• Il fallait trouver un autre solution.

  • Il a fallu trouver un autre solution.

This question has been bugging me for a while.

Should I use "il fallait" to mean...

There was a situation in the past when I needed to find another solution, and whether I actually ended up finding it or not is unclear.

Should I use "il a fallu" to mean...

The focus is on the present. Recently, I needed to find anothe solution, and I really did find it now.


1 Answer 1


L'imparfait est utilisé pour une description, parler d'une habitude, d'une action en progression dans le passé :

Quand il faisait froid il n'oubliait pas de mettre ses gants sur la cheminée.

Ici c'est une habitude.

Pour le passé composé; l'action est précise et achevée.

Il a mis ses gants sur la cheminée en rentrant du travail.

Il l'a fait une fois, c'est passé daté.

So you would use "il fallait" for a description in the past, a habit, or an action in progression in the past.

You would use "il a fallu" if the action is precise and achieved.

"Il a fallu trouver une autre solution" would be the best choice here since you are trying to say you found a solution that solved the issue and it is now done. So it really depends of the action itself. If it is done and in the past or if it is an habit in the past.

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