Recognising avoir in Le Passé Simple

Look at avoir in le Passé Simple:

Quand j'eus enfin l'opportunité de le rencontrer, je tombai malade.
When I finally had the chance to meet him, I fell ill.

Tu eus beaucoup de problèmes cette année-là.
You had a lot of problems that year.

Il eut vite froid sans son manteau.
He got cold quickly without his coat.

Nous eûmes juste le temps de prendre notre train.
We had just enough time to catch our train.

Vous eûtes une migraine tout le long du voyage.
You had a migraine the whole trip.

Soudain, ils eurent l'impression d'être suivis.
Suddenly, they felt like they were being followed.

 

To conjugate avoir in le Passé Simple, here is what to do:

'e-' + endings: -us, -us, -ut, -ûmes, -ûtes, -urent

 

ATTENTION: It's easy to confuse j'eus (Passé Simple) with j'ai eu (Passé Composé)!

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Soudain, ils eurent l'impression d'être suivis.
Suddenly, they felt like they were being followed.


Vous eûtes une migraine tout le long du voyage.
You had a migraine the whole trip.


Tu eus beaucoup de problèmes cette année-là.
You had a lot of problems that year.


Nous eûmes juste le temps de prendre notre train.
We had just enough time to catch our train.


Quand j'eus enfin l'opportunité de le rencontrer, je tombai malade.
When I finally had the chance to meet him, I fell ill.


Il eut vite froid sans son manteau.
He got cold quickly without his coat.


Q&A

Brian

Kwiziq community member

6 April 2017

1 reply

I have no wish to learn the past historic, how can I remove this from my study plan?

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

7 April 2017

7/04/17

Hi Brian,

I'm afraid you can't remove topics from the dashboard studyplan. If you want full control over what to practise and learn then you can use your notebook for that. You can choose whatever you want to put in that and then test against those lessons only.

However, whilst I know it may not seem important to learn the passé simple, I would actually strongly recommend you do learn it. In level B2, our lessons are only about recognising it (not producing it) and this is a really valuable skill since almost all French books are written in it. It's a key reading skill that opens up a whole world of French content to you and it's not that hard to learn, in fact. It's almost impossible to read French books without it and that severely limits your learning options.

Hope that helps!

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