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In this French grammar lesson we will learn about tenir conjugation in the passe composé, as well as how the derivatives of tenir are conjugated in the passé composé

Tenir means “to hold/to keep” and is a irregular -ir verb.

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • how tenir in the passé composé is conjugated in French,
  • how tenir in the passé composé is pronounced in French,
  • which derivatives tenir has in French,
  • how tenir in the passé composé is used in sentences in French,
  • how you can quiz yourself on tenir conjugation in the passé composé
  • how to practice with flashcards for tenir conjugation in the passé composé
  • how and why you should use the courses of Language Atlas to learn French

Please refer to the French A2 Curriculum to get a better overview of French grammar if you are curious about how tenir fits in French A2 grammar.

By the end of the lesson you will know all about tenir conjugation in the passé composé.

Table of Contents

Tenir Conjugation in the Passé Composé


Tenir and its Derivatives

French InfinitiveTranslationPast Participle
appartenirto belongappartenu
convenirto agree / to suitconvenu
contenirto containcontenu
devenir*to becomedevenu
obtenir to obtainobtenu
parvenir*to manage/to achieveparvenu
retenirto retain / to hold backretenu
revenir*to come backrevenu
soutenirto supportsoutenu
tenirto hold/ to keeptenu
venir*to comevenu

As you can see this group of -enir verbs has important verbs that you should be aware of.

All of these verbs are conjugated in the same way.

You can see them in action in the example sentence chapter.

* The verbs with an asterisk are conjugated with être in the passé comoposé.

Pronunciation of Tenir Conjugations

In this section on tenir conjugation in the passé composé we will focus on pronunciation.

There is 1 important rule to take into account when we want to pronounce a tenir conjugation in the passé composé.

  1. The particip passé is pronounced in the same way for all the verbs. The last letter that you will hear is the u.

J’ai tenu

Tu as tenu

Il a tenu

Nous avons tenu

Vous avez tenu

Ils ont tenu

As you can see particip passé has the same pronunciation in every phrase.

Example Sentences with Tenir Conjugation in the Passé Composé

The final section of this lesson on tenir conjugation in the passé composé is about seeing tenir in action.

This is valuable because you can improve your understanding of tenir conjugation in the passé composé through examples.


J’ai tenu compte de ce qu’il disait.

I took note of what he was saying.


Je sais que tu as obtenu récemment un nouveau poste.

I know you recently got a new job.


Il a retenu son souffle.

He held his breath.


Nous avons soutenu le mouvement anti-apartheid.

We supported the anti-apartheid movement.


Vous n’avez pas tenu votre parole.

You didn’t keep your word.


Ils m’ont tenu pour responsable.

They held me responsible.

Quiz Yourself on Tenir Conjugation in the Passé Composé

At the end of every lesson you can do a small quiz.

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter.

You will either need to fill in the blanks, choose the correct multiple choice option, or both.

It is up to you to give the correct answer.

Once you are done the correct answer will be shown.

You can redo the quiz as many times as you want!

How to Practice With Flashcards for This Lesson

Using flashcards is an absolute necessity when it comes to learning a language!

It is the best way to memorize what you learn, you can personalize your progression because it adapts to your actions, and all flashcards have audio to improve your hearing and pronunciation.

Please read our article on how to learn a new language for more information on flashcards and the best way to learn a new language.

There are two ways to practice with Flashcards for this lesson.

  1. Anki
  2. The Flashcards in our Courses

Anki is a free software with which you can create and practice flashcards.

After you have downloaded Anki, you can get our French A2 Anki Deck.

This Anki Deck contains 3,816 flashcards with which you can practice absolutely everything for French A2.

All the flashcards have text, images, explanations, and audio.

You can also use our courses that have flashcards integrated alongside lessons with audio, quizzes and much more!

However, I am sure you are wondering, what are your courses, and why should I take them?

The Courses of Language Atlas

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I have been learning languages for over 20+ years and I was always frustrated with books, courses, and classes that I had tried.

It never really seemed to work for me.

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So I thought, “why not make something myself?“.

Using my experience and by doing research I created Language Atlas, a platform where people can learn French and Spanish in the most effective and efficient way.

I created free lessons and quizzes so that there would always be a easy and accessible way for people to learn or brush up on their language skills.

However, I also created courses that are much more comprehensive and in-depth.

These courses are easy to follow, clear, and allow you to become fluent in the most effective and efficient way.

The courses of Language Atlas have:

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You can register for free and try the French A0/A1 and Spanish A0/A1 Courses for free!

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