Position of object pronouns with verbs in compound tenses

Look at these sentences:

Ces épisodes? Il les avait déjà vus.
These episodes? He had already seen them.

La télé? Oui, Marc l'a regardée.
Telly? Yes, Marc watched it.

Et le concert ? Les enfants l'ont adoré.
What about the concert? The children loved it.

Olivier t'a demandée en mariage !
Olivier proposed to you!

Tu lui as parlé.
You talked to her.

Ça leur est arrivé la semaine dernière.
It happened to them last week.

In a sentence with a verb conjugated in a compound tense, the object pronoun, indirect or direct, is placed as follows:

Subject of the verb + object pronoun + auxiliary avoir or être + past participle

See also the more advanced lesson on past participle agreement with direct objects: Special cases when the past participle agrees (in number & gender) when used with 'avoir' in Le Passé Composé 

See also: 

Replacing nouns with le, la, l', les = it, him, her, them (direct object pronouns)

Me, te, nous, vous = Me, you, us, you (direct and indirect object pronouns)

Replacing people with lui, leur = him, her, them (indirect object pronouns)

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Tu lui as parlé.
You talked to her.


Ces épisodes? Il les avait déjà vus.
These episodes? He had already seen them.


Olivier t'a demandée en mariage !
Olivier proposed to you!


La télé? Oui, Marc l'a regardée.
Telly? Yes, Marc watched it.


Ça leur est arrivé la semaine dernière.
It happened to them last week.


Et le concert ? Les enfants l'ont adoré.
What about the concert? The children loved it.


Q&A Forum 11 questions, 21 answers

"In a Clothes Store" writing test

Bonjour Aurélie et Cécile,

My problem is with this phrase in the above writing lesson

"...jacket that I bought FROM you two weeks ago."  Correct translation given is :"que je vous ai achetée il y a deux semaines."  

I can't find the lesson describing this usage of object pronouns.  Why is it not "que j'ai acheté DE vous"?   Does not "que je vous ai acheté" mean that I bought FOR you? Please explain using FROM in this context.  Thanks!

Asked 7 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Marnie, 

You could say -

...que j’ai acheté chez vous... 

Indeed que je vous ai acheté can mean that I bought you but in that context it is clear that it is a return...

"In a Clothes Store" writing test

Bonjour Aurélie et Cécile,

My problem is with this phrase in the above writing lesson

"...jacket that I bought FROM you two weeks ago."  Correct translation given is :"que je vous ai achetée il y a deux semaines."  

I can't find the lesson describing this usage of object pronouns.  Why is it not "que j'ai acheté DE vous"?   Does not "que je vous ai acheté" mean that I bought FOR you? Please explain using FROM in this context.  Thanks!

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Is the translation given for "Ça leur est arrivé la semaine dernière" above correct? I thought it means "they arrived there last week"?

Asked 9 months ago
ChrisC1Correct answer

Ça leur est arrivé la semaine dernière. -- That happened to them last week.

Thanks, I guess learning French comes with alot rewiring my English coded brain

Yes, I empathise with you. The problem is that half of the wiring is helpful and the other half is misleading. The problem is telling one from the other. :)

It helped me to tell myself, literally, "I am going to think French now," before each lesson.

Is the translation given for "Ça leur est arrivé la semaine dernière" above correct? I thought it means "they arrived there last week"?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Agreement when using etre for the past tense? If you have a masculine or singular subejct, but your DO is feminine ro plural, do you make agreement?

Ex) Il est monté la tour Eiffel.

Il l'est monté or Il l'est montée?

Asked 10 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Lalongi,

Il a monté la Tour Eiffel en escalier --- Il l'a montée en escalier

Note the use of 'avoir' with 'monter quelque chose'.

I prefer to use the verb 'escalader' here :

Le cascadeur a escaladé la Tour Eiffel à mains nues = The Stunt man climbed the Eiffel Tower with bare hands

So it will be also -"Il l'a escaladée"

Hope this helps!

Agreement when using etre for the past tense? If you have a masculine or singular subejct, but your DO is feminine ro plural, do you make agreement?

Ex) Il est monté la tour Eiffel.

Il l'est monté or Il l'est montée?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Please- why is 'voulu' changed in gender and number using 'avoir' ? I thought that only happened with 'être'.

Asked 11 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super star

Hi Jack,

Could you post the whole sentence please?

If you look at the sentence in question (and, yes, it would be helpful to know what exactly you are referring to) you'll probably notice that there is a direct object coming somewhere before the participle. Something along these lones:

Les fleures sont très belles. Tu les as vues ?

If the direct object (les) precedes the participle, the participle matches the direct object in number and gender. 

Please- why is 'voulu' changed in gender and number using 'avoir' ? I thought that only happened with 'être'.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

RonC1

Your answer leaves me confused when you refer to an advanced change in the rule concerning the agreement when using “avoir”. Also that it “can” agree.

Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star

Bonjour Ron !

Unfortunately, I don't know what answer you're referring to, so can't really help you yet :)

Your answer leaves me confused when you refer to an advanced change in the rule concerning the agreement when using “avoir”. Also that it “can” agree.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

RonC1

Aurelie,

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super star
Have you got a specific question, Ron?
RonC1

Problem resolved. Found the answer in another lesson on the same subject.

Aurelie,

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Agreement of Participle with Indirect Object

Whoops, my question was posted incomplete.

As I was saying (!), in the examples there is agreement between the indirect object and the participle:

La télé? Oui, Marc l'a regardée

Ces épisodes? Il les avait déjà vus

If this is the case, then shouldn't 'Tu lui as parlé' translate as 'You talked to him', BUT 'Tu lui as parlée translate as 'You talked to her'?

Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Bonjour Hugh !

Actually you never agree the past participle with an indirect object, only a direct object placed before the auxiliary avoir.

Have a look at our related lesson:
https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/grammar/special-cases-when-the-past-participle-agrees-in-number-and-gender-when-used-with-avoir-in-le-passe-compose-conversational-past

I hope that's helpful!

À bientôt !

Agreement of Participle with Indirect Object

Whoops, my question was posted incomplete.

As I was saying (!), in the examples there is agreement between the indirect object and the participle:

La télé? Oui, Marc l'a regardée

Ces épisodes? Il les avait déjà vus

If this is the case, then shouldn't 'Tu lui as parlé' translate as 'You talked to him', BUT 'Tu lui as parlée translate as 'You talked to her'?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Bonjour

Can you please tell me the placement of it in regards to all the verbs like present, passe compose, futur simple, etc? please i need it for my exam


Asked 1 year ago

What do you need to know over and above what's said in the lesson? Can you be more specific?

-- Chris. 

What do you need to know over and above what's said in the lesson? Can you be more specific?

-- Chris. 

Bonjour

Can you please tell me the placement of it in regards to all the verbs like present, passe compose, futur simple, etc? please i need it for my exam


Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

La télé? Je l’ai regardé

Is the l’ part related to vowels not being able to go together? I read about ma amie becoming mon amie - is it the same for when la and ai come together also?
Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Bonjour Stuart !

Oui tout à fait!

See our article on elision :)
https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/my-languages/french/glossary/85

Bonne journée !

La télé? Je l’ai regardé

Is the l’ part related to vowels not being able to go together? I read about ma amie becoming mon amie - is it the same for when la and ai come together also?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Re: "Laura adore ces bonbons. Tu les as goûtés?"

"Respectfully submit that the English translation is wrong here...shouldn't it say "Have you tasted them?" (present perfect)...not "Did you taste them?"?
Asked 1 year ago
LauraKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Bonjour tout le monde, 

While I don't think "did you taste ..." is wrong per se (I can think of scenarios where it would be the preferred answer), without context "have you tasted..." is the obvious choice, so we've updated the kwiz accordingly. Bon courage !

The usage of present perfect and imperfect tenses in English does not parallel their correspondimg use in French. Normally, when relating single occurrences in the past, you use the imperfect in English and the passé composé in French. Hence the apparent discrepancy in the example you cite. -- Chris (not a native speaker)
Sorry but the above can only be translated in the head of an educated native speaker as "have you tasted them?" Simple past is used in English to describe single events (that have finished) in the past. Present Perfect is NOT used in this way-Present perfect connects the present to the past-that is, the event hasn't finished.-you certainly don't use imperfect in English for single occurrences as you do with passé composé. I am an educated native speaker who has taught ESL for a long, long time.
JimC1
Hi Stephen, I agree that the strict translation should be "Have you tasted them" but "Did you taste them" is the only correct answer of those offered, as I see it. I suggest that " Did you____" is equivalent to "Have you____" in this context. Do you not agree? Regards, Alan ( Non-native speaker)

Re: "Laura adore ces bonbons. Tu les as goûtés?"

"Respectfully submit that the English translation is wrong here...shouldn't it say "Have you tasted them?" (present perfect)...not "Did you taste them?"?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

AurélieKwiziq language super star

Kristin asked: "Je l'ai épousée." Why the "- e" at the end of "épousée" ?"

Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Kristin !

This is due to a more advanced rule of agreement with "avoir" as auxiliary.

Though you've learnt that the past participle never agrees with the subject of the verb with "avoir" as auxiliary, it can agree with the direct object of the verb when this one is placed before "avoir".

This is the case when using direct object pronouns, as they're always placed before the auxiliary in compound tenses.

Here is a link to our related lesson:
Special cases when the past participle agrees (in number & gender) when used with 'avoir' in Le Passé Composé">Special cases when the past participle agrees (in number & gender) when used with 'avoir' in Le Passé Composé

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !
In this case, does "Tu lui as parlé" imply that the object pronoun "lui" is masculine, or does the rule only apply to *direct* object pronouns? Merci en avance!
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Kathy ! The rule only applies to direct object pronouns, so here it could still be masculine or feminine :) À bientôt !

Kristin asked: "Je l'ai épousée." Why the "- e" at the end of "épousée" ?"

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Getting that for you now.