I'm having difficulty discerning went use the imparfait vs the passé composé.

AnnC1

I'm having difficulty discerning went use the imparfait vs the passé composé.

To me "I felt the nicotine withdrawal" was in the past with a definite end, so I used the passé composé. What reason is used to put it in the imparfait? Then alternately, "Fortunately, my wife never smoked" seemed like a habitual thing, so I used the imparfait. Why is that one in the passé composé?
Asked 6 months ago

This is a topic that takes a while to wrap your head around. It is difficult to argue each and every case but there are some general rules that ought to cover 90% of the cases. I believe there are several exercises on kwiziq dedicated to that question.

One quick check is to see if you could use an English construction that carries a similar temporal feeling:

Je ressentais le sévrage à la nicotine. -- I used to feel (or: was feeling) nicotine withdrawal.J'ai ressenti le sévrage à la nicotine. -- I felt nicotine withdrawal.

The first sentence states a general state of being that something that went on over a longer period of time without a specific beginning or end. In the second example, using passé composé, it is a one time thing in the past.

I'm having difficulty discerning went use the imparfait vs the passé composé.

To me "I felt the nicotine withdrawal" was in the past with a definite end, so I used the passé composé. What reason is used to put it in the imparfait? Then alternately, "Fortunately, my wife never smoked" seemed like a habitual thing, so I used the imparfait. Why is that one in the passé composé?

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