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why is barking "all night long" not in the imperfect?

sidney

Kwiziq community member

4 October 2016

3 replies

why is barking "all night long" not in the imperfect?

This relates to:
Conjugate regular -er verbs (+ avoir) in Le Passé Composé (conversational past) -

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

4 October 2016

4/10/16

Bonjour Sydney !

Both Le Passé Composé and L'Imparfait could be used here, depending on your point of view.
If you say "Le chien a aboyé toute la nuit." (The dog barked all night long), it means you're talking of it as a past and finished action.
If you said "Le chien aboyait toute la nuit" (The dog was barking all night long), you're insisting on the length of this action, by highlighting the continued aspect of this process. You could also use it to express a habit in the past (The dog used to bark all night long).

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

Michael

Kwiziq community member

21 January 2018

21/01/18

In english we have something similar, if I am understanding correctly. We would say the dog kept barking all night to stress the continuous nature. If we said the dog barked all night its either he did it continuously or intermittantly, so often a clarification is required.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

25 January 2018

25/01/18

Yes, that's the tricky part with using the Simple Past in English there :)

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