Verbs conjugated using être and avoir in French

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Verbs conjugated using être and avoir

Reminder: In the passé composé tense, verbs are constructed either with the auxiliaries être or avoir.
Muriel Petite a mangé des grenouilles Muriel Petite ate the frogs.
Victor Hugo est allé à Paris Victor Hugo went to Paris.
The following 8 verbs (and their derivatives) can be conjugated with both être and avoir:
Entrer (+ rentrer)
Sortir (+ ressortir)
Monter (+ remonter)
Descendre (+ redescendre)
Passer (+ repasser)
Retourner
Demeurer
These verbs are conjugated with avoir if they are followed by a direct object (un complément direct COD):
J’ai sorti les poubelles I took out the trash.
Il a monté les escaliers. He went up the stairs.
Nous avons passé notre examen. We passed our test.
Le président a retourné sa veste. The president flip-flopped / changed his stance.
We use the auxiliary être in all other cases (without a complement, or with a complement describing time, place, etc):
Je suis sorti. I went out.
Il est descendu de sa voiture. He got out of his car.
Ils sont repassés hier matin. They stopped by yesterday morning.
Le président est retourné en Suisse. The president returned to Switzerland.

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