Cas particulier : l’accord du participe passé avec l’auxiliaire avoir

French Grammar (see all)

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Cas particulier : l’accord du participe passé avec l’auxiliaire avoir

Reminder : The past participle never agrees with the subject when we use avoir as the auxiliary verb.
Elle a rencontré une célébrité. She met a celebrity.
Ils ont fini la bouteille. They finished the bottle.

However, the past participle must agree with the direct object (COD) if we encounter it before the verb.
Mes enfants, je les ai aimés plus que tout au monde. My children, I love them more than anything else in the world. (‘them’ is a direct object pronoun)
J’ai perdu ma fille I lost my daughter → Je l’ai perdue I lost her.
Voici la célébrité qu’elle a rencontrée. Here is the celebrity that she met. (‘the celebrity’ is a direct object)

Note: When the past participle of faire is followed by a verb in the infinitive, it does NOT need to agree with the noun in gender or number.
Il a fait faire ces portraits de sa famille. → Il les a fait faire. He had portraits of his family made → He had them made.
Elle a fait tomber la bouteille. → Elle l’a fait tomber. She dropped the bottle → She dropped it.

Note: A direct object pronoun (COD) replaces a noun that refers to a person or thing (e.g. ‘it’, ‘me’ or ‘them’). It answers ‘what’ and ‘who’ questions. Note there is no agreement when the direct object follows the verb or with an indirect object (COI).
Ils ont fini la bouteille → Ils l’ont finie. They finished the bottle → They finished it. (L’ is a direct object)
J’ai vu six films hier. Ils étaient très bien. → Les six films que j’ai vus hier étaient très bien. I saw six films yesterday. The were very good. → The six films I saw yesterday were very good. (Que is a direct object)
J’ai parlé à mes frères et sœurs → Je leur ai parlé. I spoke to my brothers and sisters. → I spoke to them. (Leur is an indirect object, so no agreement).


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