jamcam1234
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anyone know how to get the french past tense
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thealphabetsays
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It's the sort of thing that comes with practice, so the more you utilise it the easier it'll become. I still make mistakes in the past tense now and I'm sitting my GCSE this year - I constantly use the wrong auxiliary verbs. Just make sure you use it plenty, for example write out some practice sentences using it saying "I went to school yesterday" or "I ate pizza" or "I went to the cinema and watched a film".
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redmeercat
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There are a few different past tenses, but the two most important are:

The perfect tense. This describes a completed action in the past.
To form the past tense you need:
1. The person. Who's doing the action?
Je - I
Tu - informal, singular you
Il - he
Elle - she
On - one, we
Nous - we
vous - formal, plural you
Ils - masculine/ mixed gender they
elles - feminine they

2. The present tense conjugation of 'avoir' or 'etre'.

avoir
J'ai
Tu as
Il/elle/on a
nous avons
vous avez
ils/elles ont

etre
Je suis
Tu es
il/elle/on est
nous sommes
vous etes
ils/elles sont

Usually, you'll need avoir. However, there are few past participles (see step 3) that require 'etre'. If in doubt, use 'avoir'.

3. Your past participle - the past form of the main verb.
To form the past participle, identify whether you're using an er, ir or re verb and then:
-er + e (e with an acute accent)
-ir + i
-re + u


Examples:
J'ai attendu mon chien - I waited for my dog.
Je suis sorti(e) - I went out. (WIth 'etre' verbs, you must put an 'e' on the end of the past participle if the subject is female.)
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bl0bf1sh
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yes, the best way to 'get it' is to practise.
websites such as languagesonline.org.uk are really good for all sorts of grammar

for le passé composé, I find it helpful to translate it into what it literally says, e.g. j'ai regardé = I have watched (as opposed to I watched, though this is also a correct translation).
same goes for other compound tenses (such as le plus-que-parfait) – split it into logical bits that work and you understand in both languages

learn how to conjugate avoir and être, as they are really useful and come up often
certain verbs use être instead of avoir (https://www.cliffsnotes.com/study-gu...pose-with-etre), remember these past participles have to 'agree' with the subject
and the rest use avoir, there are a few irregular past participles (many follow similar patterns though) but otherwise learn the general endings for -er, -re and -ir verbs (é, u, i)
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