Imperfect and Passé Composé in Mamie Gâteau lesson

Answered! Jump to accepted answer.


Kwiziq community member

14 January 2019

5 replies

Imperfect and Passé Composé in Mamie Gâteau lesson

Why is it "Elle a souri, et elle a dit qu'elle nous PARDONNAIT?"

Didn't she forgive them once and that's it? I'm assuming it's considering an "opinion" for some reason and that's why?

Also "Nous n'avons jamais oublié celle leçon?"

This is a one and done deal somehow? They are NOT forgetting rather than forgetting, so it's not a one and done deal. They still remember now. 

This question relates to:
French lesson "Describing and expressing opinions in L'Imparfait (imperfect tense)"


Kwiziq language super star

14 January 2019


Bonjour Michelle !

You're not the first one to wonder about these two cases :)Here's my answer as posted in the Q&A :"The first case is a case of reported speech in the past, where you need to use L'Imparfait in the second half:

"Elle a dit qu'elle nous pardonnait."

The second case is a past, defined statement/action that "after that", they never forgot, hence Le Passé Composé.Here "nous n'oubliions jamais" would imply more of a habit, or a personality trait = "we never used to forget".

I hope that's helpful!Bonne journée !"


Kwiziq community member

15 January 2019


I'm glad I wasn't the only one, but sorry for asking what has already been asked. 

 If I were to say simply "She pardoned us" without "She said that..." Would it change to passé composé or still be Imperfect? 

The second's harder to wrap my head around it. If it had been "We forgot" I would have used the Passé Composé. Am I right to assume that, that in those cases the negation is treated the same way as the positive form? If you say "Nous avons oublié" if there wasn't a negation you'd automatically say "Nous n'avons oublié" when it's put in the negative? Does this make any sense or am I WAY off? 


Kwiziq community member

15 January 2019


It would really be great if there were lessons on reported speach on kwiziq. I do believe this topic has been neglected in the past. It often comes up in everday situations and when reading, e.g., newspapers.


Kwiziq language super star

16 January 2019


If I can just add - I believe a Reported Speech lesson is on the to-do list .

Just a little summary to help out here:

Présent ----> Imparfait 

Passé composé -----> Plus-que-parfait 

Imparfait ----> Imparfait

Futur ----> Conditionnel

Conditionnel ----> Conditionnel 

Est-ce que? -----> Si

Look at the following dialogue between three people, one hard of hearing- 

Annie : "Je suis allée en vacances au bord de la mer et quand j'étais là-bas , j'ai décidée que j'y retournerai tous les ans car le bord de mer me fait énormément de bien. Est-ce que vous aimeriez venir avec moi l'année prochaine ? 

Grand-mére ( un peu sourde)  : Qu'est ce qu'elle a dit ? 

Josyane : Annie a dit qu'elle était allée en vacances au bord de la mer et  que, quand elle était là-bas, elle avait décidée qu'elle y retournerait tous les ans car le bord de mer lui faisait énormément de bien et elle a demandé si on aimerait aller avec elle l'année prochaine .

Hope this helps!



Kwiziq community member

17 January 2019


I just realized that I asked a very stupid question. You said in the SECOND part, duh. I'd really appreciate a lesson on Reported speech, hopefully before my subscription runs out. For now, I'll take notes on this, try to practice it offline and hope that it becomes a little clearer as I hopefully encounter it in my reading and listening. I don't read newspapers or watch the news, unfortunately. I'd love to be able to see it in lessons and fill in exercises as that really really helps. Especially since I am able to ask and receive great answers when I really don't understand why I made a mistake. No textbook can do that and while a teacher can, the cost in considerably higher than a subscription. 

Most of this is very similar to English (Future becomes Conditional, Present becomes Past). But I have to wrap my mind around the Plus-que-parfait usage too, as in English, I'd honestly use the simple past (She went, she decided) here. It would probably be more correct to use the Past Perfect, but most or at least many, English speakers do not in conversation with reported speech. Of course, French is not English. 

Your answer

Login to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Think you've got all the answers?

Test your French to the CEFR standard

find your French level »
Clever stuff underway!