Conjugate reflexive verbs (+être) in Le Passé Composé (conversational past)

These examples show how reflexive verbs conjugate in Le Passé Composé:

Je me suis lavé les dents.
I brushed my teeth.

Je me suis bien amusée.
I really enjoyed myself.

Tu t'es bien amusé hier soir? 
Did you have fun last night?

Il s'est levé tôt.
He got up early.

Nous nous sommes assis à l'arrière.
We sat at the back.

Vous vous êtes bien amusés?
Did you enjoy yourselves?

Elles se sont disputées.
They had an argument.

Reflexive verbs always use être as the auxiliary verb in Le Passé Composé.

Note also that the verb must agree with the gender and number of the person.
i.e. taking an extra -e for ladies, and an extra -s for more than one person, -es for multiple ladies.

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

Note that the pronoun me/te/se/nous/vous/se is situated before the auxiliary être.

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Je me suis lavé les dents.
I brushed my teeth.


Nous nous sommes déguisés en zombies.
We dressed up as zombies.


Nous nous sommes assis à l'arrière.
We sat at the back.



Il s'est levé tôt.
He got up early.


Tu t'es bien amusé hier soir? 
Did you have fun last night?


Elles se sont disputées.
They had an argument.


Vous vous êtes bien amusés?
Did you enjoy yourselves?


Je me suis bien amusée.
I really enjoyed myself.


Q&A Forum 15 questions, 27 answers

JenniferC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

se disputer

is it correct form to write


Aurélie s'est disputée avec sa soeur?  Should there be another e on disputé if followed by 'avec sa soeur'?

Asked 1 month ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Jennifer, 

No, because the verb agrees with Aurélie which is singular.

If you said -

Aurélie et sa sœur se sont disputées 

the past participle disputé would have a feminine plural agreement.

Hope this helps!

se disputer

is it correct form to write


Aurélie s'est disputée avec sa soeur?  Should there be another e on disputé if followed by 'avec sa soeur'?

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NatashaKwiziq community member

"Elle s’est tourmentée." Do I need the extra e accord for the past tense?

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

You need to accord the participle when the past tense is formed with être. There are some other cases when it needs to match, like when you use avoir and the COD comes in front of the participle.

"Elle s’est tourmentée." Do I need the extra e accord for the past tense?

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StephenB2Kwiziq community member

Did you shave this morning? HINT: Conjugate se raser (to shave) using the Passé Composé vous êtes rasé êtes rasés

Asked 5 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Yes, exactly. Otherwise it would be Vous vous êtes rasés ce matin? (unless you are talking to a group of ladies shaving their legs, of course, in which case it would be ....rasées...)

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Vous vous êtes rasé ce matin? -- Did you shave this morning (using formal you, talking to a single person)

StephenB2Kwiziq community member

In this case "vous" is singular, referring to "you" as an individual, as apposed the plural "you's guys" :))

Did you shave this morning? HINT: Conjugate se raser (to shave) using the Passé Composé vous êtes rasé êtes rasés

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AartiA1Kwiziq community member

How do we analysis what is reflective verb and auxiliary verb?

Details it

Asked 6 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Aarti,

Reflexive verbs are explained in the following Kwiziq lesson -

https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/voice/la-voix-pronominale

Auxiliary verbs are explained in the following Kwiziq lesson-

https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/verb-types/verbes-auxiliaires

Bonne continuation!

How do we analysis what is reflective verb and auxiliary verb?

Details it

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MelisaA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Gender agreement of examples

I don’t understand why  “Je me suis bien amusée.” adds the “e” for the feminine subject but “Je me suis lavé les dents.” does not when both speakers are female.

Asked 7 months ago
MelisaA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

It's been a while. Does no one know the answer?

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

It's because there is a direct object "les dents". This question has been asked a lot, but so far the lessons have not been updated to explain this. Look at the answer to Gabrielle's question at the end of the Q&A here:

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

MelisaA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thanks so much for pointing me to the answer, Alan. I understand now but it's getting complicated! :) It would surely help if they'd add a note about it to both those lessons. I did read through all the questions on the lesson I asked about and didn't see an answer there. It should really be part of the lesson, or have a link to a lesson discussing it.

Melisa asked:View original

Gender agreement of examples

I don’t understand why  “Je me suis bien amusée.” adds the “e” for the feminine subject but “Je me suis lavé les dents.” does not when both speakers are female.

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AnnC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

In the weekend challenge why does the pp not free: Ce qu'ils se sont déclaré (no s even though they are renewing vows) était émouvant.

Asked 10 months ago
CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Ann,

Could you point me towards the specific challenge you are referring to?

In the weekend challenge why does the pp not free: Ce qu'ils se sont déclaré (no s even though they are renewing vows) était émouvant.

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PaulineB1Kwiziq community member

How do you tell whether vous is singular or plural ?

An example gave "vous vous etes bien amuses?"

Whereas the correct answer in the quick Test was "Vous vous etes cache"

example showing vous is plural

test question showing vous is singular

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Pauline,

"Vous" can be either singular or plural. In this respect it is very much like the English "you". If you use "vous" as a polite form of the 2nd person singular you must also match anything that depends on it to be in singular as well. The same goes for "vous" in the 2nd person plural.

Vous vous êtes bien amusé? -- Did you enjoy yourself? (addressed at one person).
Vous vous êtes bien amusés? -- Did you enjoy yourselves? (addressed to a group).
Vous vous êtes bien amusées? -- Did you enjoy yourseves? (addressed to an all female group).

Note that even in English you would use "yourself" if "you" stood for a single person and "yourselves" in case of a group of persons. Not so much different than French, eh?

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

ChristopherC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Sometimes it's a matter of context and if don't have all the information, you may not know.   For example "Je vous vois". You don't know if I see one or more than one person.  Without more information, you just don't know. And that's OK.  Always look for clues such as plural adjectives.

How do you tell whether vous is singular or plural ?

An example gave "vous vous etes bien amuses?"

Whereas the correct answer in the quick Test was "Vous vous etes cache"

example showing vous is plural

test question showing vous is singular

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PaulineB1Kwiziq community member

How do tell whether vous is singular or plural?

Asked 1 year ago
GruffKwiziq team member

Hi Pauline - if you mean in a kwiz question, then it should be either clear from the context of the french or english, or specified explicitly in the hint if not.

If you mean in conversation, then it's usually evident from the context. 

How do tell whether vous is singular or plural?

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DeborahB1Kwiziq community member

Passe compose for a reflexive verb.

The answer to a question in the Kwiz was "Nous nous sommes brosse" (with an accent).  Shouldn't that have been brosses (with an accent)?
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Nous nous sommes brossés. Or alternatively, for an all female group: Nous nous sommes brossées  

-- Chris (not a native speaker). 

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Nous nous sommes brossés. Or alternatively, for an all female group: Nous nous sommes brossées  

-- Chris (not a native speaker). 

NicholasC1Kwiziq community member

Hi Deborah.  This caught me out too.  But I think the Kwiz answer (full answer: "Nous nous sommes brossé les cheveux") is correct.  According to e.g. http://la-conjugaison.nouvelobs.com/regles/orthographe/l-accord-du-participe-passe-des-verbes-pronominaux-188.php there is no agreement of the past participle with the subject when a direct object follows.  They give the example of "Ils se sont lavé les mains".  This would seem to apply here also.

Perhaps there is a lesson on this that I haven't found.  If not, it would be nice to have one.

ps. I read a recent article where it said that French school kids spend 80 hours on average learning the rules for past participle agreement!

NicoleB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Hi Deborah, I had this same question. Did a little research online, and it turns out there is agreement with the past participle IF the reflexive pronoun is a direct object of the verb, as in "Nous nous sommes habillés." But when the reflexive pronoun is an indirect object, as in "Il se sont acheté un chien" there is no agreement. The answer is here in this link under #5: http://www.leaflanguages.org/french-grammar-reflexive-verbs-passe-compose-past-tense/
ArndisA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
I had the same problem. An explanation of this should be added to the lesson above. 

Passe compose for a reflexive verb.

The answer to a question in the Kwiz was "Nous nous sommes brosse" (with an accent).  Shouldn't that have been brosses (with an accent)?

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PhilippaB1Kwiziq community member

How do I get to the next lesson?

Asked 1 year ago
GruffKwiziq team member

Hi Philippa - it depends where you mean from. Your recommended lessons are in your studyplan on your dashboard, and when you open a lesson from there, you can also navigate forward and backwards to the other lessons. If you have opened a lesson from a kwiz report using the "explain this" button, just close the lesson to go back.

Does this answer your question?

How do I get to the next lesson?

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PaulC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Continuation Question on tense and gender.

"the verb must agree with the gender and number of the person."

Can you please explain the discrepancy between these two sources of information? Thanks. 

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Paul,

I believe you are confusing the verb with the past participle. Let's take a look:

Alice s'est bien amusée. -- Alice had a lot of fun.

The verb is "est", which is the third person singular and hence agrees with Alice, the subject. The verb always needs to agree with the subject of the sentence, no matter what.

The participle in the example is "amusée". In the case of composite tenses which have être as their conjugated verb (as in this example), the participle needs to match the verb in number (singular) and gender (female), therfore you use "amusée".

Jean et Marc, vous vous êtes bien amusés?

Another example of the same kind: Jean et Marc are the subject in the second person plural and hence referred to as "vous". The verb (êtes) is matched to it. In the particular case of passeé composé with être as the conjugated verb, the participle needs to match the subject in gender and number: amusés. Another example, this time with avoir instead of être as the conjugated verb.

J'ai mangé du pain. -- I ate some bread.

Again, the verb "ai" is matched to the subject "je". The past participle "mangé", however, is not matched because the conjugated verb is avoir and not être.

With this clarification you should be able to reconcile the two explanations.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Continuation Question on tense and gender.

"the verb must agree with the gender and number of the person."

Can you please explain the discrepancy between these two sources of information? Thanks. 

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PaulC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Agreement with tense and gender of subject

I have just reviewed https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/agreement-with-pronominal-verbs/ as recommended in another Q&A and it disagrees with the teaching in this lesson that 
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Paul,

can you point to the contradiction you found, specificially? It would help me answer your question.

-- Chris.

Agreement with tense and gender of subject

I have just reviewed https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/agreement-with-pronominal-verbs/ as recommended in another Q&A and it disagrees with the teaching in this lesson that 

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MaryA2Kwiziq community member

Passé Composé. - what does Conversational past mean?

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

Hi Mary,

conversational past is the tense you use in conversations when talking about some event that happened in the past.
This is to be contrastet to passé simple which fulfills this function but not on a conversational level but on a literary level.
The imparfait tense is different because it serves a different purpose and pertains to repeated or habitual actions in the past.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Passé Composé. - what does Conversational past mean?

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MeghnaC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Agreement with reflexive conjugaison

In the question "Vous ___ dans le placard." (You hid in the cupboard.) would etes cache and etes caches both be acceptable?
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Meghna ! Yes, both versions are acceptable here, depending on whether you're addressing one person formally, or several people. Have a look at our related lesson: Agreeing past participle with subject's gender and number with (+ être) verbs in Le Passé Composé Bonnes Fêtes !

Agreement with reflexive conjugaison

In the question "Vous ___ dans le placard." (You hid in the cupboard.) would etes cache and etes caches both be acceptable?

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IanA2Kwiziq community member

If 'vous' is formal, masculine and single, then is there no agreement required? Thanks.

Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour Ian, That's right. Whatever vous stands for is what determines what agreement is needed. Vous = Monsieur Martin = no agreement Vous = Monsieur et Madame Martin = plural agreement Vous = Christine et Sandrine = plural feminine agreement
OriettaA2Kwiziq community member
Well what about vous vous etes cache?
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Orietta ! It's the same explanation: Vous = Monsieur Martin = "vous vous êtes caché" Vous = Madame Martin = "vous vous êtes cachée" Vous = Monsieur et Madame Martin = "vous vous êtes cachés" Vous = Christine et Sandrine = "vous vous êtes cachées" À bientôt !

If 'vous' is formal, masculine and single, then is there no agreement required? Thanks.

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Getting that for you now.