J'ai TOUJOURS été ...

AndreaB2Kwiziq community member

J'ai TOUJOURS été ...

I am still having issues with understanding the usage of toujours in the past tense vs imparfait. In Lawless french ( https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/passe-compose-vs-imparfait/) she states, "In a nutshell, the passé composé names something that happened, WITH A CLEAR BEGINNING AND END." She also says that- 'toujours' can be used in Passé composé if it represents 'always (and still now) (this explains its usage in this exercise, but its an ongoing feeling-not over and done!).  However , I find these 2 statements mutually exclusive. How do I determine which form to use under the circumstances?

Asked 4 months ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Andrea,

This is a very interesting question and one that can be quite tricky to master. 

"Toujours" can either convey a permanence of a state through time (Passé Composé) or a constant repetition of a fact/an action/a situation (Imparfait).

 

J'ai toujours été fan de Tintin = I've always been a fan of Tintin -> it is still the case these days

J'étais toujours fan de Tintin = I was always a fan of Tintin -> it was an ongoing fact at one time / not the case anymore

See link here for further explanation (only the first part of the answer applies here): https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/questions/view/why-the-passe-compose#Answer-18134

I hope this is helpful.

Bonne journée !

LauraKwiziq team member

Bonjour Andrea, the "nutshell" is just a brief summary. If that were the whole story, we wouldn't need pages of lessons about it.  :-)  Using "toujours" with the passé composé is somewhat particular, as Céline explained - consider it an exception.

J'ai TOUJOURS été ...

I am still having issues with understanding the usage of toujours in the past tense vs imparfait. In Lawless french ( https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/passe-compose-vs-imparfait/) she states, "In a nutshell, the passé composé names something that happened, WITH A CLEAR BEGINNING AND END." She also says that- 'toujours' can be used in Passé composé if it represents 'always (and still now) (this explains its usage in this exercise, but its an ongoing feeling-not over and done!).  However , I find these 2 statements mutually exclusive. How do I determine which form to use under the circumstances?

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