I naively thought that, given that all reflexive verbs take être as their auxiliary, they would always agree in gender and number when requiring a past participle. Is there any simple method I can apply to identify the exceptions to the rule
The key is whether the reflexive pronoun represents a direct or indirect object.
If it represents an indirect object then there will be no agreement with the past participle.
If it represents a direct object then there will be agreement.
You will know that past participle agreement with avoir only happens when the direct object precedes the verb. When reflexive or reciprocal usage of être is in place of avoir then the past particle agrees as it would with avoir.
Hope this will help.
Thanks Alan, this will work nicely.
Anne s'est assise sur le canapé. -- Anne set on the sofa.Anne s'est brossé les dents. -- Ann brushed her teeth.
The first sentence follows the usual rule. Note, however, that the second sentence doesn't accord the participle to Anne (feminine, singular). The COD is les dents, which comes after the participle and hence it is NOT matched.
Sign in to submit your answer
Don't have an account yet? Join today
Test your French to the CEFR standard