Introduction to the verb cligner
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The English translation of the French verb cligner is “to blink” or “to wink.” The infinitive form of cligner is pronounced “klee-nay.”
The word cligner comes from the Latin word “clinare” which means “to incline” or “to bend.” It entered the French language in the 14th century and has been used to describe the action of blinking or winking ever since.
In everyday French, cligner is most often used in the Passé Composé (Present Perfect) tense, which is used to talk about actions that were completed in the past. It is formed with the auxiliary verb “avoir” and the past participle “cligné.”
Here are three examples of cligner in the Passé Composé tense with English translations:
- J’ai cligné des yeux pour chasser les larmes. (I blinked to push back the tears.)
- Tu as cligné des yeux plusieurs fois avant de te réveiller. (You blinked several times before waking up.)
- Elle a cligné des yeux pour montrer qu’elle avait compris. (She winked to show she understood.)
Table of the Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of cligner
||J’ai cligné des yeux.
||Tu as cligné des cils.
||Il a cligné des paupières.
||Elle a cligné des yeux.
||On a cligné des cils.
||Nous avons cligné des paupières.
||Vous avez cligné des yeux.
||Ils ont cligné des cils.
||Elles ont cligné des paupières.
Other Conjugations for Cligner.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb cligner
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cligner
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cligner
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cligner (this article)
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cligner
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cligner
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cligner
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cligner
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cligner
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cligner
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cligner
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cligner
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cligner
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cligner
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cligner
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cligner
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cligner
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Cligner – 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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