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Questions tagged [imparfait]

Questions concernant l'imparfait, qui est un temps du mode indicatif qui sert à exprimer une action en voie d’accomplissement dans le passé et conçue comme non achevée.

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55 views

C'est, c'était, ce fut dans un discours narratif au passé

Y a-t-il une règle qui permet de décider entre c'est/c'était/ce fut dans un discours narratif au passé (dans un langage plutôt soutenu)? Quelques exemples (j'utilise c'est pas défaut, sans préjuger de ...
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22 views

Alors que j’aurais pu / pourrais / pouvais profiter de ce temps libre

Bonjour, D'habitude, A se réveille grâce à son réveille-matin. Aujourd'hui, il n'est pas obligé de se lever tôt, pourtant, il se réveille à l'heure habituelle. Il pense : Avant, la sonnerie m’...
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77 views

Même si c'est / c’était le cas - temps

Bonjour, A s'approche de B et l'invite à le suivre. B ne semble même pas surpris et même si c’est le cas, il ne le montre pas. Je pense qu'il faut employer le présent ici en raison du présent de la ...
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2answers
97 views

What is the difference in using "nous étudiions pendant des heures" and "nous étudiions des heures"

What is the difference in using nous étudiions pendant des heures and nous étudiions des heures? What is the difference in using pendant?
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51 views

In the following sentence, is "finissions" in the imperfect indicative, in the present subjunctive, or in the imperfect subjunctive?

Maman, tu nous avais promis de nous acheter une glace, si nous finissions nos devoirs avant cinq heures ! In the above sentence, is the verb finir in the imperfect indicative, in the present ...
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0answers
26 views

Quand utiliser le plus que parfait, l'imparfait et le passé composé? [duplicate]

Je vais écrire un examen français et on dois apprendre comme on utilise les droits formes (le plus que parfait, l'imparfait et le passé composé) et quand les pratiquer. Mon question est quand les ...
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1answer
72 views

Why is it "De l' " and not "Des" in this sentence

This is an exercise from Duolingo. So the exercise asks to translate this sentence: I ate pineapple everyday in Mexico. And the correct answer is: J'ai mangé de l'ananas tous les jours au Mexique. ...
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1answer
25 views

Using imparfait vs passé composé in a sentence with "quand"

I have the following sentence: Quand j'avais 9 ans, je mangerais/'ai mangé le fromage habituellement If you translate this to english, it would make sense to use the passé composé form of manger; ...
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1answer
850 views

Quel temps doit-on utiliser après “même-si” ?

Bonjour, Pourriez vous m’expliquer pourquoi il faut utiliser l’imparfait après “même si”dans cette phrase: “Même si nous arrivions à prendre un taxi maintenant, je doute que nous puissions arriver à l’...
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1answer
99 views

« Quand elle a eu fini » - pourquoi on utilise le passé composé et pas l'imparfait?

La phrase dans le titre vient de « L'Étranger », ici. Peut-être je ne vois pas quelque chose evident, mais je ne comprends pas la construction là. Je pense qu'il veut dire "when she was finished" ...
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1answer
134 views

Why is passé composé used here (Camus' L'Étranger)?

I came upon this sentence while reading L’Étranger: Je n’y suis presque plus allé. Je suis allé is the indicatif passé composé form of the verb aller. As far as I know, this tense is used to ...
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1answer
154 views

Imparfait vs Conditionnel

My understanding is that the imperfect tense in French is used for past habits and ongoing events. Examples: Je jouais au tennis tous les mercredis (past habit) Je regardais la télévision lorsque ...
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1answer
74 views

"je me suis dit qu'il valait mieux se rendre chez elle"

Translation: I thought it would be better to go to her place. I'm not sure if it's proper French grammar, but it was a line in a movie. Why is it "qu'il valait" (an imperfect form of valoir) rather ...
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3answers
233 views

était fermé vs a fermé

The book that I'm studying French from always translates "The door was shut" as "La porte était fermée" instead of "La porte a fermée". Why so? Also, what would be the translation of using "était ...
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1answer
181 views

"Passé composé" vs imparfait" [duplicate]

Is there any efficient way to differentiate between "passé composé" and "imparfait"? In the current state of my knowledge , I am able to differentiate only for certain cases , e.g I know descriptions ...
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1answer
43 views

Practice with l’imparfait

I’m practicing my usage of l’imparfait (as well as a few vocabulary words and phrases) by writing a blog entry about my childhood. I’d like to know if the following is grammatically correct, and makes ...
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2answers
1k views

L'imparfait, le plus-que-parfait ou le passé composé

I am having troubles to understand the choice of the verbal times in the examples below. I don't understand why we should use le passé composé in the first one and l'imparfait in the second one? I ...
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2answers
85 views

Passe compose vs imparfait in “elle est tombée quand elle est descendue”

I have read a sentence online Elle est tombée quand elle est descendue au rez-de-chaussée de son immeuble ce matin. In this case, why is it that we didn't use l'imparfait ? Isn't it the people ...
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3answers
938 views

Passé Composé or Imparfait with souvent

Here we use the word "souvent in the sentence". Should I use: Il a souvent lu ce livre or Il lisait souvent ce livre Can anyone briefly let me know when to use passé composé and when to use l'...
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1answer
64 views

Translation request in imparfait [closed]

Can you help me translate this in imparfait please? I was energetic, silly, a little angel, a very smart kid.
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2answers
80 views

"Vouloir" in passé composé or imparfait

À l’âge de 34 ans, lors d'une procession à Troyes, en Champagne, elle a découvert sa vocation de missionnaire et elle a voulu rejoindre la Nouvelle-France dont l'expansion était en pleine actualité. ...
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1answer
718 views

Does "je suis désolé" mean "I am sorry" or "I was sorry"?

Is je suis désolé past tense or not? Google translate doesn't think so. Will we use imparfait for it's past form as it is a feeling?
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206 views

What is the difference between passé compose and imparfait in the verb "aimer"?

In the following sentences: Nous avons aimé ce repas. Nous aimions ce repas. In these two sentences, the English translation would be same: We liked this meal. At first I thought that the first ...
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2answers
57 views

Imperfect introducing a quote?

In the December issue of the Nouveau Magazine littéraire, I find the following sentence (p. 6): Considérons déjà que nous avons tous en commun ce qu'écrivait Georges Bataille: "La littérature est ...
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2answers
965 views

« Il a été constaté » ou « Il était constaté »

Soit la phrase Il a été constaté que les élastomères chargés après relaxation convergent vers un état dit stationnaire ou encore d’équilibre. et sa variante Il était constaté que les ...
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2answers
93 views

Corresponding verbs in indirect speech

In my self-teaching book it is written that if in the main sentence the verb is in the "passé composé", in the subordinate clause the verb should be in the "imparfait"; here is an example (the book is ...
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2answers
444 views

What is the difference between “le repas était délicieux” and “le repas a été délicieux”?

I studied at French class that "passé composé" is used as simple past in French language while it means present perfect. When I visited French sites, they mostly use "passé simple". So my question is ...
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2answers
296 views

Does "appe-" as part of the imparfait forms of "appeler" give me one or two syllables?

According to Wiktionary's conjugation table (below captured in portions), it would appear that appe- in the imparfait forms is one syllable (/a.p/, or strictly speaking one syllable and the consonant ...
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3answers
349 views

Imparfait de narration : Emploi du verbe mourir à l'imparfait (il mourait)

Albert Camus est mort accidentellement en 1960. J'ai rencontré la variante : Albert Camus mourait accidentellement en 1960. dans le livre French Grammar in Context (p. 14). Les auteurs parlent de ...
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2answers
168 views

Why are all verbs in conditional+past tense sentence structure imparfait?

Example sentence En Anglais- "While I was studying, you were watching TV" Correct translation-"Pendant que j’étudiais, tu regardais la télé" Obviously the first part aka the ...
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1answer
262 views

Why does "je devais" mean "I was supposed to" instead of "I used to need to"?

The imperfect tense is supposed to mean an action in the past was (and possibly still is) habitual, repeated, or continuous? I don't understand how that would imply failure. If someone said to me, "...
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2answers
64 views

Comment combiner des passé simples et des imparfaits ?

J'ai un peu de mal avec le choix et la concordance des temps. Quelqu'un peut-il m'aider et m'expliquer comment choisir. Que faut-il écrire ? Je retrouvais la cabane du montagnard et vis un panneau ...
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1answer
117 views

When did the subjonctif imparfait/passé simple turn into literary tenses?

I was wondering when exactly the "subjonctif imparfait" (and passé simple) fell out of (spoken) use, since they are still very much alive in other Romance languages. I had a look through a few ...
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1answer
169 views

Subjonctif Présent - BIG confusion

Hi there (my 1st question on fr SE but I use Stack Overflow a lot). So, I have somewhat 'mastered' the present, imperfect, passé composé and future. Now, I am trying to move on to subjonctif présent....
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245 views

French literature : mixed usage of historic and imperfect

I understand that French literature uses past historic. But I also see some imperfect used mixed with past historic in literature. Without hopefully violating copyright with the below sample, here is ...
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2answers
1k views

Why do the french use the imperfect tense when saying "I was" and "it was"?

Is "I was" in french "J'étais" or "Je fus" because I thought "J'étais" would be "I used to be" because it is in the imperfect tense but I have never seen "Je fus" before?? Basically what I am trying ...
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2answers
121 views

How to interpret “pouvais toujours” here?

{I said}: Pour vous faire passer une radio, rendez-vous à la salle là-bas. {A patient said}: Ah, c’était donc bien par là. Je pouvais toujours chercher à un autre étage ! Merci. I've never heard the ...
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8k views

Imparfait or Passé Composé: “j'étais absent” or “j'ai été absent”?

I am a beginner in French language and I still find it hard to wrap around my head between Imparfait and Passé Composé. I know that Imparfait is used to describe continuous actions in past as well as ...
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1answer
156 views

Tense in "Chaque jour + past"

Quand j'étais enfant, chaque jour ma mère ___ un conte. Should the passé composé m'a lu or the imparfait me lisait go there? I tend toward the imparfait because the sentence is about an action that ...
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1answer
406 views

Imparfait or Passé Composé?

Fill in the blank using the appropriate conjugation of the given verb (vouloir): Hier, tous les gens ______(vouloir) parler ensemble. I think the verb should be conjugated in the Passé Compose ...
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1answer
239 views

How tenses formed in french

I've recently been studying the: -Imperfect; -Simple Future; and -Conditional (mood) in French, and I'm wondering why the tenses are constructed in the way that they are. For the imperfect, one ...
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2answers
135 views

Tense in "There wasn't enough time"

"I couldn't finish the exam in time yesterday. There wasn't enough time." Je n'ai pas pu finir l'examen à temps hier. Il (n'y avait pas / n'y a pas eu) assez de temps. Is the imparfait or the ...
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1answer
130 views

Understanding "Et comme si le temps eût pu s’arrêter avec moi"

The question is on this beautiful passage from chapter 7 of La porte étroite by André Gide and particularly the highlighted words. Elle était au fond du jardin. Je m’acheminai vers ce rond-point, ...
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2answers
93 views

Is there a greater suggestion of continuance in historic present than in imperfect?

This question is on these two sentences. The first one is from chapter 6 of La porte étroite by André Gide. Miss Ashburton, dont la santé depuis quelques mois déclinait, mourut quatre jours avant ...
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1answer
429 views

Expanding Infinitif passé to imparfait or plus-que-parfait

The question is on this sentence from chapter 7 of La porte étroite by André Gide. (P) Alissa t’attend dans le jardin, me dit mon oncle, après m’avoir embrassé paternellement lorsque, à la fin d’...
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2answers
171 views

How to turn imparfait into infinitif when the imparfait denotes a duration terminated by passé simple

The question is on this sentence from chapter 6 of La porte étroite by André Gide. Miss Ashburton, dont la santé depuis quelques mois déclinait, mourut quatre jours avant Noël. Dorothy Bussy's ...
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3answers
112 views

Tense in "avoir/vivre une vie difficile"

"He had/lived a difficult life." Should we use the imparfait or the passé composé in the translation? Il avait/vivait une vie difficile. Il a eu/vécu une vie difficile. On the one hand, a ...
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1answer
127 views

Why do we use the passé composé when saying "there have always been x"?

For instance, "There have always been racists" is "Il y a toujours eu des racistes" NOT "Il y avait toujours des racistes". Based on what we're taught in French textbooks/classes, the passé composé ...
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2answers
430 views

Passe Compose vs Imparfait - Inconsistency in Usage

The difference between le passé compose et l'imparfait is clearly explained to a French learner by differentiating between a 'once off' event vs. something habitual or over an extended period of time. ...
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1answer
3k views

What is the difference between "il fallait" and "il a fallu"?

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 ...