Demeurer can be used with avoir or être in Le Passé Composé... and changes meaning

Most verbs use either avoir or être as the auxiliary verb in Passé composé (or other compound tense)but demeurer uses both, depending on its grammatical usage* and what it means in the sentence.
 
*Grammaphile's Corner : the technical grammatical distinction between these cases is actually whether the verb is used in a transitive or intransitive manner. 
- The transitive version (the version with a direct object) uses avoir.
- The intransitive version (lacking a direct object), uses être.
Demeurer is a peculiar verb, a bit like an old-fashioned version of rester (to stay/ to remain), and is much less used nowadays.
 

être + demeuré + [adjectif]
= to remain + [adjective]

Je suis demeuré impassible pendant toute cette conversation.
I remained expressionless during all this conversation.

Elle est demeurée silencieuse pendant tout le trajet.
She remained silent the whole trip.

When demeurer is used in this sense (to remain) then it is part of the set that use être as the auxiliary verb (A.K.A. the DR & MRS P VANDERTRAMP verbs or the maison d'être verbs). 

See also Agreeing past participle with subject's gender and number with (+ être) verbs in Le Passé Composé
 

avoir + demeuré [quelque part]
= to live [somewhere]
= to stay [somewhere]

J'ai demeuré chez lui pendant une semaine.
I stayed at his house for a week.

Il a demeuré à Paris pendant quelques mois.
He lived in Paris for a few months.

When demeurer is used in any other sense (to live or to stay [somewhere]) then it uses avoir as the auxiliary, like most verbs.
 

Examples and resources

Il a demeuré à Paris pendant quelques mois.
He lived in Paris for a few months.


Je suis demeuré impassible pendant toute cette conversation.
I remained expressionless during all this conversation.


J'ai demeuré chez lui pendant une semaine.
I stayed at his house for a week.


Elle est demeurée silencieuse pendant tout le trajet.
She remained silent the whole trip.


Q&A

Michael

Kwiziq community member

10 November 2018

0 replies

Grammahiles Corner Problem

Je suis aussi tombé sur cette pierre d'achoppement. 

Je me trouve, depuis que demeurer ne corresponde pas au modèle des verbes transitif ou intransitif, vous devez remuer cet avis. N'est pas?

Tim

Kwiziq community member

29 October 2018

5 replies

In the examples, demeurer seems to reverse the être-avoir rule as to which it takes with direct and indirect objects. How come?

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

30 October 2018

30/10/18

Hi Tim,

Not quite sure if I have understood your question but in the 'Grammaphile's Corner' section of the lesson, it is explained that when the verb demeurer is transitive ( meaning it has an object) it uses 'avoir'  and intransitive ( without object) it uses 'être' which seems consistent to me.

Hope this helps!

Tim

Kwiziq community member

30 October 2018

30/10/18

Thank you, I think I am not seeing the obvious, but "j'ai demeure chez lui" and and " je suis resté chez lui" seem to mean the same thing.

Tim

Kwiziq community member

8 November 2018

8/11/18

I don't want to fill up the question section with a daft question, but the more I think about this it seems to me that neither version of demeurer takes a direct object ie they are both intransitive. If I'm right the grammaphile advice which is great for everything else does not work for demeurer. If you can explain why I am wrong I would be very grateful. Thank you for your patience with a struggling student."

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

8 November 2018

8/11/18

Hi Tim,

Sorry about the delay in getting back to you...

Demeurer as your rightly point out is an odd one as it doesn't really fit into the usual transitive and intransitive category of verbs which take avoir or être.

However, it does mean two different things and use both auxiliaries depending on its meaning.

Maybe a better way of thinking about it is :

When the verb demeurer describes a state it will take 'être' and when it describes an action, it will take 'avoir'.

However, this is just a particularity of that verb and there is no need to sweat over as you will often use other verbs to describe the same meaning, rester in the case of the state of being ,

Je suis demeuré/resté bouche bée = I stayed open mouthed

and vivre/habiter for the action,

Nous avons demeuré/vécu/habité rue St Martin pendant dix ans We lived in Rue St Martin for ten years 

You will find exceptions to all rules so this is very perceptive of you...'Vivre' is the same , intransitive but takes 'avoir' 

J'ai vécu I have lived

Hope this helps!

 

 

Tim

Kwiziq community member

8 November 2018

8/11/18

That's very helpful, thank you.

Sam

Kwiziq community member

3 December 2017

2 replies

Je n'aurais pas imaginé que ce verbe pourrait être utilisé comme ça! Merci pour partager!

Ron

Kwiziq community member

4 December 2017

4/12/17

Bonsoir Sam, Il y a aussi plus de verbes ce qui utilisent «être» ou «avoir» et ils sont détaillés dans la leçon. J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderait. Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière et qui a été utilisée par le monde français depuis l’époque d’Hugues Capet Ron (un locuteur non natif )

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

5 March 2018

5/03/18

Hi Sam,

In French you will often find verbs which have different meanings. Grammatically they use different auxilliary verbs to conjugate in the past enabling us to tell their meaning apart. As Ron says French is a rich, verbose language which has many layers.

Demeurer ( with Avoir) is this case will be used to mean, to reside somewhere, but you will mostly hear the simpler habiter or vivre in spoken language .

In the other sense of staying (with Etre) you will probably mostly use "rester" in spoken language, 

e.g. Elle est restée muette devant sa réaction  rather than,  elle est demeurée muette devant sa réaction.

Hope this helps!

sue

Kwiziq community member

6 September 2016

5 replies

Demeurer in the present

could you use demeurerin sentences with the meaning " I remain silent", or "I am staying at his house/in Paris" .

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

6 September 2016

6/09/16

Bonjour Sue ! Yes, you can, although be aware that it sounds very "posh" and old-fashioned ;) Je demeure silencieux pendant qu'elle parle. En ce moment, je demeure chez des amis à Monaco. À bientôt !

sue

Kwiziq community member

6 September 2016

6/09/16

It is used a lot in religious writing

Gerilyn

Kwiziq community member

1 February 2018

1/02/18

Aurélie, Selon vous, alors, un(e) français(e) dirait plutôt : Je reste silencieux pendant qu'elle parle. [?] En ce moment, je suis descendu chez des amis à Monaco. [?]Merci Merci beaucoup pour votre réponse.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

1 February 2018

1/02/18

Bonjour Gerilyn ! Yes, in colloquial French, we'll indeed use "rester" in the first case, and for the second case, you would rather say: "En ce moment, je suis chez des amis à Monaco." or "En ce moment, je loge chez des amis à Monaco." or "En ce moment, je rends visite à des amis à Monaco." Bonne journée !

Gerilyn

Kwiziq community member

2 February 2018

2/02/18

Merci Aurélie, You've answered a questions I've wondered about for a long time! Merci mille fois !
I'll be right with you...