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Passé simple:

Donald

Kwiziq community member

10 August 2017

6 replies

Passé simple:

Yes I agree that it does avoid the passé composé rules but....if it is only used as a written tool, why are there so any questions using it? While there may be a lot of the 77,000+ people using this site to learn French, I would bet a lot of money that most of us are learning to be able to speak it properly. Just my frustration. I would prefer more attention be given to idioms such as the ones in the weekend challenge.

This relates to:
Conjugate regular -dre verbs in Le Passé Simple -

Ron

Kwiziq community member

12 August 2017

12/08/17

Bonjour Donald,
Below is from another site that explains the need to learn the passé simple. The author is Laura who also works on this site. While I am in agreement with you that most of the 78,800 folks using this site to learn French will never use this tense; however, as pointed out by Laura in the excerpt below, it is used in very formal speech as well as in literature. To my way of thinking that necessitates learning it. And I too want to be able to speak this beautiful language properly and correctly as well as being able to fully understand a speaker. Voila !

"by Laura K. Lawless
Updated June 30, 2017
The passé simple, translated in English as either "simple past" or "preterite," is the literary equivalent of the passé composé, which means that it is used only in formal writing (e.g., historical and literary writing) and very formal speech. In such writing and speech, the passé simple is used alongside the imperfect, just as in everyday speech/writing, the passé composé and imperfect are used together.


You will probably never need to actually use the passé simple, but it is important to recognize it, especially if you read in French a lot (fiction or non-fiction). Fortunately, the passé simple is very easy to recognize. My high school French teacher told me that if a verb looked weird, it was probably in the passé simple, and 9 times out of 10, she was right."

Bonne chance dans vos efforts d’apprentissage du Français.
Ron

Donald

Kwiziq community member

12 August 2017

12/08/17

Thanks Ron and to Laura. My reference to the the passé simple was only to stress the inordinate amount of questions that we are asked to complete-in some tests 4 out of 10. I have been using this site as my primary learning tool for quite awhile, at least two years. As I go back and review A1, B1, etc., I note that you have continued to add verbs and phrases to these individual levels. I really like this and I shall continue to use kwiziq. And I would love to see more idiomatic phrases introduced from time to time. I note for example "I almost forgot". Other phrases like has not yet been seen by me but what a strong and useful statement. LOL "has not been seen by me" terrible English... Sorry. Keep up the good work! I love your site. Don

Ron

Kwiziq community member

12 August 2017

12/08/17

I know that Laura, Aurèlie and the rest of the Kwiziq, Progress with Lawless French team appreciate your kind words and dedication.
I must say; however, that I am not involved with the site nor with the team. I like you am studying French to become more proficient and correct in the language. I attempt to answer questions from time to time that come up because 1) it appears to be an open forum for discussion and 2) in helping others understand the points that I have knowledge about also reinforces in me what I have learned.
Bonne chance,
Ron

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

23 August 2017

23/08/17

Bonjour Donald !

Merci beaucoup de vos compliments, nous les apprécions énormément !
As for adding new lessons on idiomatic expressions, please be aware that I'm adding lessons as I go along (and as you noticed), there's simply not enough hours in a day :)
We're also working on new features as well as improving the weekly writing challenges :)
Thanks for your support !
À bientôt !

Gerilyn

Kwiziq community member

1 February 2018

1/02/18

Yes, I agree with you Donald. I think an inordinate amount of time has been spent on the Passé Simple - and a lot of the sample sentence "sonnent faux" -- they just don't sound natural, because you hardly ever come across the Passé Simple in the "tu" form or the "vous" form.

I for one would feel it more useful if I were tested on the 3rd person forms but only had to show recognition knowledge of 1st and 2nd persons.

From what I've seen of the TCF (Test de connaissance du français) preparatory material and various sample questions for the B2/C1 level (as a sample of what the French/the Europeans think you need to know as an upper intermediate/advanced speaker of French), you need to have a lot of active control of your French - to be able to think on your feet in French, marshal your arguments, show a good understanding of idiomatic French and be able to use current idioms easily, etc. (Thus I think all the time QWIZIQ spends on the Passé Historique is not really time well spent.)

Actually, I'm sorry to criticize, (and really hesitated before posting this), because I appreciate this website and people's comments are, almost without fail, kind and helpful!

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

1 February 2018

1/02/18

Bonjour Gerilyn !

I'm really happy that you enjoyed our site, and please don't feel bad, we at Kwiziq welcome any constructive feedback, and we are definitely taking your remarks and Donald's into consideration :)

I agree with you that some persons are more used than others in Le Passé Simple, and I like your suggestion of focusing on the 3rd person plural and singular as they are indeed more common.
I do think the 1st person singular is also quite useful in 1st-person novels for example.
Though we should still test the other ones, I agree that the ratio should definitely be in favour of these three forms.
As for idiomatic expressions, they are definitely the way to go at C1 level, which is best practised through integrated exercises such as our Weekly Writing Challenges.

Merci beaucoup et bonne journée !

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