Le passé composé...
Extract of Tex French grammar
The passé composé is the most commonly used tense to refer to actions completed in the past. The passé composé may be translated into English in three different ways depending on the context.
Tex a mangé toute la viande!
Tex has eaten all the meat!, Tex did eat all the meat!, Tex ate all the meat!
This tense is called the passé composé because it is composed of two elements: the present tense of an auxiliary verb (either avoir or être), followed by a past participle:
passé composé = present tense of auxiliary + past participle
Note that in most instances the auxiliary verb is avoir, but some verbs require être as the auxiliary.
For regular verbs with an infinitive ending in -er, the past participle is formed by replacing the final -er of the infinitive with -é. Listen carefully to the pronunciation of the passé composé of the verb 'parler'. The past participle (parlé) is pronounced the same as the infinitive (parler), even though they are spelled differently.