I thought devaient être meant should have been...shouldn't it be les gens doivent avez été?

AnnC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I thought devaient être meant should have been...shouldn't it be les gens doivent avez été?

Asked 6 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Ann,

It is the old perennial problem of whether to use the imperfect or the perfect tense.

With the additional difficulty of ‘devoir’

Devaient être = imparfait 

Or 

Ont dû être  passé  composé

Here the imperfect is better.

Devraient ( with an -r) être is should have been. 

Hope this helps!

AnnC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Could you explain why that tense is better here?

CécileKwiziq team member

The imperfait here describe how things used to be , were at that time in the past ...

I thought devaient être meant should have been...shouldn't it be les gens doivent avez été?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Find your French level for FREE

Test your French to the CEFR standard

Find your French level >>
Ask a question
How has your day been?