Introduction to the verb calculer
Get the Passé Composé (Present Perfect) tense conjugation of calculer. Includes a FREE downloadable reference sheet (no email required). Alternatively if you have a lot of text to check then use our free French Grammar Checker – no registration required!
The English translation of the French verb calculer is “to calculate.” It is pronounced as “kah-kew-lay” in its infinitive form.
The word calculer comes from the Latin word “calculare,” meaning “to count, reckon, or calculate.” In everyday French, it is most commonly used in the Passé Composé tense, which is the equivalent of the Present Perfect tense in English.
Here are three simple examples of its usage in the Passé Composé tense, with the respective English translations:
- J’ai calculé la distance entre les deux villes. (I calculated the distance between the two cities.)
- Elle a calculé son budget avant de partir en voyage. (She calculated her budget before going on a trip.)
- Nous avons calculé le pourcentage de réussite. (We calculated the success rate.)
Table of the Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of calculer
||J’ai calculé le résultat.
||I calculated the result.
||Tu as calculé les coûts.
||You calculated the costs.
||Il a calculé la distance.
||He calculated the distance.
||Elle a calculé le temps.
||She calculated the time.
||On a calculé la moyenne.
||We calculated the average.
||Nous avons calculé la somme.
||We calculated the sum.
||Vous avez calculé la probabilité.
||You calculated the probability.
||Ils ont calculé les impôts.
||They calculated the taxes.
||Elles ont calculé les avantages.
||They calculated the benefits.
Other Conjugations for Calculer.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb calculer
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calculer
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calculer
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calculer (this article)
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calculer
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calculer
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calculer
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calculer
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calculer
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calculer
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calculer
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calculer
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calculer
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calculer
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calculer
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calculer
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calculer
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Calculer – 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.
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).
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
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).
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.
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