Examples of L'Imparfait which cause me problems.

KarenA2Kwiziq community member

Examples of L'Imparfait which cause me problems.

À 5 ans, j'avais les cheveux courts.
When I was 5, I had short hair.

En 2004, j'avais de l'argent.
In 2004, I had money.

If I'm asked to translate 'I had', I instinctively reach for Le Passé Composé ('j'ai eu').

If I'm asked to translate « j'avais », I will say 'I used to have' rather than 'I had'.

I think I understand why L'Imparfait is more appropriate in these examples:  they are both prefixed with a clause that limits the statement to a specific time in the past.  It just never seems obvious until I've given the wrong answer.  

Asked 1 month ago

Examples of L'Imparfait which cause me problems.

À 5 ans, j'avais les cheveux courts.
When I was 5, I had short hair.

En 2004, j'avais de l'argent.
In 2004, I had money.

If I'm asked to translate 'I had', I instinctively reach for Le Passé Composé ('j'ai eu').

If I'm asked to translate « j'avais », I will say 'I used to have' rather than 'I had'.

I think I understand why L'Imparfait is more appropriate in these examples:  they are both prefixed with a clause that limits the statement to a specific time in the past.  It just never seems obvious until I've given the wrong answer.  

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