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


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.


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.


Q&A

Pauline

Kwiziq community member

16 May 2018

2 replies

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

Chris

Kwiziq community member

17 May 2018

17/05/18

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).

Christopher

Kwiziq community member

18 May 2018

18/05/18

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.

Pauline

Kwiziq community member

16 May 2018

1 reply

How do tell whether vous is singular or plural?

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

16 May 2018

16/05/18

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. 

Deborah

Kwiziq community member

28 April 2018

2 replies

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)?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

28 April 2018

28/04/18

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


-- Chris (not a native speaker). 

Chris

Kwiziq community member

28 April 2018

28/04/18

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


-- Chris (not a native speaker). 

Philippa

Kwiziq community member

28 April 2018

1 reply

How do I get to the next lesson?

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

30 April 2018

30/04/18

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?

Paul

Kwiziq community member

25 April 2018

1 reply

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. 

Chris

Kwiziq community member

26 April 2018

26/04/18

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).

Paul

Kwiziq community member

25 April 2018

1 reply

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 

Chris

Kwiziq community member

26 April 2018

26/04/18

Hi Paul,


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


-- Chris.

Mary

Kwiziq community member

2 March 2018

2 replies

Passé Composé. - what does Conversational past mean?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

2 March 2018

2/03/18

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).

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

5 March 2018

5/03/18

Meghna

Kwiziq community member

28 December 2016

1 reply

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?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

28 December 2016

28/12/16

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:
https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/grammar/agree-past-participle-with-subjects-gender-and-number-with-etre-verbs-in-le-passe-compose-conversational-past

Bonnes Fêtes !

Ian

Kwiziq community member

1 December 2015

3 replies

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

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

1 December 2015

1/12/15

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

Orietta

Kwiziq community member

25 October 2016

25/10/16

Well what about vous vous etes cache?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

26 January 2017

26/01/17

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 !
Getting that for you now.