Repasser 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 le Passé Composé (or other compound tense)but repasser uses both, depending on what it means in the sentence*.

être + repassé <par, chez, etc>

to pass by <somewhere> again
= to come back by <somewhere>
= to pop back in <somewhere>

Tu es repassé à la boulangerie car tu avais oublié les croissants.
You popped back by the bakery because you had forgotten the croissants.

Il est repassé par chez toi mais tu étais déjà parti.
He came back by yours but you had left already.

Nous sommes repassés par le lac: c'était magnifique.
We passed by the lake again: it was beautiful.

 

Notice that in each case where être is the auxilliary, the verb repasser is followed by a preposition (en, sur, dans, à etc.).  I.e. in these cases repasser is usually about passing by again, coming back by somewhere, or popping back in somewhere

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

avoir + repassé <quelque chose>

to iron <something> 
= to retake <a test or exam>

Chéri, tu as repassé ma chemise pour demain?
Honey, have you ironed my shirt for tomorrow?

Il a repassé tous les draps que j'avais laissés.
He ironed all the sheets that I had left.

Nous avons repassé notre bac.
We retook our A levels.

 

When repasser is followed immediately by a noun (as opposed to a preposition), it uses avoir as the auxiliary, like most verbs.  
 
 
 
*Note for grammar nerds: the technical grammatical distinction between these cases is actually whether the transitive or intransitive version of the verb is used. The transitive version (the version with a direct object) uses avoir.  The intransitive version lacking a direct object, uses être.

 

Here is the list of all "two-auxiliaryverbs in compound tenses:
 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Nous avons repassé notre bac.
We retook our A levels.


Il a repassé tous les draps que j'avais laissés.
He ironed all the sheets that I had left.


Tu es repassé à la boulangerie car tu avais oublié les croissants.
You popped back by the bakery because you had forgotten the croissants.


Chéri, tu as repassé ma chemise pour demain?
Honey, have you ironed my shirt for tomorrow?


Il est repassé par chez toi mais tu étais déjà parti.
He came back by yours but you had left already.


Nous sommes repassés par le lac: c'était magnifique.
We passed by the lake again: it was beautiful.


Q&A

Bonnie

Kwiziq community member

8 July 2018

3 replies

Missing a word here in the English!

Bonnie

Kwiziq community member

8 July 2018

8/07/18

Il est repassé par chez toi mais tu étais déjà parti.
He came back by your(s) [house/place] but you had left already.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

8 July 2018

8/07/18

Hi Bonnie,


Does not 'yours' mean your house in every day speech ?

Bonnie

Kwiziq community member

8 July 2018

8/07/18

Not without comparison. My place and yours.
I'll be right with you...