É or er? The infinitive vs. the past participle in French

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É or er? The infinitive vs. the past participle

The pronunciation of the verbs endings -er and are the same. Here we will look at when to use the infinitive (-er) and past participle () forms.

We use the infinitive (-er) INFINITIF:
•  after a preposition: de, à, pour, par, etc.
Muriel et Marcel n’arrêtent pas de parler Muriel and Marcel won’t stop talking.
Tu seras là pour m’aider ? Will you be there to help me?
•  after a verb (conjugated or not)
Tu viens manger à la maison ? Are you coming to eat at the house?
Il ne faut pas le laisser aller se baigner tout seul. Don’t let him go swimming alone.
•  after ne pas
Ne pas cracher No spitting.
We use the past participle (-é, -ée, -ées, -és) PARTICIPE PASSE:
•  after the auxiliary verbs être and avoir
Victor Hugo a été décongelé Victor Hugo was defrosted.
Vous êtes bien arrivés ? Did you arrive safely?
Muriel a voyagé en Afrique Muriel travelled to Africa.
•  when it’s an adjective
Je suis fatigué I’m tired.
Ils restent étonnés They are still surprised.
Note: don’t confuse the preposition ‘à + infinitive’ with the auxiliary ‘il a + past participle’.
Il faut mettre la pizza à décongeler You need to defrost the pizza.
Il a décongelé la pizza He defrosted the pizza.

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