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Level A2 - Le Passé Composé avec ÊTRE

Learn which French verbs use ÊTRE as helping verb in the past tense

A2 Level: Le passé composé avec être

This is a mini-course on using être as helping verb when speaking or writing in the passé composé. An auxiliary verb, or helping verb, is a conjugated verb used in front of another verb in order to indicate the tense of the verb.

In French, the helping verb is either avoir or être. All French verbs are classified by which helping verb they take. Most French verbs use avoir, fewer use être.

In this lesson I will explain when and why to use être instead of avoir. Your study guide includes a list of 17 verbs that use être.

STEP 1: Download your 7 page study guide and be ready to take notes.

STEP 2: Watch my 16 minute video lesson

STEP 3: Remembering which verbs use être in the passé composé can be tricky. I've written a little story that will stick in your brain and help you remember these 17 verbs.

  • Listen to the audio recording to work on listening comprehension and see how much you can understand.
  • Download worksheet #1 and fill in the blanks as you listen to the recording again.
  • Download the complete text and read along as you listen again.
  • Download worksheet #2 and fill in the blanks NOT while listening to the recording.

STEP 4: Dictée - Listen to the audio recording and write everything I say on the lines provided. This is a good exercise in listening comprehension, and you'll need to pay close attention to number and gender to spell the past participles correctly.

STEP 5: Worksheet #1 - Rewrite the present tense sentences in the passé composé.

STEP 6: Worksheet #2 - Unscramble sentences to rewrite them in the passé composé using être. Be sure to use all of the words in this challenging exercise!


This resource is included in my FRENCH PROGRAM FOR SELF-LEARNERS, and once you own the program, you'll have access to all of LLL's current and future French learning resources at no additional cost!




Your Instructor


Jennifer Crespin
Jennifer Crespin

Jennifer is originally from Louisiana, and has been teaching French for over 20 years. She completed a BA in French and English, and taught French and moved to France for a year before pursuing and earning an MA degree in French. She taught French for 15 years at Saint Louis University High School, a Jesuit college preparatory school for young men. Jennifer has been living in France with her husband and children since 2013, and continues to teach French both online and locally.


Course Curriculum


  Using être as helping verb
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  Dr. & Mrs. P. Vandertramp
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  Dictée
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  Worksheet #1
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  Worksheet #2
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