2

Cela ne pouvait pas tomber à un meilleur moment dans ma vie.

I have always wondered why in this specific expression, Conditionnel is not used in favour of Imparfait. I'd be tempted to go with Conditionnel Passé:

Cela n'aurait pas pu tomber à un meilleur moment dans ma vie.

  • Maybe the same goes for: "Il fallait le dire plus tôt !" vs "Il aurait fallu le dire plus tôt !" – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Oct 12 '17 at 17:18
6

You can say both.

In the first form, you consider what were the happening times possibilities before the event happened, and say that among all possibilities who did exist at that moment (before the event happened), the time when it happened was the best.

In the second one, you consider that it happened at the best time among all the possibilities who could exist ever (any time, any condition).

The difference is very light, and what I explain (it's not very clear I'm afraid) is too strong, but I think it's the nuance.

I think you can say that could not happen at a better time and that could not have happened at a better time, as translations of those expressions. I feel the same slight nuance in english but maybe I'm wrong...

  • Thank you. Could you write this part of your answer in French as well? :) "In the first form, you consider what were the happening times possibilities before the event happened, and say that among all possibilities who did exist at that moment (before the event happened), the time when it happened was the best." – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Oct 13 '17 at 2:12
  • Sous la première forme, on considère ce qu'étaient les instants auxquels l'événement pouvait se produire avant qu'il ne se produise, et on dit que parmi les possibilités qui existaient à ce moment (avant que l'événement ne se produise), celui auquel il s'est effectivement produit était le meilleur. Dans le second on considère qu'il s'est produit au meilleur moment indépendamment de tout contexte. – Emmanuel BRUNO Oct 13 '17 at 7:45

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