Did you have a good holiday in French?

This French verb practice is in two parts, followed by a video clip and translation exercise:
1.  How to form Avoir in the Perfect Tense.
2.  How to ask and answer questions about having had a good time.

Part 1.
The Perfect Tense in French (except for some irregular verbs which use Être instead) is formed by the present tense of the verb AVOIR followed by the ‘past participle’ of a second verb.
E.g:  J’ai mangé   = I have eaten, I ate

The past participle of AVOIR is ‘eu’:

J’ai eu        = I have had, I had
tu as eu,  il/elle a eu,  nous avons eu,  vous avez eu,  ils/elles ont eu

Examples of AVOIR in the perfect tense:
J’ai eu une bonne surprise   =  I had a lovely surprise
tu as eu peur  =  you were frightened
il a eu envie de partir  =  he wanted to leave
nous avons eu une idée  =  we had an idea
vous avez eu besoin d’aide  =  you needed help
ils ont eu tort  =  they were wrong

To revise uses of the verb AVOIR (present tense) click here.

Part 2.
The past participle of AVOIR is not used to talk about having had a good time because the French talk about having ‘spent’ a good time rather than ‘having had’ a good time:
The verb to use is PASSER (to spend).
Notice how ‘passé‘ replaces ‘eu‘:
E.g:
J’ai passé une belle journée
=  I had a lovely day, I have had a lovely day
J’ai passé de bonnes vacances de Noël
=  I had a good Christmas holiday  
J’ai passé un bon weekend
=  I had a good weekend

In English, questions about past holidays, celebrations, weekends, and days out, often start with, “Have you had ..? and “Did you have ..?”
The verb PASSER, in the Perfect Tense, is the verb to use in a French translation of these questions:

Did you have a good Christmas? In French:

Tu as passé un bon Noël?
Tu as passé de bonnes vacances de Noël?
Answer:
Oui, j’ai passé un bon Noël.
Oui, j’ai passé de bonnes vacances de Noël.

Formal/plural:
Vous avez passé de bonnes vacances de Noël?
Answer:
Oui, nous avons passé de bonnes vacances de Noël.

Did you have a good holiday? In French:

Tu as passé de bonnes vacances?
Answer:
Oui, j’ai passé de bonnes vacances.
Non, je n’ai pas passé de bonnes vacances.

(Formal and/or Plural)
Vous avez passé de bonnes vacances?
Avez-vous passé de bonnes vacances?
Answer:
Oui, nous avons passé de bonnes vacances.
Non, nous n’avons pas passé de bonnes vacances …

Did you have a good time? In French:

Tu as passé un bon moment?
Answer:
Oui, j’ai passé un bon moment.
Non, Je n’ai pas passé un bon moment …

Did you have a good weekend? In French:

Tu as passé un bon weekend?
Answer:
Oui, j’ai passé un bon weekend.
Non, je n’ai pas passé un bon weekend.

Vous avez passé un bon weekend?
Answer:
Oui, nous avons passé un bon weekend.
Non, nous n’avons pas passé un bon weekend …

French Listening + Translation Practice:
Now ask and answer questions about having a good holiday/Christmas/summer/weekend by following and joining in with this short video clip:

Then translate the English version below of the video clip into French and check your answers by studying the video again:

Christmas!  The Christmas holidays.
Did you have a good Christmas/a good Christmas holiday?
Yes, I had a good Christmas/Christmas holiday.
Happy New Year!
Did you have a good New Year’s Eve celebration?
No, I did not have a good New Year’s Eve …
I was frightened of the fireworks.
The Weekend.
Did you have a good weekend?
Yes, thank you.  I did have a good weekend.
No, I did not have a good weekend.  I had too much work.
The Summer Holidays.
Did you (plural) have a good summer/summer holiday?
Oh yes, thank you.  We did some sailing.
Yes, we had a very good holiday in La Rochelle.

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