French Verbs with Être as the Auxiliary
In compound tenses, such as Le Passé Composé, Le Plus-que-Parfait, Le Futur Antérieur and Le Conditionnel Passé, verbs are conjugated with an auxiliary verb: avoir or être.
While most verbs use ''avoir'', some verbs require ''être''.
1. All pronominal verbs
Pronominal (including reflexive) verbs require être in all compound tenses. This auxiliary is usually located between the reflexive pronoun (me/te/se/nous/vous/se) and the past participle.
Je me suis levé(e). - I got up.
Elle s'était maquillée. - She had put on some make-up.
2. Other verbs
About 2 dozen verbs, sometimes called DR & MRS P VANDERTRAMP verbs or Maison d'être verbs are mostly verbs expressing movements of some kind. Except of course for rester, which means "to stay"!
The past participles of verbs conjugated with être always agree in gender and number with the subject of this verb.
Here is the complete list:
|descendre||to go down / to get off|
|entrer||to come in|
|monter||to go up / to get on|
|naître||to be born|
|rentrer||to come back in / to come home|
|retourner||to go back|
|revenir||to come back|
|sortir||to go out|
Note that some of these verbs can be conjugated with avoir, with a different meaning.