Repasser can be used with avoir or être in Le Passé Composé... and changes meaning

Most verbs use either avoir or être as the auxiliary verb in Passé composé (or other compound tense)but repasser uses both, depending on its grammatical usage* and what it means in the sentence.
 
*Grammaphile's Corner : the technical grammatical distinction between these cases is actually whether the verb is used in a transitive or intransitive manner. 
- The transitive version (the version with a direct object) uses avoir.
- The intransitive version (lacking a direct object), uses être.
 

être + repassé [par, chez, etc]

= to pass by [somewhere] again
= to come back by [somewhere]
= to pop back in [somewhere]

Tu es repassé à la boulangerie car tu avais oublié les croissants.
You popped back by the bakery because you had forgotten the croissants.

Il est repassé par chez toi mais tu étais déjà parti.
He came back by yours but you had left already.

Nous sommes repassés par le lac: c'était magnifique.
We passed by the lake again: it was beautiful.

Note that in each case where être is the auxilliary, the verb repasser is followed by a preposition (en, sur, dans, à etc.).  
So in these cases repasser is usually about passing by again, coming back by somewhere, or popping back in somewhere

(See also Agreeing past participle with subject's gender and number with (+ être) verbs in Le Passé Composé)

avoir + repassé [quelque chose]

= to iron [something] 
= to retake [a test or exam]

Chéri, tu as repassé ma chemise pour demain?
Honey, have you ironed my shirt for tomorrow?

Il a repassé tous les draps que j'avais laissés.
He ironed all the sheets that I had left.

Nous avons repassé notre bac.
We retook our A levels.

When repasser is followed immediately by a noun (as opposed to a preposition), it uses avoir as the auxiliary, like most verbs.
 
Here is the list of all "two-auxiliaryverbs in compound tenses:
 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Chéri, tu as repassé ma chemise pour demain?
Honey, have you ironed my shirt for tomorrow?


Il est repassé par chez toi mais tu étais déjà parti.
He came back by yours but you had left already.


Nous sommes repassés par le lac: c'était magnifique.
We passed by the lake again: it was beautiful.


Nous avons repassé notre bac.
We retook our A levels.


Il a repassé tous les draps que j'avais laissés.
He ironed all the sheets that I had left.


Tu es repassé à la boulangerie car tu avais oublié les croissants.
You popped back by the bakery because you had forgotten the croissants.


Q&A Forum 3 questions, 7 answers

RobertC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Shouldn't there be the word "par" in the test phrase?

The correct answer for the question: Il ________ repassé chez toi hier soir. 

He passed by yours again yesterday evening. 
Is being given as "est".  However there is no preposition before "chez toi".  Is the "par" to be assumed ?
Asked 2 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Both is possible: Repasser chez toi means "to go back by your place". In my understanding, if you add par to that, it means that you stopped by on the way to somewhere else.

RobertC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Chris, thanks for the reply.  In light of your response, I searched a bit more and found an even more thorough response in that "chez" is itself a preposition, thus as you said, to include par is either unnecessary or changes the meaning of the sentence.  

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

You can, howerver, say Je passe devant chez toi. -- I am passing in front of your house.

Shouldn't there be the word "par" in the test phrase?

The correct answer for the question: Il ________ repassé chez toi hier soir. 

He passed by yours again yesterday evening. 
Is being given as "est".  However there is no preposition before "chez toi".  Is the "par" to be assumed ?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

MichaelC1Kwiziq community member

So, the Lesson says that each case of Etre being the auxiliary, repasser is followed by a preposition. Example ONE has no preposition (in French)??

Asked 7 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Here is the first example given in the lesson:

Tu es repassé à la boulangerie car tu avais oublié les croissants.

The preposition is à.

So, the Lesson says that each case of Etre being the auxiliary, repasser is followed by a preposition. Example ONE has no preposition (in French)??

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

BonnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Missing a word here in the English!

Asked 1 year ago
BonnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Il est repassé par chez toi mais tu étais déjà parti.
He came back by your(s) [house/place] but you had left already.
CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Bonnie,

Does not 'yours' mean your house in every day speech ?

BonnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Not without comparison. My place and yours.

Missing a word here in the English!

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

How has your day been?