either. "Elles êtes restées à la maison"? Whether my versions are correct or not, lesson might be improved by adding examples with vous and elles. Thanks as ever.
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Melody ! First of all, Bravo ! All your guesses for "vous" are perfectly correct :) As for "elles", almost -> "Elles SONT restées à la maison." And I agree with you that these cases need to be added to the lesson, which will all be done shortly. Merci beaucoup et à bientôt !
MelodyB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Aurélie Thanks for the speedy response. Sorry about the "brain glitch" on "Elles sont"! One last question- for "vous (Laura and Aurélie) êtes restées à la maison", is there a liason between the "s" at the end of "restées" and "à" ? (and other similar cases)? Thanks again. I find Q&A section SO helpful!
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Melody ! In this case, most people wouldn't do the liaison between "restées" and "à", it sounds weird to me personally :) I would say that usually before "à la maison" I wouldn't do the liaison. Following this question, I also decided to rework the lesson on agreement, and add a section about the "vous" agreement there ;) -> Agreeing past participle with subject's gender and number with (+ être) verbs in Le Passé Composé Merci et à bientôt !
MelodyB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Thanks so much for taking the time to rework the lesson. I read it via the link you gave and it's very helpful. Melody

Participle form for "vous", and for "elles"

Vous can mean one person (polite ? ) form, or more than one person. So "vous (Gareth) êtes resté à la maison"; vous (Laura) êtes restée à la maison" and "vous (Laura and Aurélie) êtes restées à la maison" ? I'm making my best guesses here. Vous is not included in the lesson. And elles is not included in the lesson either. "Elles êtes restées à la maison"? Whether my versions are correct or not, lesson might be improved by adding examples with vous and elles. Thanks as ever.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

JenniferC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

what about using mort or né as an adjective?

If you are saying the king is dead or the baby is born, can you use mort or né as an adjective, viz le roi est mort, Le bébé est né?
Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour Jennifer, Yes, past participles of all verbs can be used as adjectives.
JenniferC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Bonjour Laura, Thank you

what about using mort or né as an adjective?

If you are saying the king is dead or the baby is born, can you use mort or né as an adjective, viz le roi est mort, Le bébé est né?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

ChrisB2Kwiziq community member

Décéder & Devenir

I was caught out as I hadn't learnt that Décéder & Devenir are etre verbs in passe compose: they are not in the "traditional" group (and not in the house photo on Wikipedia). Are there any other rogue verbs that use etre?
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour Chris !

All the (+être) verbs are covered in our system in two lessons: this one (for 'rogue' verbs) and the "coming and going verbs" lesson (see https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/grammar/conjugate-coming-and-going-verbs-etre-in-le-passe-compose-conversational-past).

Also remember that all reflexive verbs also take être in Le Passé Composéhttps://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/grammar/conjugate-reflexive-verbs-in-the-passe-compose-conversational-past

À bientôt !

JenniC1Kwiziq community member
Yes, I noticed that too. In other French courses (& those 'mountain verb' diagrams) nobody tells you about décéder & devenir! What else might the cunning French be keeping from us?

Décéder & Devenir

I was caught out as I hadn't learnt that Décéder & Devenir are etre verbs in passe compose: they are not in the "traditional" group (and not in the house photo on Wikipedia). Are there any other rogue verbs that use etre?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

JohnC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Naître in the present and past tenses

One of the test questions for this lesson is: Zoë est née avant Lèo. Zoë is born before Léo. Is this past tense translation correct because the speaker is necessarily speaking about a past event? Could we use the present tense here?
Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour, It's a mistake, it should say "was born," or else, as you suggest, naître should be in the present tense.
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour John, Yes, it's definitely a translation error. If you used the present of "naître" in French, it would mean they're being born right now, or weirder, that they're born regularly ! You can use the present form in a general context, for example: "Tous les ans, des quintuplés naissent dans le monde." (Every year, quintuplets are born in the world.) The error has been fixed! Merci et à bientôt !
JenniferC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
What about in a dramatic real time senario, eg the baby is born as the clock strikes midnight. Would the french be nait or est né?

Naître in the present and past tenses

One of the test questions for this lesson is: Zoë est née avant Lèo. Zoë is born before Léo. Is this past tense translation correct because the speaker is necessarily speaking about a past event? Could we use the present tense here?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Thinking...