The French Imperfect Essay Sample

The Gallic progressive ( imparfait ) is a descriptive yesteryear tense which indicates an on-going province of being or a repeated or uncomplete action. The beginning and terminal of the province of being or action are non indicated. and the progressive is really frequently translated in English as “was” or “was ___-ing. ” The progressive can bespeak any of the followers:

I. Habitual actions or provinces of being

Quand j’etais petit. nous allions a la plage chaque semaine. When I was immature. we used to travel to the beach every hebdomad.

L’annee derniere. je travaillais avec Monday pere.
I worked with my male parent last twelvemonth.

II. Physical and emotional descriptions: clip. conditions. age. feelings

Il etait Midi et forty-nine faisait boyfriend.
It was noon and the conditions was nice.

Quand il avait 5 autonomic nervous systems. forty-nine avait toujours faim.
When he was five. he was ever hungry.

III. Actions or provinces of an unspecified continuance

Je faisais La queue parce que j’avais besoin de notes. I stood in line because I needed tickets.

Il esperait Te voir avant ton depart.
He was trusting to see you before you left.

IV. Background information in concurrence with the passe compose

J’etais gold marche et j’ai achete des pommes.
I was at the market and I bought some apples.

Il etait a la banque quand Illinois l’a trouve .
He was at the bank when he found it.

V. Wishes or suggestions

Ah! Si j’etais riche!
Oh. if merely I were rich!

Si nous sortions ce soir?
How approximately traveling out tonight?

VI. Conditionss in Si clauses

Si j’avais de l’argent. j’irais avec toi.
If I had some money. I would travel with you.

S’il voulait venir. forty-nine trouverait lupus erythematosus moyen.
If he wanted to come. he would happen a manner.

VII. The looks etre en train Delawares and venir Delawares in the yesteryear

J’etais en train de faire La vaisselle.
I was ( in the procedure of ) making the dishes.

Il venait d’arriver.
He had merely arrived.

Gallic has two verbs which can be translated by the English verb “to know” : savoir andconnaitre. This can be confounding to English talkers. but in fact there are distinguishable differences in significance and use for the two verbs.

Savoir has three possible significances:

1 ) to cognize a fact

Je sais qu’il l’a fait.
I know he did it.

2 ) to cognize by bosom

Je sais cette nouvelle ( par c?ur ) .
I know this short narrative ( by bosom ) .

3 ) to cognize how to make something ( note that the word “how” is non translated into French )

Savez-vous conduire?
Make you cognize how to drive?

Je ne sais pas nager.
I don’t cognize how to swim.

In the passe compose . savoir means “to learn” or “to find out” :

J’ai su qu’il l’a fait.
I found out that he did it.

Savoir is frequently followed by a subsidiary clause.

Je sais ou Illinois Eastern Time.
I know where he is.

Il sait que nous serons a la fete.
He knows we’ll be at the party.

Connaitre has two significances:

1 ) to cognize a individual

Je connais Pierrette.
I know Pierrette.

2 ) to be familiar with a individual or thing

Je connais bien Toulouse.
I know / am familiar with Toulouse.

Je connais cette nouvelle – je l’ai lue l’annee derniere. I know / am familiar with this short narrative – I read it last twelvemonth.

In the passe compose . connaitre means “to meet ( for the first clip ) / become acquainted with” :

J’ai connu Pierrette a Lyon.
I met Pierrette in Lyon.

Connaitre ever needs a direct object:

Je connais boy poeme.
I am familiar with his verse form.

Je connais bien ton pere.
I know your male parent good.

Nous connaissons Paris.
We know/are familiar with Paris.

Il La connait.
He knows her.

Ignorer is a related verb which means “not to know” in the sense of “to be incognizant of. ” Depending on the context. it can replace either ne pas savoir or ne pas connaitre.

J’ignore quand Illinois arrivera.
I don’t cognize when he is geting.

Il ignore Ionesco.
He’s non cognizant of ( doesn’t know about ) Ionesco.
By and large talking. the imperfect describes past state of affairss. while the passe composenarrates specific events. In add-on. the progressive can put the phase for an event expressed with the passe compose . Compare the utilizations of these two tenses:

1. Incomplete vs Complete

The progressive describes an on-going action with no specified completion:

J’allais en France. – I was traveling to France.

Je visitais des memorials et prenais diethylstilbestrols photos. – I was sing memorials and taking images

The passe compose expresses one or more events or actions that began and ended in the yesteryear:

Je suis alle en France. – I went to France.

J’ai visite des memorials et pris diethylstilbestrols photos. – I visited some memorials and took some images.

2. Accustomed V Occasional

The progressive is used for accustomed or perennial actions. something that happened an countless figure of times:

Je voyageais en France tous lupus erythematosuss autonomic nervous systems. – I traveled ( used to go ) to France every twelvemonth.

Je visitais souvent lupus erythematosus Louvre. – I frequently visited the Louvre.

The passe compose negotiations about a individual event. or an event that happened a specific figure of times:

J’ai voyage en France l’annee derniere. – I traveled in France last twelvemonth.

J’ai visite lupus erythematosus Louvre trois fois. – I’ve visited the Louvre three times.

3. Ongoing vs New

The imperfect describes a general physical or mental province of being:

J’avais peur diethylstilbestrols chiens. – I was afraid of Canis familiariss.

J’aimais les epinards. – I used to like Spinacia oleracea.

The passe compose indicates a alteration in physical or mental province at a precise minute or for an stray cause:

J’ai eu peur quand le chien a aboye . – I was scared when the Canis familiaris barked.

Pour La premiere fois. j’ai aime les epinards. – For the first clip. I liked Spinacia oleracea.

4. Background + Interruption

The progressive and passe compose sometimes work together – the progressive provides a description/background info. to put the scene of how things were or what was go oning ( past tense of “be” + verb with -ing normally indicates this ) when something ( expressed with the passe compose ) interrupted.

J’etais a la banque quand Chirac est arrive . – I was at the bank when Chirac arrived.

Je vivais en Espagne quand je l’ai trouve . – I was populating in Spain when I found it.

Uses of the passe compose and progressive
Compare transitions and discover key words and phrases
Trial: Passe compose Vs Imperfect

Note: There is a 3rd tense. the passe simple. which technically translates to the English simple past tense. but is now used chiefly in composing. in topographic point of the passe compose – learn more.

Once you understand the different utilizations of the progressive and passe compose as explained on page 2. take a expression at these transitions to compare how these two Gallic past tenses may be used.


Quand j’avais 15 autonomic nervous systems. je voulais etre psychiatre. Je m’interessais a la psychologie parce que je connaissais beaucoup de names tres bizarres. Le week-end. j’allais a La bibliotheque et j’etudiais pendent toute La journee.

When I was 15. I wanted to be a head-shrinker. I was interested in psychological science because I knew a batch of truly eldritch people. On the weekends. I used to travel to the library and analyze all twenty-four hours.

Passe compose

Un jour. je suis tombe malade et j’ai decouvert les miracles de la medecine. J’ai fait La connaissance d’un medecin et j’ai commence a etudier avec lui. Quand la faculte de medecine m’a accepte . je n’ai plus pense a La psychologie.

One twenty-four hours. I got ill and discovered the admirations of medical specialty. I met a physician and started analyzing with him. After the medical school accepted me. I didn’t think about psychological science any more.

The undermentioned key words and phrases tend to be used with either the progressive or the passe compose . so when you see any of them. you know which tense you need: Imperfect| Passe compose|
chaque semaine. mois. annee | every hebdomad. month. year| une semaine. un mois. un an| one hebdomad. month. year| le week-end| on the weekends| un week-end| one weekend| lupus erythematosus lundi. le mardi…| on Mondays. on Tuesdays… | lundi. mardi…| on Monday. on Tuesday| tous lupus erythematosuss jours| every day| un jour| one day|

lupus erythematosus soir| in the evenings| un soir| one evening|
toujours| always| soudainement| suddenly|
normalement| usually| tout a putsch. tout d’un putsch | all of a sudden| d’habitude| usually| une fois. deux fois…| one time. twice…| en general. generalement| in general. generally| enfin| finally| souvent| often| finalement| in the end|

parfois. quelquefois| sometimes| plusieurs fois| several times| de temps en temps| from clip to clip
rarement| seldom
autrefois| once

Some Gallic verbs are used chiefly in the progressive. while others have different significances depending on which tense they are used in. Learn more about advanced yesteryear tenses.

There is a 3rd tense. the passe simple. which technically translates to the English simple past tense. but is now used chiefly in composing. as the literary equivalent of the passe compose . |

The jussive mood. called l’imperatif in French. is a verb temper which is used
to * give an order
* express a desire
* make a petition
* offer advice
* recommend something
Unlike all other Gallic verb tenses and personal tempers. the capable pronoun is non used with the jussive mood:

Fermez La Porte.
Near the door.

Mangeons maintenant.
Let’s eat now.

Ayez la bonte de m’attendre.
Please delay for me.

Veuillez m’excuser.
Please pardon me.

The above are called “affirmative bids. ” because they are stating person to make something. “Negative bids. ” which tell person non to make something. are made by puting Ne in forepart of the verb and the appropriate negative adverb after the verb:

Ne parle pas!
Don’t speak!

N’oublions pas les livres.
Let’s non bury the books.

N’ayez jamais peur.
Never be afraid.

Avocations – Sports – Games
Passe-temps favoris – Sports – Jeux
Here are the Gallic names of some common avocations. athleticss. and games. You can utilize these nouns with verbs like aimer and detester. or if you want to state that you do or play that point. utilize it with the verb in the 3rd column. The 4th column has verbs that can be used entirely to speak about making that point. e. g. . cuisiner – to cook. English| French| Use with| Or use|

basketball| lupus erythematosus basket| jouer a| |
biking| lupus erythematosus cyclisme. le velo| faire de| |
chess| les echecs| jouer a| |
cooking| La cuisine| faire| cuisiner|
dancing| La danse| | danser|
fishing| La peche| aller a| pecher|
football| lupus erythematosus football americain| jouer a| |
gardening| lupus erythematosus jardinage| faire de| jardiner|
hiking| La randonnee| faire de| |
hockey| lupus erythematosus hockey| jouer a| |
hunting| La chasse| faire| chasser|
jogging| lupus erythematosus jogging| faire de| |
a movie| un film| regarder| |
music| La musique| ecouter. jouer de| |
reading| La lecture| faire| lire|
sailing| La voile| faire| |
skiing| lupus erythematosus ski| faire de| skier|
soccer| lupus erythematosus football. le foot| jouer a| |
swimming| La natation| faire de| nager|
telecasting ( Television ) | la television ( la tele ) | regarder| | tennis| lupus erythematosus tennis| jouer a| |
wrestling| La lutte| faire de| lutter|

The Gallic adverbial pronouns Y is so bantam that one might believe its function in a sentence is non really of import. but in fact rather the antonym is true. It is highly of import in Gallic.

Y refers to a antecedently mentioned or implied topographic point ; it is usually
translated by “there” in English. Y normally replaces a prepositional phrase get downing with something like a. chez. ordans.

Are you traveling to the bank today? No. I’m traveling ( there ) tomorrow. Tu vessel a La banque aujourd’hui? Non. j’y vais demain.

We’re traveling to the shop. Do you desire to travel ( at that place ) ?
Nous allons au magasin. Tu veux Y aller?

He was at Jean’s house. He was at that place.
Il etait chez Jean. Il y etait.

Note that “there” can frequently be omitted in English. but y can ne’er be omitted in French. Je vais ( I’m traveling ) is non a complete sentence in French ; if you don’t follow the verb with a topographic point. you have to sayJ’y vais.

Yttrium can besides replace a + a noun that is non a individual. * such as with verbs that need a . Note that in French. you must include either a + something or its replacing y. even though the equivalent may be optional in English. You can non replace the noun with an object pronoun.

I’m reacting to a missive. I’m reacting ( to it ) .
Je reponds a une lettre. J’y reponds.
Incorrect: Je reponds. Je la reponds. Je lui reponds.

He’s believing about our trip. He’s believing about it.
Il pense a notre ocean trip. Il y pense.
Incorrect: Forty-nine pense. Il le pense. Il lui pense.

You have to obey the jurisprudence. You have to obey it.
Tu Department of the Interior obeir a La loi. Tu Department of the Interior Y obeir.
Incorrect: Tu dois obeir. Tu Department of the Interior l’obeir. Tu Department of the Interior lui obeir.

Yes. I attended the meeting. Yes. I attended ( it ) .
Oui. j’ai assiste a La reunion. Oui. j’y ai assiste . Incorrect: Oui. j’ai
assiste . je l’ai assiste . je lui ai assiste .

I’m traveling to believe about your proposal. I’m traveling to believe about it. Je vais reflechir a votre proposition. Je vais Y reflechir. Incorrect: Je vais reflechir. Je vais La reflechir. Je vais lui reflechir.

*In most instances. a + individual may merely be replaced by an indirect object. However. in the instance of verbs that don’t allow predating indirect object pronouns. you can utilize Y:

Pay attending to him.
Fais attending a lui. Fais-y attending.
Incorrect: Fais-lui attending.

Note that y normally can non replace a + verb.

I hesitate to state the truth. I hesitate to state it.
J’hesite a dire La verite . J’hesite a la dire.
Incorrect: J’y hesite.

I continue to read Balzac. I continue to read him.
Je continue a lire Balzac. Je continue a lupus erythematosus lire.
Incorrect: J’y continue.

The Gallic adverbial pronoun nut is so bantam that one might believe its function in a sentence is non really of import. but in fact rather the antonym is true. It is highly of import in Gallic.

En replaces the partitive article + noun or de + indefinite article + noun. It is tantamount to “some. ” “any. ” or “one” in English.

Do you hold any staff of life? Yes. I have some.
As-tu du hurting? Oui. j’en Army Intelligence.

He wants an apple. He wants one.
Il a envie d’une pomme. Il en a envie.

I don’t need an helper. I don’t need one.
Je n’ai pas besoin d’un adjutant. Je n’en Army Intelligence pas besoin.

In a sentence with a qualifier. such as an adverb of measure or a figure. plus noun. en replaces the noun and the qualifier or figure is placed at the terminal of the sentence. Note that “of it” and “of them” are normally optional in English. but en is required in French.

There are a batch of suites. There are a batch ( of them ) .
Il y a beaucoup de chambres. Il Y en a beaucoup.

I don’t have adequate money. I don’t have adequate ( of it ) . Je n’ai pas assez d’argent. Je n’en Army Intelligence pas assez.

I’d like two books. I’d like two ( of them ) .
Je voudrais deux livres. J’en voudrais deux.

We bought 10 notebooks. We bought 10 ( of them ) .
Nous Avons achete 10 cahiers. Nous en Avons achete 10.

En besides replaces de + noun with verbs and looks that need de. Again. in Gallic. you must include either de + something or its replacing nut. even though “about/of it” is normally optional in English.

What do you believe about my thought? What do you believe ( about it ) ? Que penses-tu de mon idee? Qu’en penses-tu?
Incorrect: Que penses-tu?

What are the effects of this determination? What are the effects ( of it ) ? Quelles sont lupus erythematosuss consequences de cette decision? Quelles en sont lupus erythematosuss consequences? Incorrect: Quelles sont lupus erythematosuss consequences?

Note that en normally can non replace de + verb.

I decided to accept his offer. I decided to accept it. J’ai decide d’accepter boy offre. J’ai decide de l’accepter. Incorrect: J’en ai decide .

I forgot to rinse the auto. I forgot to rinse it.
J’ai oublie de laver la voiture. J’ai oublie de la laver. Incorrect: J’en ai oublie .

Note that nut is besides a preposition.

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