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French grammar - Verbs of perception and agreement

Verbs of perception and agreement

Recall that most verbs of perception take the second verb infinitive directly.

With verbs of perception, the rules of agreement of past participles are a little different:

If the subject of the infinitive precedes the verb of perception, there is agreement.

There is no agreement with the direct object of the infinitive.

Examples:
J'ai vu tomber la fille.
I saw the girl fall.

The subject of the infinitive la file does not precedes the verb of perception, so no agreement

La fille que j'ai vue tomber.
The girl I saw fall.

The subject of the infinitive la file precedes the verb of perception, there is agreement: vu veu (f.sing)

J'ai regardé les chevaux courir.
I watched the horses run.

The subject of the infinitive les chevals does not precedes the verb of perception, so no agreement

Les chevaux que j'ai vus courir.
The horses I saw running.

The subject of the infinitive les chevals precedes the verb of perception, there is agreement: vu vus (m.pl)

Elle a aperçu la feuille tomber dans l'eau.
She saw the leaf fall into the water.
La feuille qu'elle a aperçue tomber dans l'eau.
The leaf she saw fall into the water.

The subject of the infinitive la feuille precedes the verb of perception so there is agreement: aperçu aperçue (f.sing)

L'histoire que j'ai entendu lire.
The story I heard read.

l'histoire is the direct object of the infinitive so no agreement

La manifestation que j'ai vue se dérouler.
The manifestation I saw unfold.

The subject of the infinitive la manifestation precedes the verb of perception, there is agreement

La voiture que j'ai vue heurter un lampadaire.
The car I saw hit a lamp post.
J'ai vu la fille voler cette voiture.
I saw the girl steal that car.
Je l'ai vue voler cette voiture.
I saw her steal that car.
La voiture que j’ai vu se faire voler.
The car I saw being stolen.
La fille que j'ai vue voler la voiture.
The girl I saw stealing the car.