Demeurer can be used with avoir or être in Le Passé Composé... and changes meaning

Most verbs use either avoir or être as the auxiliary verb in Passé composé (or other compound tense)but demeurer can take avoir or être depending on its meaning.
 
Case 1 - êtreCase 2 - avoir

Je suis demeuré impassible pendant toute cette conversation.
I remained expressionless during all this conversation.

J'ai demeuré chez lui pendant une semaine.
I stayed at his house for a week.

Elle est demeurée silencieuse pendant tout le trajet.
She remained silent the whole trip.

Il a demeuré à Paris pendant quelques mois.
He lived in Paris for a few months.

 

Notice that demeurer follows the opposite pattern to the other verbs that can take avoir or être.

être + demeuré + [adjectif]

= to remain + [adjective]

When demeurer means to remain in a state of being it takes être.

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

avoir + demeuré [quelque part]

= to live [somewhere]
= to stay [somewhere]

When demeurer means to remain or live somewhere it takes avoir.

Examples and resources

Il a demeuré à Paris pendant quelques mois.
He lived in Paris for a few months.


Elle est demeurée silencieuse pendant tout le trajet.
She remained silent the whole trip.


J'ai demeuré chez lui pendant une semaine.
I stayed at his house for a week.


Je suis demeuré impassible pendant toute cette conversation.
I remained expressionless during all this conversation.


J'ai demeuré à Paris toute ma vie.
I lived in Paris all my life.


Q&A Forum 4 questions, 15 answers

MichaelC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Grammahiles Corner Problem

Je suis aussi tombé sur cette pierre d'achoppement. 

Je me trouve, depuis que demeurer ne corresponde pas au modèle des verbes transitif ou intransitif, vous devez remuer cet avis. N'est pas?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Michael, 

This has been altered, thank you for your comment... 

Grammahiles Corner Problem

Je suis aussi tombé sur cette pierre d'achoppement. 

Je me trouve, depuis que demeurer ne corresponde pas au modèle des verbes transitif ou intransitif, vous devez remuer cet avis. N'est pas?

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TimC1Kwiziq community member

In the examples, demeurer seems to reverse the être-avoir rule as to which it takes with direct and indirect objects. How come?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Tim,

Sorry about the delay in getting back to you...

Demeurer as your rightly point out is an odd one as it doesn't really fit into the usual transitive and intransitive category of verbs which take avoir or être.

However, it does mean two different things and use both auxiliaries depending on its meaning.

Maybe a better way of thinking about it is :

When the verb demeurer describes a state it will take 'être' and when it describes an action, it will take 'avoir'.

However, this is just a particularity of that verb and there is no need to sweat over as you will often use other verbs to describe the same meaning, rester in the case of the state of being ,

Je suis demeuré/resté bouche bée = I stayed open mouthed

and vivre/habiter for the action,

Nous avons demeuré/vécu/habité rue St Martin pendant dix ans We lived in Rue St Martin for ten years 

You will find exceptions to all rules so this is very perceptive of you...'Vivre' is the same , intransitive but takes 'avoir' 

J'ai vécu I have lived

Hope this helps!

 

 

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Tim,

Not quite sure if I have understood your question but in the 'Grammaphile's Corner' section of the lesson, it is explained that when the verb demeurer is transitive ( meaning it has an object) it uses 'avoir'  and intransitive ( without object) it uses 'être' which seems consistent to me.

Hope this helps!

TimC1Kwiziq community member
Thank you, I think I am not seeing the obvious, but "j'ai demeure chez lui" and and " je suis resté chez lui" seem to mean the same thing.
TimC1Kwiziq community member
I don't want to fill up the question section with a daft question, but the more I think about this it seems to me that neither version of demeurer takes a direct object ie they are both intransitive. If I'm right the grammaphile advice which is great for everything else does not work for demeurer. If you can explain why I am wrong I would be very grateful. Thank you for your patience with a struggling student."
TimC1Kwiziq community member
That's very helpful, thank you.
RodC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Cecile's answer to Tim really helped me.  I was also confused about the opposite behaviour of demeurer relative to other verbs that  use etre or avoir depending on context.  It would be very helpful if the lesson was altered to explicitly state that this verb is odd  - all the other lessons state that if the verb is followed by a preposition (en, sur, dans, à etc) the auxillary is etre, but that is not the case for demeurer (e.g. Il a demeuré à Paris pendant quelques mois.).   Explaining that it breaks the rules, and adding the core of Cecile's explanation would avert confusion. This comment from Cecile was particularly helpful: "When the verb demeurer describes a state it will take 'être' and when it describes an action, it will take 'avoir'."

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi all, 

The lesson is going to be adapted and your comments will be taken into consideration.

Thank you very much for pointing those out...

Tim asked:View original

In the examples, demeurer seems to reverse the être-avoir rule as to which it takes with direct and indirect objects. How come?

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SamB2Kwiziq community member

Je n'aurais pas imaginé que ce verbe pourrait être utilisé comme ça! Merci pour partager!

Asked 2 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Sam,

In French you will often find verbs which have different meanings. Grammatically they use different auxilliary verbs to conjugate in the past enabling us to tell their meaning apart. As Ron says French is a rich, verbose language which has many layers.

Demeurer ( with Avoir) is this case will be used to mean, to reside somewhere, but you will mostly hear the simpler habiter or vivre in spoken language .

In the other sense of staying (with Etre) you will probably mostly use "rester" in spoken language, 

e.g. Elle est restée muette devant sa réaction  rather than,  elle est demeurée muette devant sa réaction.

Hope this helps!

RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonsoir Sam, Il y a aussi plus de verbes ce qui utilisent «être» ou «avoir» et ils sont détaillés dans la leçon. J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderait. Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière et qui a été utilisée par le monde français depuis l’époque d’Hugues Capet Ron (un locuteur non natif )

Je n'aurais pas imaginé que ce verbe pourrait être utilisé comme ça! Merci pour partager!

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SueC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Demeurer in the present

could you use demeurerin sentences with the meaning " I remain silent", or "I am staying at his house/in Paris" .
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Sue ! Yes, you can, although be aware that it sounds very "posh" and old-fashioned ;) Je demeure silencieux pendant qu'elle parle. En ce moment, je demeure chez des amis à Monaco. À bientôt !
SueC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
It is used a lot in religious writing
GerilynC1Kwiziq community member
Aurélie, Selon vous, alors, un(e) français(e) dirait plutôt : Je reste silencieux pendant qu'elle parle. [?] En ce moment, je suis descendu chez des amis à Monaco. [?]Merci Merci beaucoup pour votre réponse.
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Gerilyn ! Yes, in colloquial French, we'll indeed use "rester" in the first case, and for the second case, you would rather say: "En ce moment, je suis chez des amis à Monaco." or "En ce moment, je loge chez des amis à Monaco." or "En ce moment, je rends visite à des amis à Monaco." Bonne journée !
GerilynC1Kwiziq community member
Merci Aurélie, You've answered a questions I've wondered about for a long time! Merci mille fois !

Demeurer in the present

could you use demeurerin sentences with the meaning " I remain silent", or "I am staying at his house/in Paris" .

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