Pour être allé = Cause for going (complex expression)

In French, if you're using ''pour + Infinitif passé (e.g. avoir fait)'', you can only be talking about an action that's in the past. Therefore, you could NEVER say ''pour faire ça'' for something that has been done, the way you say ''for doing that'' in English! 

Look at these examples:

J'ai été félicité pour être venu à l'aide de Paul.
I was congratulated for coming to help Paul.

Elle s'est faite gronder pour s'être maquillée.
She was told off for putting make-up on.

Il a été promu pour être allé à ce séminaire.
He was promoted for having gone to that seminar.

 

Moi, Marc, on m'a grondé pour m'être assis à côté d'elle.
I, Marc, was told off for sitting next to her.

 

Note that to express ''for + -ing'' (or ''for having + past participle'') in French, you use the same following structure:

pour + infinitive of auxiliary (être or avoir) + past participle

ATTENTION: Use the same auxiliary as in compound tenses like Le Passé Composé

e.g. To say ''for going'' (for having gone), you will say ''pour être allé'', and NEVER ''pour avoir allé'' !

Note also that when using être, you need to agree the past participle with the person doing the action.

e.g.

Elle a été punie pour être arrivée en retard.
She was punished for arriving late.


As for using reflexive verbs, note that the reflexive pronoun will change (m' / t' / s' / nous / vous / s') and be placed before the auxiliary 'être'.

e.g.  

Nous sommes punis pour nous être salis.
We are grounded for getting dirty.

 

See also the simpler cases: Pour avoir fait = Cause for doing (simple expression) 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Nous sommes punis pour nous être salis.
We are grounded for getting dirty.


Elle a été punie pour être arrivée en retard.
She was punished for arriving late.


Moi, Marc, on m'a grondé pour m'être assis à côté d'elle.
I, Marc, was told off for sitting next to her.


Elle s'est faite gronder pour s'être maquillée.
She was told off for putting make-up on.


J'ai été félicité pour être venu à l'aide de Paul.
I was congratulated for coming to help Paul.


Il a été promu pour être allé à ce séminaire.
He was promoted for having gone to that seminar.


Q&A Forum 7 questions, 12 answers

MichaelC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

When there are two people & two actions, what determines the past participle agreement ?

In the following example......Elle m'a récompensé pour ________ à la gym.

She rewarded me for going to the gym........Who is doing THE action that determines the past participle agreement?
Asked 7 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

The lesson says to match the participle to the person doing the action. In your example the action is "having gone to the gym". The person who went to the gym is "me". So it depends on the sex of the speaker, in this case.

MichaelC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Merci Chris.

When there are two people & two actions, what determines the past participle agreement ?

In the following example......Elle m'a récompensé pour ________ à la gym.

She rewarded me for going to the gym........Who is doing THE action that determines the past participle agreement?

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BillC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I'm happy to be able to sit next to you

This is somewhat related to this exercise but not completely, but it made me wonder how to express this statement.  

Would it be: je suis content de pouvoir s'asseoir à côté de toi ?

Asked 9 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Je suis content de pouvoir m'asseoir à côté de toi. 

BillC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Merci Chris

I'm happy to be able to sit next to you

This is somewhat related to this exercise but not completely, but it made me wonder how to express this statement.  

Would it be: je suis content de pouvoir s'asseoir à côté de toi ?

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LisaC1Kwiziq community member

English translations needing clarification (perhaps)

Bonjour,

I was noticing in the lesson that the contruction in the French is dealing with the past, but many of the English translations are in the present (ex: I was congratulated for coming.). Should the translations also reflect the past? (ex: I was congratulated for having come.)  I guess the difference is that it's hard to know what to do with on reverse translation on a quiz.  If you see "He was promoted for going to the seminar" it's hard to know whether to write "pour aller au seminaire" or whether to write "pour etre alle au seminaire."  Maybe the "was promoted" has to be the key?  

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Lisa,

I think you are right in saying that the English equivalent of 'après être allé' should be translated by a past tense but often in English it can sound stilted and the meaning equivalent can be just a gerund in English.  

Anyone wanting to add to this discussion would be welcome and please correct me if I am wrong....

In French however, it has to be an past infinitive.

Hope this helps!

BillC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Just my two cents - 

I'm no expert in English grammar, but from what I sense as a well-read native speaker, I think proper English would be "for having come", but I think to Cécile's point i wouldn't say it's stilted, but perhaps a bit formal, and most people would say "for coming".  However, i honestly don't think most native speakers would necessarily pick up on any difference and their ears would equally accept either.

BillC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Just another thought to this, as I think this is an interesting question.

I was just thinking what my sister (who is a grammar-head) would say if I said one or the other.  If I said "for coming" she would probably pick up on it and think that I should have said "for having come" - she may even point it out to me haha.

So i really think it depends on the audience, and that most people wouldn't really notice or think about the difference as to which one is correct or not, so colloquially either is probably acceptable.  

English translations needing clarification (perhaps)

Bonjour,

I was noticing in the lesson that the contruction in the French is dealing with the past, but many of the English translations are in the present (ex: I was congratulated for coming.). Should the translations also reflect the past? (ex: I was congratulated for having come.)  I guess the difference is that it's hard to know what to do with on reverse translation on a quiz.  If you see "He was promoted for going to the seminar" it's hard to know whether to write "pour aller au seminaire" or whether to write "pour etre alle au seminaire."  Maybe the "was promoted" has to be the key?  

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DonaldC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

pour m'être assis

Je me demande que je sois dire <  j'ai peur que je serai puni pour m'être assis à côté de toi>.  En anglais ça veut dire <I fear that I may be punished for sitting next to you>.  Autrement dit, je veux utiliser le temps futur. Quelque fois, j'essaie d'utiliser les temps différent que vous avez employé. Merci,  Don
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

HI Donald,

in English you could also (though a bit less elegantly) say, "I am afraid I'll be punished for having sat down next to you." That would correspond more closely to the French.

pour m'être assis

Je me demande que je sois dire <  j'ai peur que je serai puni pour m'être assis à côté de toi>.  En anglais ça veut dire <I fear that I may be punished for sitting next to you>.  Autrement dit, je veux utiliser le temps futur. Quelque fois, j'essaie d'utiliser les temps différent que vous avez employé. Merci,  Don

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GregoryC1Kwiziq community member

Agreement question

This question got marked "Incorrect" because the past participle didn't have the "e" at the end: Je félicitais Julie pour être parti à temps. The subject/actor in this sentence could be either male or female. Should the past participle agree with the indirect object ("Julie", in this case)? Or with the Subject, "Je"? If the agreement is with the subject, then either "partie" or "parti" would be correct.

Thanks! Greg

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Hi Greg,

the accordance of the participle should be with Julie because être partie refers to Julie. I always thought Julie was a female first name. Hence partie instead of parti. 

-- Chris. 

Agreement question

This question got marked "Incorrect" because the past participle didn't have the "e" at the end: Je félicitais Julie pour être parti à temps. The subject/actor in this sentence could be either male or female. Should the past participle agree with the indirect object ("Julie", in this case)? Or with the Subject, "Je"? If the agreement is with the subject, then either "partie" or "parti" would be correct.

Thanks! Greg

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IanC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

For "Je suis puni pour ________ en retard",

The correct answer is given as "être arrivé".  I answered "m'être arrivé"  Was my answer correct also, and if not could you explain?  Thanks.
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

iI Ian,

Your answer is incorrect as the verb is 'arriver' not, 's'arriver'.

Bonne continuation!

For "Je suis puni pour ________ en retard",

The correct answer is given as "être arrivé".  I answered "m'être arrivé"  Was my answer correct also, and if not could you explain?  Thanks.

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JenniferC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Would you ever say elle était punie as opposed to elle a été punie?

Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Jennifer !

Yes, if it was seen as a *background action* to a punctual one for example: "Ce jour-là, elle était punie dans sa chambre quand soudain elle entendit un bruit à la fenêtre." That day, she was grounded in her room when suddenly she heard a noise at the window.

Or, if you're talking about a *recurrent action* in the past: "Elle était toujours punie à la place de son frère." She was always grounded instead of her brother. Here are links to our lessons on when to use L'Imparfait: 

https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/glossary/verb-tense-mood/the-french-continuous-past-and-past-habit-l-imparfait">https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/glossary/verb-tense-mood/the-french-continuous-past-and-past-habit-l-imparfait">https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/glossary/verb-tense-mood/the-french-continuous-past-and-past-habit-l-imparfait">https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/glossary/verb-tense-mood/the-french-continuous-past-and-past-habit-l-imparfait
Using L'Imparfait in hypothetical clauses introduced by si (if) + Le Conditionnel Présent">
I hope that's helpful!

À bientôt !
JenniferC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Bonjour Aurélie, Yes thank you.

Would you ever say elle était punie as opposed to elle a été punie?

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