Pour être allé = Cause for going (complex expression)

In French, if you're using ''pour + Infinitif passé (e.g. avoir fait)'', you can only be talking about an action that's in the past. Therefore, you could NEVER say ''pour faire ça'' for something that has been done, the way you say ''for doing that'' in English! 

Look at these examples:

J'ai été félicité pour être venu à l'aide de Paul.
I was congratulated for coming to help Paul.

Elle s'est faite gronder pour s'être maquillée.
She was told off for putting make-up on.

Il a été promu pour être allé à ce séminaire.
He was promoted for having gone to that seminar.

 

Moi, Marc, on m'a grondé pour m'être assis à côté d'elle.
I, Marc, was told off for sitting next to her.

 

Note that to express ''for + -ing'' (or ''for having + past participle'') in French, you use the same following structure:

pour + infinitive of auxiliary (être or avoir) + past participle

ATTENTION: Use the same auxiliary as in compound tenses like Le Passé Composé

e.g. To say ''for going'' (for having gone), you will say ''pour être allé'', and NEVER ''pour avoir allé'' !

Note also that when using être, you need to agree the past participle with the person doing the action.

e.g.

Elle a été punie pour être arrivée en retard.
She was punished for arriving late.


As for using reflexive verbs, note that the reflexive pronoun will change (m' / t' / s' / nous / vous / s') and be placed before the auxiliary 'être'.

e.g.  

Nous sommes punis pour nous être salis.
We are grounded for getting dirty.

 

See also the simpler cases: Pour avoir fait = Cause for doing (simple expression) 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Nous sommes punis pour nous être salis.
We are grounded for getting dirty.


Elle a été punie pour être arrivée en retard.
She was punished for arriving late.


Moi, Marc, on m'a grondé pour m'être assis à côté d'elle.
I, Marc, was told off for sitting next to her.


Elle s'est faite gronder pour s'être maquillée.
She was told off for putting make-up on.


J'ai été félicité pour être venu à l'aide de Paul.
I was congratulated for coming to help Paul.


Il a été promu pour être allé à ce séminaire.
He was promoted for having gone to that seminar.


Q&A

Lisa

Kwiziq community member

6 September 2018

1 reply

English translations needing clarification (perhaps)

Bonjour,

I was noticing in the lesson that the contruction in the French is dealing with the past, but many of the English translations are in the present (ex: I was congratulated for coming.). Should the translations also reflect the past? (ex: I was congratulated for having come.)  I guess the difference is that it's hard to know what to do with on reverse translation on a quiz.  If you see "He was promoted for going to the seminar" it's hard to know whether to write "pour aller au seminaire" or whether to write "pour etre alle au seminaire."  Maybe the "was promoted" has to be the key?  

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

4 October 2018

4/10/18

Hi Lisa,

I think you are right in saying that the English equivalent of 'après être allé' should be translated by a past tense but often in English it can sound stilted and the meaning equivalent can be just a gerund in English.  

Anyone wanting to add to this discussion would be welcome and please correct me if I am wrong....

In French however, it has to be an past infinitive.

Hope this helps!

Donald

Kwiziq community member

22 August 2018

1 reply

pour m'être assis

Je me demande que je sois dire <  j'ai peur que je serai puni pour m'être assis à côté de toi>.  En anglais ça veut dire <I fear that I may be punished for sitting next to you>.  Autrement dit, je veux utiliser le temps futur. Quelque fois, j'essaie d'utiliser les temps différent que vous avez employé. Merci,  Don

Chris

Kwiziq community member

23 August 2018

23/08/18

HI Donald,

in English you could also (though a bit less elegantly) say, "I am afraid I'll be punished for having sat down next to you." That would correspond more closely to the French.

Gregory

Kwiziq community member

30 July 2018

1 reply

Agreement question

This question got marked "Incorrect" because the past participle didn't have the "e" at the end: Je félicitais Julie pour être parti à temps. The subject/actor in this sentence could be either male or female. Should the past participle agree with the indirect object ("Julie", in this case)? Or with the Subject, "Je"? If the agreement is with the subject, then either "partie" or "parti" would be correct.

Thanks! Greg

Chris

Kwiziq community member

31 July 2018

31/07/18

Hi Greg,

the accordance of the participle should be with Julie because être partie refers to Julie. I always thought Julie was a female first name. Hence partie instead of parti. 

-- Chris. 

Ian

Kwiziq community member

27 July 2018

1 reply

For "Je suis puni pour ________ en retard",

The correct answer is given as "être arrivé".  I answered "m'être arrivé"  Was my answer correct also, and if not could you explain?  Thanks.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

28 July 2018

28/07/18

iI Ian,

Your answer is incorrect as the verb is 'arriver' not, 's'arriver'.

Bonne continuation!

Jennifer

Kwiziq community member

4 April 2017

2 replies

Would you ever say elle était punie as opposed to elle a été punie?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

4 April 2017

4/04/17

Bonjour Jennifer !

Yes, if it was seen as a *background action* to a punctual one for example: "Ce jour-là, elle était punie dans sa chambre quand soudain elle entendit un bruit à la fenêtre." That day, she was grounded in her room when suddenly she heard a noise at the window.

Or, if you're talking about a *recurrent action* in the past: "Elle était toujours punie à la place de son frère." She was always grounded instead of her brother. Here are links to our lessons on when to use L'Imparfait: 

https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/verb-tense-mood/the-french-continuous-past-and-past-habit-l-imparfait

I hope that's helpful!

À bientôt !

Jennifer

Kwiziq community member

4 April 2017

4/04/17

Bonjour Aurélie, Yes thank you.
How has your day been?