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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 can take avoir or être depending on its meaning.
 
Case 1 - êtreCase 2 - avoir
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.
Il a demeuré à Paris pendant quelques mois.He lived in Paris for a few months.

 

Notice that demeurer follows the opposite pattern to the other verbs that can take avoir or être.

être + demeuré + [adjectif]

= to remain + [adjective]

When demeurer means to remain in a state of being it takes être.

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]

When demeurer means to remain or live somewhere it takes avoir.

Examples and resources

Je suis demeuré impassible pendant toute cette conversation.I remained expressionless during all this conversation.
J'ai demeuré à Paris toute ma vie.I lived in Paris all my life.
Il a demeuré à Paris pendant quelques mois.He lived in Paris for a few months.
Elle est demeurée silencieuse pendant tout le trajet.She remained silent the whole trip.
J'ai demeuré chez lui pendant une semaine.I stayed at his house for a week.

Q&A Forum 8 questions, 21 answers

GregA2Kwiziq community member

Demeurer as neither "to reside" nor as verbe d'état?

In the case where demeurer is used to mean to physically remain in a location, does it take avoir or être? This usage doesn't seem to be a verbe d'état, because a location isn't really a state or an attribute... or is it?

Larousse uses the example « La voiture est demurée au garage ». In this case, is au garage a state? Is demeurer being used as a verb of state?

Grevisse (§814 b 4°) makes it even more fun, with « [...] en France, où j'ai demeuré quelque temps » and then « je n'étais pas [...] demeuré à Paris ». Why use avoir with the first, but être with the second?

Thanks for taking the time to shed some light on this!

Asked 1 week ago
AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Your last example suggests to me there is a slight error in the lesson:

When demeurer means to remain or live somewhere it takes avoir.

In your example, Proust says that he "had not remained long in Paris", and I think this takes être as in the other examples that translate as "remain". 

I was going to suggest that "remain" be changed to "stay", but unfortunately "stay" can mean either "reside" or "remain" depending on the context.

GregA2Kwiziq community member

Thanks, Alan.

So it seems that for demeurer = habiter quelque part, y résider, it uses auxiliary avoir -- but for all other uses it takes auxiliary être, would you agree?

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

It can also mean "to spend some time doing something", which is also usually conjugated with avoir.

Demeurer as neither "to reside" nor as verbe d'état?

In the case where demeurer is used to mean to physically remain in a location, does it take avoir or être? This usage doesn't seem to be a verbe d'état, because a location isn't really a state or an attribute... or is it?

Larousse uses the example « La voiture est demurée au garage ». In this case, is au garage a state? Is demeurer being used as a verb of state?

Grevisse (§814 b 4°) makes it even more fun, with « [...] en France, où j'ai demeuré quelque temps » and then « je n'étais pas [...] demeuré à Paris ». Why use avoir with the first, but être with the second?

Thanks for taking the time to shed some light on this!

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GregA2Kwiziq community member

Demeurer entry in Kwiziq glossary

Salut -

In the kwiziq glossary entry for Verbes aux deux auxiliares, it mentions that demeurer follows "the reverse pattern" to the transitive/intransitive rule.

https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/glossary/verb-conjugation-group/verbs-that-can-take-avoir-or-etre-as-auxiliary

I have used that as my rule of thumb for a while now, and it was always confusing to me (as a verbe d'état, it is intransitive, yet takes auxiliary « être », so that note didn't feel right).

I just found the comments and explanations here on this page, and all is now clear - thank you Aurélie and other contributors for the information you have shared here!

It might be worth correcting that glossary page entry, too, in case others stumble across it in the future.

Asked 1 week ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Thanks, Greg for pointing this glossary page out which needed updating too. I have now taken the asterisk and the rule out to match the lesson on Demeurer.

Bonne Continuation!

Demeurer entry in Kwiziq glossary

Salut -

In the kwiziq glossary entry for Verbes aux deux auxiliares, it mentions that demeurer follows "the reverse pattern" to the transitive/intransitive rule.

https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/glossary/verb-conjugation-group/verbs-that-can-take-avoir-or-etre-as-auxiliary

I have used that as my rule of thumb for a while now, and it was always confusing to me (as a verbe d'état, it is intransitive, yet takes auxiliary « être », so that note didn't feel right).

I just found the comments and explanations here on this page, and all is now clear - thank you Aurélie and other contributors for the information you have shared here!

It might be worth correcting that glossary page entry, too, in case others stumble across it in the future.

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JohnC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

The meanings of demeurer

In your lesson you say that demeurer, when used in the perfect tense with avoir or être, behaves in the opposite way to other two meaning verbs. Is that right?  Does it not behave in the same way, ie. it takes être when intransitive and avoir when transitive?

Sorry, perhaps this is not right. For example, il a demeuré à Paris is an example of intransitive avoir use. 

So, is the rule that we use être when the usage is intransitive and expresses a state of being?

Asked 3 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi John,

Well spotted!

Let's look at the verb demeurer -

When it doesn't mean to reside somewhere but to remain, it will take the auxiliary être and it is a verb of state (describing a continuation of state like rester ) :

Nous sommes demeurés perplexes devant sa réaction 

When it means to reside or live somewhere, it will take the auxiliary avoir -

Nous avons demeuré à Londres pendant dix ans 

The same can be said for the verb 'vivre', but it is one of those verbs which are more pliable as it can be transitive, intransitive but takes 'avoir' regardless, very odd!

Vivre heureux, vivre dans la misère , vivre une belle expérience ---->

Nous avons vécu heureux , il a vécu dans une misère incroyable, Ils ont vécu une belle expérience ensemble etc.

Hope this helps!

 

 

 

The meanings of demeurer

In your lesson you say that demeurer, when used in the perfect tense with avoir or être, behaves in the opposite way to other two meaning verbs. Is that right?  Does it not behave in the same way, ie. it takes être when intransitive and avoir when transitive?

Sorry, perhaps this is not right. For example, il a demeuré à Paris is an example of intransitive avoir use. 

So, is the rule that we use être when the usage is intransitive and expresses a state of being?

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GeorgeC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Demeurer / habiter

So "demeurer" sounds "posh"? What about "habiter"? Don't they mean the same thing?

Asked 3 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi George, 

Yes, you would use 'habiter' or 'demeurer' to say where you reside but habiter is a more straight forward verb which only takes 'avoir' in past tenses.

Demeurer / habiter

So "demeurer" sounds "posh"? What about "habiter"? Don't they mean the same thing?

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MichaelC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

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?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Michael, 

This has been altered, thank you for your comment... 

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?

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TimC1Kwiziq community member

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

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

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!

 

 

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Tim,

The explanation of why demeurer behaves differently from transitive and intransitive verbs has been modified in this lesson. I hope it meets with your satisfaction...

TimC1Kwiziq community member
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.
TimC1Kwiziq community member
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."
TimC1Kwiziq community member
That's very helpful, thank you.
RodC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Cecile's answer to Tim really helped me.  I was also confused about the opposite behaviour of demeurer relative to other verbs that  use etre or avoir depending on context.  It would be very helpful if the lesson was altered to explicitly state that this verb is odd  - all the other lessons state that if the verb is followed by a preposition (en, sur, dans, à etc) the auxillary is etre, but that is not the case for demeurer (e.g. Il a demeuré à Paris pendant quelques mois.).   Explaining that it breaks the rules, and adding the core of Cecile's explanation would avert confusion. This comment from Cecile was particularly helpful: "When the verb demeurer describes a state it will take 'être' and when it describes an action, it will take 'avoir'."

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi all, 

The lesson is going to be adapted and your comments will be taken into consideration.

Thank you very much for pointing those out...

Tim asked:View original

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

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SamB2Kwiziq community member

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

Asked 2 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

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!

RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
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 )

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

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SueC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Demeurer in the present

could you use demeurerin sentences with the meaning " I remain silent", or "I am staying at his house/in Paris" .
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer
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 !
SueC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
It is used a lot in religious writing
GerilynC1Kwiziq community member
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.
AurélieKwiziq team member
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 !
GerilynC1Kwiziq community member
Merci Aurélie, You've answered a questions I've wondered about for a long time! Merci mille fois !

Demeurer in the present

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

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