Languages › French French Perfect Participle ~ Passé Composé du Participe Présent An Introduction Share Flipboard Email Print PhotoAlto/Jerome Gorin/Getty Images French Grammar Pronunciation & Conversation Vocabulary Resources For Teachers By ThoughtCo Updated February 28, 2020 The French perfect participle or past gerund is used to describe either a condition existing in the past or an action that took place right before another action. It is equivalent to "having + past participle" in English, but as this construction can be somewhat awkward, it's often reworded. The perfect participle is similar to the construction après + past infinitive: Ayant fait mes devoirs, j'ai regardé la télé. (Après avoir fait mes devoirs...) Having finished my homework, I watched TV. / Since I had finished my homework.... / After finishing my homework.... Étant partie très tôt, elle a dû conduire seule. (Après être partie très tôt...) Having left very early, she had to drive alone. / Because she left very early....However, unlike the past infinitive, the perfect participle can have a different subject than the main clause: Ses enfants ayant grandi, Chantal est rentrée à l'école. Her kids grown, Chantal went back to school. / Her kids having grown... Mon père étant parti, j'ai pleuré. My father gone, I cried. / My father having left... Word Order As with the other compound tenses, object and adverbial pronouns precede the auxiliary verb of the perfect participle: T'ayant vu, j'ai souri. Having seen you, I smiled. Lui ayant donné le livre, je suis parti. Having given him the book, I left. / After I gave him the book...And negative adverbs surround auxiliary verbs: N'ayant pas étudié, elle a raté l'examen. Not having studied, she failed the test. / Since she didn't study... Ne t'ayant pas vu, j'ai demandé à Pierre. Not having seen you, I asked Pierre. / Since I didn't see you... Conjugations The perfect participle is a compound conjugation, which means it has two parts: present participle of the auxiliary verb (either avoir or être)past participle of the main verb Note: Like all French compound conjugations, the perfect participle may be subject to grammatical agreement: When the auxiliary verb is être, the past participle must agree with the subjectWhen the auxiliary verb is avoir, the past participle may have to agree with its direct object parler choisir vendre ayant parlé ayant choisi ayant vendu aller sortir descendre étant allé(e)(s) étant sorti(e)(s) étant descendu(e)(s) se taire s'évanouir se souvenir s'étant tu(e)(s) s'étant évanoui(e)(s) s'étant souvenu(e)(s) Since the auxiliary verb is in an impersonal mood, the perfect participle is the same conjugation for all subjects. Ayant terminé, je... Having finished, I... Ayant terminé, nous... Having finished, we... However, you do need to follow the normal rules of agreement: Étant sortis, nous... Having gone out, we... N'ayant pas vu Anne, je l'ai appelée. Not having seen Anne, I called her. And pronominal verbs still need a reflexive pronoun that agrees with the subject. M'étant habillé, je... Having gotten dressed, I... Vous étant levés, vous... Having gotten up, you... Understanding the French Past Infinitive Learn How to Use the French Future Perfect How to Conjugate the French Verb Finir How to Conjugate the Important French Verb Faire How to Conjugate Être How to Use the French Past Subjunctive All about Être, a French Super Verb 'Passé Anterieur' (Anterior Past): An Important French Literary Tense Learn about the French Past Participle - Participe Passé How Do You Conjugate the French Verb 'Couper' (to Cut)? How Do You Use the French Verb "Vivre" (to Live)? Avoir: Conjugation of This Major Irregular French Verb How Do You Conjugate the French Verb 'Apporter' (to Bring)? Passé composé: French Compound Past Tense Learn Simple Conjugations for the French Verb Tenir How Do You Conjugate the French Verb 'Apprécier' (to Appreciate)?