What is composite tense?

1 Answer | Add Yours

literaturenerd's profile pic

literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Composite tense is a verb tense typically used in many languages outside of the English language. While English has a similar verb tense (simply called past tense), composite tense, for example, is the most common way to create past tense verb congregations called Passes Compose. Similar to the English language, French has multiple ways to create past tense verbs and the Passe Compose is the easiest.

The composite tense verb is used to state something that has already happened. In English, this would be something similar to I washed, she mopped, they finished.The English language allows the past verb form to be created using only two words. Typically to the English language, there is always a contradiction to the rule; sometimes, three words are used to detail the same meaning: I have washed.

In the French language, the composite tense always uses a combination of three words to define the composite tense.  The Passe Compose is created by conjoining a subject, an auxilary verb, and a past participle.

Je (subject)   ai ( auxilary verb)  termine (past participle)

J'ai termine: I have finished

We’ve answered 318,915 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question