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Je me demande s'il faut utiliser le plus-que-parfait ou le passé simple dans les phrases suivantes :

Le printemps arrivait et affectait la famille de diverses manières. Larry s’acheta une guitare [...] il entrecoupait ses périodes de travail...

En général, je crois que le passé simple est préférable mais parce qu'il existe un autre verbe à l'imparfait (entrecoupait) et que l'expression précédente situe ces actions dans le passé, je me demande si le plus-que-parfait est plus correct.

C'est une traduction des phrases suivantes:

Spring came and affected the family in many ways. Larry bought a guitar [...] he interspersed his bouts of work ...'

Merci d'avance.

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As your English sentences stand, you must use the "passé simple" (in both sentences).

  • Le printemps arriva et affecta la famille de diverses manières. Larry s’acheta une guitare [...] il entrecoupa ses périodes de travail... '

When you say "spring came", yo are talking about a given point in the past and, therefore, the "passé simple" is needed. If you had "Spring was coming", then you would use the "imparfait" ("Le printemps arrivait"); this is because the "imparfait" is used for actions that last for some time (the continuous tenses indicate such an action). So, there is no reason for using the "plus-que-parfait. You use the "plus-que-parfait for action that occurred before other actions in the past. If you had "Spring had come and had affected the family in many ways. Larry bought a guitar…", then that would be what you need.

  • Le printemps était arrivé et avait affecté la famille de diverses manières. Larry s’acheta une guitare …
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You are free to use several tenses to render the English text.

The présent de narration:

Le printemps arrive et affecte la famille de diverses manières. Larry s’achète une guitare [...] il entrecoupe ses périodes de travail...

The passé composé:

Le printemps est arrivé et a affecté la famille de diverses manières. Larry s’est acheté une guitare [...] il a entrecoupé ses périodes de travail...

The passé simple:

Le printemps arriva et affecta la famille de diverses manières. Larry s’acheta une guitare [...] il entrecoupa ses périodes de travail...

Everything described in the English text is happening in the past, has completed and is viewed from the present so neither the imparfait nor the plus-que-parfait have a reason to be used.

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  • Thank you for the answer here! I ended up going with the passé simple, although I still put the entrecouper in the imperfect as, although it is viewed from the present, the action itself seemed habitual to me... in the sense it was continual. Is that a wrong interpretation? – LOL LOl Jan 24 at 12:26
  • The imparfait doesn't match the English text. The is nothing habitual in Spring came and affected... Unique and completed events are described here. – jlliagre Jan 24 at 12:35
  • If you insist in using the imparfait, you can write Le printemps arrivait et allait affecter la famille de diverses manières but that deviates from the original. – jlliagre Jan 24 at 12:39

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