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I just got my exam back and I am a little confused on why the following question was marked incorrect. The question wanted me to translate:

I did not return until last Thursday

Into French, so my answer was,

Je ne suis pas rentré jeudi dernier

The only issue I can think of is the verb, but I thought to make the verb rentrer passé composé, you just removed the -er ending and replaced it with an é. Does anyone see what the issue might be?

Thanks for your help!

**EDIT I completely forgot that the question stated that we had to use jusqu' à in our response. So my answer read: Je ne suis pas rentré jusqu'à jeudi dernier

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You wrote jusqu'à was required to be used in the translation.

The issue is using a negative statement before jusqu'à is not idiomatic French.

Je ne suis pas rentré jusqu'à jeudi dernier. (odd, unused)

Using avant as user58319 suggested in a comment is a right way to tell it:

Je ne suis pas rentré avant jeudi dernier.

However, it doesn't comply with the requirement. Replacing the first part by a positive phrase is is way to do it:

Je me suis absenté jusqu'à jeudi dernier.

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The issue is not about the passé composé, but the translation of "until last Thursday".

"I did not return until last Thursday" means you returned last Thursday and not before. The translation would be as follows:

"Je ne suis rentré que jeudi dernier"

"Je ne suis pas rentré jeudi dernier, on the other hand, means "I did not return last Thursday". You could thus have returned on Wednesday or on Friday.

I hope the explanation was useful!

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  • Thanks for your reply, I completely forgot that the question stated that we had to use jusqu' à in our response. So my answer read: Je ne suis pas rentré jusqu'à jeudi dernier, therefore would it still be caused by the translation of until last Thursday? – Chris Le May 7 at 21:50
  • Chris, please edit and update your question with these new elements. – jlliagre May 7 at 21:56
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    Je ne suis pas rentré AVANT jeudi dernier. – user58319 May 7 at 22:30

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