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Why "Ils ont été"

D. A.B2Kwiziq community member

Why "Ils ont été"

Why is  "Ils ont été" and not "Ils étaient" ? These answers for were baffle me. They have been - They were, or are they interchangeable ?

Asked 1 year ago
Maarten K.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

His brother’s group gave a performance  - an event, a highlight of the afternoon, with clear start and end points - hence passé composé. 

Compare to ‘il y avait beaucoup de choix’ - background information, not a single or specific event; happening at the concert, yes, but no clear time boundary, something that possibly started before they arrived, and may have continued after they left, but is now also finished - imparfait. 

Have a look at the link below - text and the small videos following. 

I think it is excellent for extending beyond theory and principles to further developing a feel for use of imparfait or passé composé, how to ‘choose’ between them and the difference in meaning they convey. 

https://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/french-verb-conjugation/passe-compose-versus-imparfait/

Jim J.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Bonjour Stephen,

"Ils ont été"  expresses a past completed action (passé composé)

"Ils étaient" (L'imparfait) expresses a past continuous action (was, were, in English) or past habitual action (would, in English).

They are not interchangeable because they express different aspects of grammar. 

Bonne continuation

Jim

D. A. asked:View original

Why "Ils ont été"

Why is  "Ils ont été" and not "Ils étaient" ? These answers for were baffle me. They have been - They were, or are they interchangeable ?

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