Introduction to the verb coincer
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The English translation of the French verb coincer is “to get stuck” or “to be trapped.” The infinitive form is pronounced “ko-ah-nsay.”
The word “coincer” comes from the Latin word “concidere,” meaning “to cut into pieces.” In everyday French, it is most often used in the Passé Composé tense to describe a situation where someone or something becomes stuck or trapped.
- J’ai coincé ma clé dans la serrure. (I got my key stuck in the lock.)
- Nous nous sommes coincés dans la foule. (We got trapped in the crowd.)
- Les chats se sont coincés sous le lit. (The cats got stuck under the bed.)
In English, we would use the present perfect tense to describe these actions, but in French, the Passé Composé is used more often. This tense is formed by using the auxiliary verb “avoir” or “être” and the past participle of the main verb. In the examples above, “avoir” is used, but it can also be conjugated with “être” in certain situations.
Overall, the verb coincer is commonly used in everyday French to describe situations where someone or something becomes stuck or trapped, and is conjugated in the Passé Composé tense to convey actions that have been completed in the past.
Table of the Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of coincer
||J’ai coincé la porte.
||I got stuck in the door.
||Tu as coincé le papier.
||You got stuck in the paper.
||Il a coincé sa main.
||He got his hand stuck.
||Elle a coincé son pied.
||She got her foot stuck.
||On a coincé le tiroir.
||We got the drawer stuck.
||Nous avons coincé la voiture.
||We got the car stuck.
||Vous avez coincé le ballon.
||You got the ball stuck.
||Ils ont coincé le camion.
||They got the truck stuck.
||Elles ont coincé le sac.
||They got the bag stuck.
Other Conjugations for Coincer.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb coincer
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coincer
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coincer
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coincer (this article)
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coincer
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coincer
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coincer
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coincer
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coincer
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coincer
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coincer
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coincer
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coincer
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coincer
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coincer
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coincer
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coincer
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Coincer – 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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