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Entrer 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 le Passé Composé (or other compound tense)but entrer uses both, depending on what it means in the sentence*.

être + entré [en, dans, etc.]

= to go/come/get into  
= to enter
 

Je suis entré dans le salon sans que tu ne me voies.
I walked into the living-room without you seeing me.

Quand elle est entrée dans la salle, tous les regards se sont tournés vers elle.
When she came into the room, all eyes turned towards her.  When she entered the room, all eyes turned towards her.

Mes filles sont entrées en CP cette année.
My daughters started Primary School this year.

 

Notice that in each case where être is the auxilliary, the verb entrer is followed by a preposition (en, sur, dans, à etc.).  So in these cases entrer is usually about getting into, coming into, going into or entering.

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

avoir + entré [quelque chose] dans [quelque chose]

= to enter/put [something] into [something] 

Pour accéder à ce site, j'ai entré mon mot de passe secret.
To access this website, I entered my secret password.

 
When entrer is followed immediately by a noun (as opposed to a preposition), it uses avoir as the auxiliary, like most verbs.  
 
It can be very tricky to get the distinction here if you think in terms of what entrer means in English (English verbs are very often 'prepositional', meaning we say things like to go into a room as well as enter a room which are equivalent in meaning but grammatically very different - our verbs very often have prepositions where they don't in French!).   
 
 
*Note for grammar nerds: the technical grammatical distinction between these cases is actually whether the transitive or intransitive version of the verb is used. The transitive version (the version with a direct object) usesavoir.  The intransitive version lacking a direct object, uses être.
 
 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Quand elle est entrée dans la salle, tous les regards se sont tournés vers elle.
When she came into the room, all eyes turned towards her.  When she entered the room, all eyes turned towards her.


Mes filles sont entrées en CP cette année.
My daughters started Primary School this year.


Je suis entré dans le salon sans que tu ne me voies.
I walked into the living-room without you seeing me.


Pour accéder à ce site, j'ai entré mon mot de passe secret.
To access this website, I entered my secret password.


Q&A

kristin

Kwiziq community member

27 January 2018

2 replies

Quand elle est entrée dans la salle, tous les regards se sont tournés VERS ELLE.

so sounds like ("ver elle") as recorded? Or like ("ver zelle")( with liason)?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

29 January 2018

29/01/18

I believe it is "ver-z-elle". But a native speaker's input would be greatly appreciated.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

30 January 2018

30/01/18

Bonjour Kristin !

Actually, you never do the liaison with vers : I tried lots of different cases in my head, and they all sound very weird to my native ear!

I cannot give you an explanation for it, other than the usual "...and that would be too easy!"  ;)


Bonne journée !

Meghna

Kwiziq community member

10 April 2017

1 reply

No agreement with être?

In one of the quiz questions I see ´Vous êtes entré' . Why does the participle passe not agree with the plural pronouns ´Vous'?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

10 April 2017

10/04/17

Bonjour Meghna !

Here we use the "politeness" *vous*, which refers to one person, hence the agreement in the singular masculine form.
Have a look at our related lesson on agreement with "être", which explains the case of "vous" in detail:
https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/grammar/agree-past-participle-with-subjects-gender-and-number-with-etre-verbs-in-le-passe-compose-conversational-past

Bonne journée !

Chris

Kwiziq community member

24 October 2016

1 reply

I believe there is a slight inaccuracy in the English translation.

As a hint you write "The knights came in the fortified city." This actually should be "The knights came into the fortified city." meaning that the knights entered the fortified city. In my understanding, what you wrote is a colloquialism and bears a sexual connotation... -- Chris.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

24 October 2016

24/10/16

Bonjour Claus !

Indeed, this sentence does carry an extra meaning that was not intended :)
Thanks to you, it has now been fixed!

Merci et à bientôt !

chiara

Kwiziq community member

19 April 2016

2 replies

Vous êtes entré OR vous êtes entrés?

Shouldn't it be vous êtes entrés?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

19 April 2016

19/04/16

Bonjour Chiara !

Thanks for your question on the site. 

I understand your confusion but here is the explanation: ''vous'' can, as you know, be used both for plural you, and for polite, formal you. 
In the second case, it has a singular meaning, as it relates to a single person.

So in le Passé Composé, when you use the formal 'vous', it will agree with the single person it refers to: it was the case here, therefore ''Vous êtes entré [...]''.

Moreover, in different contexts, you could also encounter the plural versions ''Vous êtes entrés'' or ''Vous êtes entrées'' (for a whole woman group), as well as the feminine version ''Vous êtes entrée''. 

​I hope that's helpful.

Beatrice

Kwiziq community member

9 February 2018

9/02/18

It is helpful :). Thank you
Thinking...