why do we use "c'aussi" to say "it was"?

CarlC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

why do we use "c'aussi" to say "it was"?

Why do we use "c'est aussi" to say "it was"?  Also why "c'est le premier octobre" to say "it was the first of October"?

Asked 3 months ago
MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

I don’t have access to the exercise, but as it is apparently an historical piece, an  explanation may be in the usual use of present tense for narrative aspects in French history writing, whereas English usually writes historical pieces in past tense. 

As this is a B2 exercise, this technical knowledge is possibly expected, and the original text and translation are each appropriate to their own language.  https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/historical-tenses/

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I haven't done the exercise either, but according to the instructions it uses the passé composé, so I don't think this is the answer. Both the examples that Carl mentions use "c'est", so I'd assume this is what's relevant.

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Alan, the instructions simply say to use passé composé, not passé simple (when past tense is indicated). French historical writing still uses past tense for appropriate specific events, but the narrative is mostly in present tense. The fact the recommendation is there suggests to me that otherwise “traditional” French historical writing is to be expected in the piece. 

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Well, someone on the Kwiziq staff could confirm this either way, but I have a feeling that they sometimes accept our answers (and mark them "correct") without checking.

Wouldn't it be a bit surprising to mention the passé composé, but not the présent historique? And isn't it a coincidence that both examples use "c'est"? I've pointed out, previously, that "c'est" is a special case, and is often used in the present when you might expect a past tense.

why do we use "c'aussi" to say "it was"?

Why do we use "c'est aussi" to say "it was"?  Also why "c'est le premier octobre" to say "it was the first of October"?

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