Conjugate avoir (+ avoir) in Le Passé Composé (conversational past)

Look at these sentences:

J'ai eu trois cadeaux pour mon anniversaire.
I had three presents for my birthday.

As-tu eu mon message?
Did you have my message?

Nous avons tous eu la varicelle.
We all had chickenpox.

 

In Le Passé Composé (conversational past), the verb "avoir" (to have) has an irregular past participle: "eu", and works with 'avoir' as an auxiliary:

j'ai eu I had/have had
tu as eu you had/have had (singular-familiar form)
il/elle/on a eu he/she/we/one/people had/has had
   
nous avons eu we had/have had
vous avez eu you had/have had
ils/elles ont eu They had/have had

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Cette même année, elle a eu des jumeaux.
That same year, she had twins.


J'ai eu trois cadeaux pour mon anniversaire.
I had three presents for my birthday.


Hier, j'ai eu des invités.
Yesterday, I had guests.


Nous avons eu la varicelle en même temps.
We had chicken pox at the same time.



Nous avons tous eu la varicelle.
We all had chickenpox.


Vous avez eu beaucoup de chance ce jour-là.
You have been very lucky that day.


As-tu eu mon message?
Did you have my message?


Q&A Forum 5 questions, 10 answers

JoanneB2Kwiziq community member

I had a good time, translation

"I wrote, J'ai passe de bons moments" and it was marked wrong. The correct answer was "J'ai eu de...." All the prompt said to do was to conjugate avoir. I don't think there's anything wrong with my answer. Could you please explain? Once again, I'm checking the box that says "Send email notifications of new answers," and I haven't gotten any responses. 

Asked 4 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

As with all free-text answers, there are many possible replies, and it is virtually impossible to check for all of them. Just because the given answer is different from what you entered doesn't necessarily mean that your choice is incorrect.

The hint "conjugate avoir" does point in a certain direction, however. It hints at avoir being the main verb of the sentence. In your answer it is only the auxiliary verb to passer.

I had a good time, translation

"I wrote, J'ai passe de bons moments" and it was marked wrong. The correct answer was "J'ai eu de...." All the prompt said to do was to conjugate avoir. I don't think there's anything wrong with my answer. Could you please explain? Once again, I'm checking the box that says "Send email notifications of new answers," and I haven't gotten any responses. 

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WalterC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

with all due respect ...

"You have been very lucky that day", "Did you have my message?", and "I had three presents for my birthday", are literal translations from the French - they are NOT English.  "You were very lucky that day", "Did you get (receive) my message?", and "I got (received) three presents for my birthday", would be correct English versions of those sentences.  This might be of concern to non-native English speakers who are using this program to learn French.  It seems to me that it would be best to learn to use BOTH languages correctly.

Asked 1 year ago
RomanC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
I strongly support
MelisaA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Wow, 2019 and this has still not been corrected. In English, the first two do not even make sense and the third has an entirely different meaning. Corrections should be made if you want to present Kwiziq as a high quality program.

with all due respect ...

"You have been very lucky that day", "Did you have my message?", and "I had three presents for my birthday", are literal translations from the French - they are NOT English.  "You were very lucky that day", "Did you get (receive) my message?", and "I got (received) three presents for my birthday", would be correct English versions of those sentences.  This might be of concern to non-native English speakers who are using this program to learn French.  It seems to me that it would be best to learn to use BOTH languages correctly.

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SA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

This is weird! I type and it shows blank!

Now I cannot figure out "plus-que-parfait"! Even J'avais is "I had"! So, how do I know if it is "J'avais" or "J'ai eu" that has to be used? Sorry, just cannot find the answer!
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Yes, in English you would translate both -- "avais" and "ai eu" -- with "had". However, if you want to form the plus-que-parfait you need to follow its rules and regulations. One of which is that it is formed using "avoir" or "être" in their imparfait form, followed by the past participle. You can never form the plus-que-parfait with "avoir + eu + past parciciple".

Quand tu m'as appelé, je l'avais déjà prévu. -- When you called me, I had it already planned. (Plus-que-parfait)
J'ai eu un coup de faiblesse. -- I had an attack of weakness. (Passé composé)
J'avais eu un coup de faiblesse. -- I had had an attack of weakness. (Plus-que-parfait)
J'avais un coup de faiblesse. -- I had an attack of weakness. (Imparfait, carrying the connotation that this happened repeatedly over a period of time).

I hope this helps, -- Chris (not a native speaker).

AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour !

To complete Chris' answer, here are links to our related glossary lessons on Plus-que-Parfait, Passé Composé and Imparfait :)

https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/verb-tense-mood/the-french-pluperfect-le-plus-que-parfait">https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/verb-tense-mood/the-french-pluperfect-le-plus-que-parfait">https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/verb-tense-mood/the-french-pluperfect-le-plus-que-parfait">https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/verb-tense-mood/the-french-pluperfect-le-plus-que-parfait">https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/verb-tense-mood/the-french-pluperfect-le-plus-que-parfait">https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/verb-tense-mood/the-french-pluperfect-le-plus-que-parfait">https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/verb-tense-mood/the-french-pluperfect-le-plus-que-parfait">https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/verb-tense-mood/the-french-pluperfect-le-plus-que-parfait
https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/verb-tense-mood/the-french-pluperfect-le-plus-que-parfait">https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/verb-tense-mood/the-french-pluperfect-le-plus-que-parfait">https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/verb-tense-mood/the-french-pluperfect-le-plus-que-parfait">https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/verb-tense-mood/the-french-pluperfect-le-plus-que-parfait
https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/verb-tense-mood/the-french-continuous-past-and-past-habit-l-imparfaithttps://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/verb-tense-mood/the-french-pluperfect-le-plus-que-parfait">https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/verb-tense-mood/the-french-pluperfect-le-plus-que-parfait">https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/verb-tense-mood/the-french-pluperfect-le-plus-que-parfait">https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/verb-tense-mood/the-french-pluperfect-le-plus-que-parfait">

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

SA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thank you Chris and Aurelie.

Trying not to get lost :)

This is weird! I type and it shows blank!

Now I cannot figure out "plus-que-parfait"! Even J'avais is "I had"! So, how do I know if it is "J'avais" or "J'ai eu" that has to be used? Sorry, just cannot find the answer!

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DonaldC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Nous avons reçu les invitées hier ou nous avons eu les invitées hier?

Quel est la réponse correcte? Je ne pense pas qu'on puisse se servir (utiliser) le verbe avoir dans ce cas. D'habitude, je reçois les invitées, n'est-ce pas?
Asked 2 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Donald,

You are correct , you cannot use the verb 'avoir' for 'to have guests'

'recevoir' in the context of friends, family, guests means to have people in your home. e.g. 

J'aime recevoir des amis chez moi le weekend = I enjoy having  friends at home at the weekend

Nous allons recevoir des amis étrangers pour le jumelage le weekendprochain = We are going to have foreign visitors for the twinning next weekend

Hope this helps!

RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour Donald, Je pense que vous ayez donné une très bonne question. D'abord cela me paraît comme une coutume. Soit un pays avec la coutume d'utiliser «avoir les invités» soit un autre pays qui utilise «recevoir les invités». En ce qui concerne mon avis, les deux sont corrects. J'ai dit les deux. J'ai remarqué que dans la leçon, il y a l'exemple suivant: «Hier, j'ai eu des invités. ---> Yesterday, I had guests.» Alors, j'imagine qu'en Angleterre le verbe «avoir» est utilisé. Peut-être quelqu'un(e) de l'équippe à kwiziq pourrait nous donner une meilleure explication. Bonne journée

Nous avons reçu les invitées hier ou nous avons eu les invitées hier?

Quel est la réponse correcte? Je ne pense pas qu'on puisse se servir (utiliser) le verbe avoir dans ce cas. D'habitude, je reçois les invitées, n'est-ce pas?

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BlessingA2Kwiziq community member

How else can you frame the question did you have my message

Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour Blessing, I'm not sure what you're asking - do you mean in French or English?
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Blessing ! If you wanted to ask someone "Did you get my message?" in French, you could use the following forms: "As-tu eu mon message ? / Avez-vous eu mon message ?" "Est-ce que tu as/vous avez eu mon message ?" "Tu as/Vous avez eu mon message ?" You can also use "recevoir" (to receive), as such: "As-tu reçu mon message ?" etc... I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

How else can you frame the question did you have my message

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