Introduction to the verb clouer
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The English translation of the French verb clouer is “to nail.” It is pronounced as “kloo-ey” in the infinitive form.
The word clouer comes from the Latin word “clavare,” meaning “to fix with a nail.” It is a regular -er verb and is most commonly used in everyday French in the Passé Composé (Present Perfect) tense, which is formed with the auxiliary verb avoir and the past participle cloué.
Three simple examples of its usage in the Passé Composé tense are:
- J’ai cloué le tableau au mur. (I nailed the painting to the wall.)
- Tu as cloué les planches ensemble. (You nailed the planks together.)
- Il a cloué le toit à la charpente. (He nailed the roof to the frame.)
Table of the Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of clouer
||J’ai cloué la planche.
||I nailed the board.
||Tu as cloué le tableau.
||You nailed the painting.
||Il a cloué la porte.
||He nailed the door.
||Elle a cloué l’affiche.
||She nailed the poster.
||On a cloué les planches ensemble.
||We nailed the boards together.
||Nous avons cloué la charpente.
||We nailed the frame.
||Vous avez cloué les photos au mur.
||You nailed the photos to the wall.
||Ils ont cloué les planches au sol.
||They nailed the boards to the ground.
||Elles ont cloué les étagères dans la chambre.
||They nailed the shelves in the bedroom.
Other Conjugations for Clouer.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer (this article)
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clouer
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Clouer – 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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