Why not passé composé or plus que parfait?


Kwiziq community member

28 November 2016

1 reply

Why not passé composé or plus que parfait?

OK. Alors j'ai toujours des problems avec l'imparfait. Pourquoi est-ce qu'on ne doit pas utilise le passé composé avec : "Tu parlais de Jean, ce matin." "Ce matin" n'est pas une temps spécifique? L'autre example que me pose des problems c'est "Elle courait quand le bus arriva." Ça n'est pas un example d'une action interrompu? Alors il faudra utiliser le plus que parfait, non?

This question relates to:
French lesson "Expressing continuing action in L'Imparfait (imperfect tense)"


Kwiziq language super star

28 November 2016


Bonjour MM ! 1) "Tu parlais de Jean ce matin." In this case, "ce matin" is setting the action as happening *this* specific morning, and the use of Imparfait here insists on the length of the action of talking: "you were talking about Jean". You could here use Le Passé Composé "Tu as parlé de Jean ce matin", but in this case, the talking is mentioned as one brief past action, which was probably followed by other actions: "you talked about Jean this morning." 2) "Elle courait quand le bus arriva." This is a typical "interrupted action" case, in the sense of her action of running is superseded by the sudden arrival of a bus. If you like, the second action takes the foreground to the second one which is like a background action. I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

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