Which one is correct?

AndreaB2Kwiziq community member

Which one is correct?

Le soir, la ville se réveillée.

Le soir, la ville se réveillait.

This is in the context of a visit to this city, which came alive in the evening. Until then the shops were closed and the streets empty. The text book answer was NOT in the imparfait. What is the rationale applied here?

Asked 5 months ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Andrea !

Given the context you've given us, I'd say the nuance would be as follows:

Le soir, la ville s'est réveillée.
-> A simple observation that at that point in time (le soir), this action took place (the city woke up).

Le soir, la ville se réveillait.
-> Here, it refers to a recurring action in the past - At night, the city used to/would wake up.

I hope that's helpful!
Bonne journée !

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Andrea,

Le soir, la ville se réveillait. This looks correct to me - l'imparfait  (continuous past action)

Le soir, la ville se réveillée. This is not correct unless written 

"La ville s'est réveillée" passé composé

Bonne Journée

Jim

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Agree with Jim. In a descriptive context, imperfect is the tense of choice. It's where, in English, you would use the -ing form. Here's the difference between passé composé and imparfait:

(Passé composé) La ville s'est réveillée. -- The town woke up.
(Imparfait) La ville se réveillait. -- The town was waking up.

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Andrea, 

Where is this example from? I can think of contexts where either the passé composé and the imparfait would be correct.

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

@Aurélie:

Using the imperfect wouldn't necessarily have to mean that it is a repeating action. It could simply be a "setting of the scene" description along the lines of:

La pleine lune brillait quand un cri terrible s'éleva. -- The full moon was shining when a terrible cry arose.

Which one is correct?

Le soir, la ville se réveillée.

Le soir, la ville se réveillait.

This is in the context of a visit to this city, which came alive in the evening. Until then the shops were closed and the streets empty. The text book answer was NOT in the imparfait. What is the rationale applied here?

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