Translation query

Answered! Jump to accepted answer.

Shrey

Kwiziq community member

21 December 2018

6 replies

Translation query

Bonjour Madame,

In the sentence from the lesson "Il jouait au football quand il était petit." Should the translation not be as-

"He used to play football when he was young."(in place of played)

Please explain the reason.

Merci d'avance 

This question relates to:
French lesson "Expressing habits or repeated actions in L'Imparfait (imperfect tense)"

Shrey

Kwiziq community member

22 December 2018

22/12/18

Also why the verb "être" in this sentence is used in "Imparfait" ? Can't Passé Composé be used ?

Shrey

Kwiziq community member

22 December 2018

22/12/18

I have also observed a sentence like-

"C'était un match entre l'Angleterre et la France."

Why can't Passé Composé be used?

In the previous post too I had doubts with " Il était petit" which I still am unable to figure out even after re-reading the lessons.

Madame Cécile, aidez-moi s'il vous plaît.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

22 December 2018

22/12/18

Verbs of state, ones that describe a state of being or emotions, are most often in th imperfect than the perfect. Être is such a word, as it describes a state and not an action. 

Shrey

Kwiziq community member

22 December 2018

22/12/18

Merci would like Madame Cécile to expand a bit 

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

22 December 2018

22/12/18

Hi Varsha,

In the example you quote, you cannot say, quand j'ai été petit and 'ça a été un match' for the reasons given by Chris above.

Verbs of state like, être, paraître, sembler, croire, penser describe duration which is conveyed by using the 'imparfait' in French and they are seldom in the 'passé composé'.

The imparfait is normally translated into English by,

something you did on a regular basis, you used to do, or  would do frequently at that period of time - when you were a child.

Hope this helps!

 

 

Shrey

Kwiziq community member

22 December 2018

22/12/18

Merci beaucoup Madame Cécile 

Really grateful for your help 

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