Could someone please explain why the auxiliary before apparu is était rather than avait ? The whole sentence is:
Je me souviens encore distinctement de la manière dont j'étais restée bouche bée lorsque cette belle dame, qui avait l'air d'être faite de paillettes, était apparue gracieusement sur cet étrange engin.
Merci, Matthew :-)
Freeform Writing Exercise C1
To expound on Jim's answer:
Yes, apparaître can mean two things, just as in English.
She appeared to him as a beautiful woman. -- Elle lui est apparue comme une belle femme. This is describing a state, the way he perceived her as being.She appeared before the building. -- Elle a apparu devant le batiment. Here, the action of appearing is the main point.
The verb apparaître can take either avoir or être depending upon the context. So in this case I see it as a "state" that is being described -- the state of appearing gracefully, therefore, être as auxiliary.
Hope this helps.
Jim's and Chris's answers are great! One extra note: nowadays, most people use 'être' as the auxilairy with 'apparaître', whatever is being emphasised (the state of being or the action itself).
See references: Larousse-apparaître - BDL-apparaître
I hope this is helpful.
Bonne journée !
Thanks Chris, Jim & Céline - very interesting and helpful.
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