Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb butter

Introduction to the verb butter

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The English translation of the French verb “butter” is “to spread butter.” The infinitive form of the verb is pronounced “byoo-tay.”

The language origin of butter can be traced back to the Latin word “butyrum,” meaning “butter,” which was borrowed from the Greek word “boutyron.” In everyday French, butter is most often used in the Passé Composé tense to express an action that has been completed in the past. This tense is formed by using the auxiliary verb “avoir” (to have) or “être” (to be) followed by the past participle of the verb.

Here are three simple examples of how butter is used in the Passé Composé tense in everyday French, along with the English translations:

  1. J’ai beurré mes tartines. (I spread butter on my toast.)
  2. Elle a beurré le moule avant de mettre la pâte à gâteau. (She buttered the pan before putting in the cake batter.)
  3. Nous sommes allés au marché et avons acheté du beurre frais. (We went to the market and bought fresh butter.)

Table of the Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of butter

Pronoun Conjugation Short Example English Translation
je ai beurré J’ai beurré le pain. I buttered the bread.
tu as beurré Tu as beurré le croissant. You buttered the croissant.
il a beurré Il a beurré les pommes de terre. He buttered the potatoes.
elle a beurré Elle a beurré les crêpes. She buttered the crepes.
on a beurré On a beurré le plat. We buttered the dish.
nous avons beurré Nous avons beurré les toasts. We buttered the toasts.
vous avez beurré Vous avez beurré le gâteau. You buttered the cake.
ils ont beurré Ils ont beurré le maïs. They buttered the corn.
elles ont beurré Elles ont beurré les baguettes. They buttered the baguettes.

Other Conjugations for Butter.

   
    Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb butter
   

    Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb butter
   

    Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb butter
   

    Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb butter    (this article)

    Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb butter
   

    Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb butter
   

    Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb butter
   

    Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb butter

    Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb butter

    Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb butter

    Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb butter
   

    Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb butter

    Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb butter
   

    Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb butter
   

    Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb butter

    L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb butter

    L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb butter

    Struggling with French verbs or the language in general? Why not use our free French Grammar Checker – no registration required!
   

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Butter – About the French Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense

The French Passé Composé is a compound tense used to express actions or events that have been completed in the past. It is one of the most common past tenses in the French language and is typically used in everyday conversation to describe actions that occurred at a specific point in the past. The Passé Composé is constructed using an auxiliary verb (either “être” or “avoir”) and a past participle.

NOTE: To take a deep dive into all the French tenses then see our article on Mastering French Tense Conjugation.

Formation of the Passé Composé

Set the auxiliary verb with either

“être” – used with a select group of verbs (mostly intransitive verbs of motion, reflexive verbs, and some others) or
“avoir” – used with most other verbs. 

Conjugate the auxiliary verb

If using “être,” you must conjugate it in the present tense according to the subject of the sentence. 
Je suis, Tu es, Il est, Nous sommes, Vous êtes, Ils sont 
If using “avoir,” conjugate it according to the subject as well: 
J’ai, Tu as, Elle a, Nous avons, Vous avez, Ils ont.  

Add the past participle

For regular -er verbs, remove the -er ending and add -é (e.g., “parler” becomes “parlé”). 
For regular -ir verbs, remove the -ir ending and add -i (e.g., “finir” becomes “fini”). 
For regular -re verbs, remove the -re ending and add -u (e.g., “vendre” becomes “vendu”). 
For irregular verbs, you’ll need to learn the past participles individually, as they don’t follow a regular pattern.

Common everyday usage patterns

Narrating Past Events

The Passé Composé is used to talk about specific actions or events that took place in the past. For example: “Hier, j’ai mangé une pizza” (Yesterday, I ate a pizza). 

Sequential Actions

When describing a series of actions in the past, the Passé Composé is used. For example: “D’abord, je me suis réveillé, puis je suis allé travailler” (First, I woke up, then I went to work). 

Describing Completed Actions

It’s used to emphasize that an action has been completed, often with a specific time reference. For example: “Elle a terminé son travail à 18 heures” (She finished her work at 6 p.m.). 

Interactions with other tenses

Imperfect Tense

The Passé Composé is often used in conjunction with the imperfect tense when telling a story or describing past events. The Passé Composé is used for specific actions that occurred, while the imperfect is used for background information or ongoing actions. 
For example: “Il pleuvait quand j’ai sorti mon parapluie” (It was raining when I took out my umbrella).

Conditional and Future Tenses

The Passé Composé is used as a reference point in complex sentences to establish the sequence of events in relation to future or conditional actions. 
For example: “Quand il est arrivé, je lui ai donné ton message” (When he arrived, I gave him your message). 

Summary

The French Passé Composé is an essential tense for talking about completed actions in the past in everyday conversation. It’s important to master the choice of auxiliary verb and the past participle conjugation for various verbs to use it effectively.

I hope you enjoyed this article on the verb butter. Still in a learning mood? Check out another TOTALLY random French verb conjugation!

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