Agreement of past participle

GC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Agreement of past participle

Marraine m'avait prise dans ses bras

...why prise and not pris? Which rule would apply here?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi G,

Sabrina is talking and she says that her godmother had taken her into her arms, m' refers to Sabrina and in the case of the auxilliary 'avoir' if the direct object precedes the verb, the past participle agrees in gender and number so an -e is added to pris here.

Take a look at the following Kwiziq lesson for more information -

Special cases when the past participle agrees (in number & gender) when used with 'avoir' in the compound past in French (Le Passé Composé)

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

If you know what a direct object or COD (complement d'objet direct) is, there is only one rule -- with no special cases or exceptions -- you need to remember:

If the COD precedes the participle, you have to match the participle to the COD.

That's it. Works like a charm for passé composé formed with avoir or être, with reflexive or non-reflexive verbs. As far as I'm aware, this may be one of the very few rules that str not broken by numerous exceptions in the entire French grammar. :)))

GC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I did read through the lesson on special cases but I still didn't grasp it.

What threw me off is I compared the following two sentences and couldn't understand why - if pris was prise, why wasn't expliqué - expliqués?:

-Mes parents m'avaient expliqué que les cloches étaient passées chez Marraine

-Marraine m'avait prise dans ses bras pour me faire un gros câlin

Is it because expliqué is a COI ? 

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi G,

As you worked out, this is not the case if the object is indirect and in the case of the verb expliquer  the expression is -

expliquer quelque chose à quelqu'un = to explain something to someone

and in the sentence you quote the m' is an indirect object and although it precedes the verb there's no agreement.

Hope this helps!

GC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Yes thank you, I understand fully now!

Agreement of past participle

Marraine m'avait prise dans ses bras

...why prise and not pris? Which rule would apply here?

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