Forming inverted questions with reflexive verbs in Le Passé Composé

There are two ways to form inverted questions with a reflexive verb in Passé composé, depending on whether the subject is a pronoun (je/tu/il/elle/on/nous/vous/ils/elles) or a noun (Marie, la fille, etc).


1- The subject is a pronoun

See also Forming inverted questions with subject pronouns in Le Passé Composé (conversational past)

In this case, the order will be as follows: 

(question word) + reflexive pronoun (me/te/se/nous/vous) + auxiliary être + hyphenje/tu/il/elle/on/nous/vous/ils/elles + past participle

Tu t'es levé à cinq heures.  -> T'es-tu levé à cinq heures ?
You got up at 5.  ->  Did you get up at 5?

Here are more examples:

T'es-tu levé à cinq heures ?
Did you get up at 5?

Me suis-je coupé sans m'en rendre compte ?
Did I cut myself without realising it?

À quelle heure s'est-il réveillé ?
At what time did he wake up?

s'est-on retrouvés ?
Where did we end up?

Comment s'est-elle trompée ?
How did she get it wrong?

Nous sommes-nous déjà rencontrés ?
Did we meet before?

Vous êtes-vous amusées ?
Did you have fun?

Se sont-ils rasés ce matin ?
Did they shave this morning?

Pourquoi se sont-elles cachées ?
Why did they hide?


2- The subject is a noun

See also Forming inverted questions with nouns in Le Passé Composé (conversational past)

In this case, the order will be as follows: 

(question word) + noun + reflexive pronoun (se/nous/vous) + auxiliary être + hyphen + il/elle/nous/vous/ils/elles + past participle

Laurent s'est couché à onze heures.  -> Laurent s'est-il couché à onze heures ?
Laurent went to bed at 11.  ->  Did Laurent go to bed at 11?

Here are more examples:

Laurent s'est-il couché à onze heures ?
Did Laurent go to bed at 11?

Pourquoi ma chatte s'est-elle léché la patte ?
Why did my cat lick her paw?

Où Henri et moi nous sommes-nous vus pour la première fois ?
Where did Henri and I see each other for the first time? 

Mon père et toi vous êtes-vous ennuyés hier soir ? 
Did my father and you get bored yesterday evening?

Victor et Sam se sont-ils rasés aujourd'hui ?
Did Victor and Sam shave today? 

Mes invitations se sont-elles perdues en route ?
Did my invitations get lost on the way?

 

See also Forming inverted questions in Le Présent (except il, elle, on forms)

Forming inverted questions in Le Présent with il, elle, on

Examples and resources

Comment s'est-elle trompée ?
How did she get it wrong?


Mon père et toi vous êtes-vous ennuyés hier soir ? 
Did my father and you get bored yesterday evening?


Se sont-ils rasés ce matin ?
Did they shave this morning?


À quelle heure s'est-il réveillé ?
At what time did he wake up?


Où Henri et moi nous sommes-nous vus pour la première fois ?
Where did Henri and I see each other for the first time? 


Vous êtes-vous amusées ?
Did you have fun?


Pourquoi ma chatte s'est-elle léché la patte ?
Why did my cat lick her paw?


T'es-tu levé à cinq heures ?
Did you get up at 5?


Victor et Sam se sont-ils rasés aujourd'hui ?
Did Victor and Sam shave today? 


Nous sommes-nous déjà rencontrés ?
Did we meet before?


Me suis-je coupé sans m'en rendre compte ?
Did I cut myself without realising it?


Laurent s'est-il couché à onze heures ?
Did Laurent go to bed at 11?


s'est-on retrouvés ?
Where did we end up?


Mes invitations se sont-elles perdues en route ?
Did my invitations get lost on the way?


Pourquoi se sont-elles cachées ?
Why did they hide?


Q&A Forum 3 questions, 7 answers

Word order in Questions with reflexive verbs, passe composé.

Dear all, 

In an exercise in a lesson I was doing on I came across the phrase “How were your holidays?” or “How did your holidays go”. I had to review the lessons on forming questions by inversion in the présent and passé composé with reflexive verbs, and based on what I found there, I decided that if the affirmative is “Elles se sont bien passées” / “Tes vacances sont bien passées”, the question would be “Comment se sont-elles passées?” (which I’m reasonably confident is correct - I hope...!) BUT if we want to use “the holidays” instead of “they”, when I follow the rule I write “Comment tes vacances se sont-elles passées” or “Comment se sont tes vacances passées?  But my ear tells me this is wrong, and indeed when I look it up, the correct solution is “Comment se sont passées tes vacances?”. Which makes me wonder is there a rule that if we want to use the name of the thing in question, the subject, (instead of -ils / -elle / -elles / etc), the position changes and instead of being positioned after the auxiliary verb with a hyphen the subject goes to the end….????

I'm sure there are probably already Kwiziq lessons that would clarify this for me, so if anyone could point me in the right direction, that would be great...!

With Thanks,

Susan Wood.

Asked 1 month ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Susan ,

If you want to use 'tes vacances' in your sentence you can say :

"Comment tes vacances se sont-elles passées?"

Or

" Comment se sont passées tes vacances?"

Or more explicitly -

"Tes vacances, se sont bien/mal passées?"

Hope this helps!

Word order in Questions with reflexive verbs, passe composé.

Dear all, 

In an exercise in a lesson I was doing on I came across the phrase “How were your holidays?” or “How did your holidays go”. I had to review the lessons on forming questions by inversion in the présent and passé composé with reflexive verbs, and based on what I found there, I decided that if the affirmative is “Elles se sont bien passées” / “Tes vacances sont bien passées”, the question would be “Comment se sont-elles passées?” (which I’m reasonably confident is correct - I hope...!) BUT if we want to use “the holidays” instead of “they”, when I follow the rule I write “Comment tes vacances se sont-elles passées” or “Comment se sont tes vacances passées?  But my ear tells me this is wrong, and indeed when I look it up, the correct solution is “Comment se sont passées tes vacances?”. Which makes me wonder is there a rule that if we want to use the name of the thing in question, the subject, (instead of -ils / -elle / -elles / etc), the position changes and instead of being positioned after the auxiliary verb with a hyphen the subject goes to the end….????

I'm sure there are probably already Kwiziq lessons that would clarify this for me, so if anyone could point me in the right direction, that would be great...!

With Thanks,

Susan Wood.

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pourquoi ma chatte s'est-elle léchée la patte?

should there be a second 'e' on léchée in this case as the noun comes after the verb?

Asked 2 months ago

I would agree with you: the reflexive pronoun is indirect and the noun (la patte) is direct. In this case the participle would not get accorded to the direct object. This would be parallel to the sentence:

Elles se sont lavé les cheveux. -- They washed their hair, given in https://www.thoughtco.com/french-accented-capitals-4085546

I have it on good authority, though, that a lot of French native speakers have trouble with this also. :)

Yes, well it does seem to go against the rule!  Thank you (I will keep making that mistake though, lucky I don't have a cat). 

AurélieKwiziq language super star

Merci à tous !

It was indeed a mistake, and has now been fixed thanks to you :)

hehe - glad to help!! 

It doesn't seem to be fixed yet (13 june 2019). I just spent several minutes trying to figure it out (before seeing these messages).

pourquoi ma chatte s'est-elle léchée la patte?

should there be a second 'e' on léchée in this case as the noun comes after the verb?

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Me suis-je coupé... Isn't couper a verb that takes avoir? Me ai-je coupé... What is the exception here?

Asked 5 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Kevin,

'Couper quelque chose' will indeed take 'avoir'  as in,

J'ai déja coupé la baguette= I have cut the bread already 

but this is 'se couper' ( to cut one/yourself) which as all reflexive verb  takes 'être'.

So -

Me suis-je coupé/e ? is correct....

Hope this helps!

Me suis-je coupé... Isn't couper a verb that takes avoir? Me ai-je coupé... What is the exception here?

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