In French, the verb rester can cause some confusion because it means “to stay” and does not mean “to rest”. In addition, there are special rules for conjugating rester in the passé composé (a French past tense). This post will examine rester in detail. Keep reading.
Je reste I stay
Tu restes you stay (informal, singular)
Il, elle, on reste he, she, one stays
Nous restons we stay
Vous restez you stay (formal, plural)
Ils, elles restent they stay
Rester: to stay
As stated above, the main usage of rester is “to stay”. For example:
Je suis fatigué et je reste chez moi aujourd’hui.
I’m tired and I’m staying home today.
Nous sommes restés dans un hôtel de luxe hier soir.
We stayed in a luxury hotel yesterday night.
For this example sentence, a common mistake would be to say “Nous avons restés”. Using avoir as an auxiliary verb would be wrong. Along these lines, you cannot say “j’ai resté” and must say “je suis resté” (I stayed).
When used as an impersonal expression, il reste translates literally to “it remains” or “left”. The following example sentence could also translate to “We have 15 minutes left”.
Il ne nous reste qu’un quart d’heure.
We only have 15 minutes remaining.
This example sentences uses the negation ne…que, which means “only”. We cover this rule on our negation rules post.
Here’s another similar example:
Il me reste deux œufs dans le frigo.
I have two eggs left in the fridge.
One other common usage of rester is “to remain”. For example:
Je suis resté debout pendant tout le concert.
I remained standing during the entire concert.
How do you say “to rest”?
Et voilà ! Now you have a very clear understanding of how to use rester (to stay) in French. Now have a look at our post covering marcher, which means both “to walk” and “to function”.