agreement of past participles for reflexive verbs

IanhunterC1Kwiziq community member

agreement of past participles for reflexive verbs

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

Asked 3 months ago
JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

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.

Alan (Jim)

 

IanhunterC1Kwiziq community member

Thanks Alan, this will work nicely.

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

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.

agreement of past participles for reflexive verbs

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

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