Conjugate semi-regular -cer verbs in L'Imparfait (imperfect tense)

In L'Imparfait, almost all verbs conjugate in the same way, but verbs ending in -cer* require a slight spelling change to accommodate the soft c.

The letter ç ('c cedilla') is used in most cases except where an i already keeps the c sounding soft.


Example with lancer (to throw)

je lançais
tu lançais
il/elle/on lançait
nous lancions
vous lanciez
ils/elles lançaient

* Here are other -cer verbs which follow that pattern:

lancer (to throw)
commencer (to begin)
placer (to place)
remplacer (to replace)
prononcer (to pronounce)
renoncer (to give up) 
menacer (to threaten)
bercer (to rock)
annoncer (to announce)
influencer (to influence)
sucer (to suck)
avancer (to go forward / to advance)
etc 


Listen to some examples:

Je plaçais le vase sur la table.
I was placing the vase on the table.

Tu prononçais toujours mal ce mot.
You always mispronounced this word.

Le film commençait à 9 heures.
The film used to start at 9.

Nous commencions à nous ennuyer.
We were starting to get bored.

Vous suciez votre pouce quand vous étiez petits.
You used to suck your thumbs when you were small.

Ils lançaient des cailloux.
They were throwing rocks.

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Nous commencions à nous ennuyer.
We were starting to get bored.


Je plaçais le vase sur la table.
I was placing the vase on the table.


Tu prononçais toujours mal ce mot.
You always mispronounced this word.


Ils lançaient des cailloux.
They were throwing rocks.


Vous suciez votre pouce quand vous étiez petits.
You used to suck your thumbs when you were small.


Le film commençait à 9 heures.
The film used to start at 9.



Q&A Forum 2 questions, 4 answers

Julianne B2Kwiziq community member

Vous suciez votre pouce quand vous étiez petits. The translation is you used to suck your thumbs when you were small.

Why is petit plural - unlikely to be talking to more than one person about this, and why 'votre pouce' when the translation is 'your thumbs' - wouldn't it be 'vos pouces'
Asked 11 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Julianne,

 If you take a look at the following link , I have already answered another student asking the same question -

https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/questions/view/ils-sucent-encore-leur-pouce

Hope this helps!

Vous suciez votre pouce quand vous étiez petits. The translation is you used to suck your thumbs when you were small.

Why is petit plural - unlikely to be talking to more than one person about this, and why 'votre pouce' when the translation is 'your thumbs' - wouldn't it be 'vos pouces'

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AlisonC1Kwiziq community member

I'm not sure that "pronounced something wrong" is good English - incorrectly or badly?

Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour Alison, I think the better translation would be: You always mispronounced this word, so the French phrase would be: Tu prononçais toujours mal ce mot. The French equivalent of mispronounce, from the Collins-Robert Dictionary is «mal prononcer» or syntactically «prononcer mal» J'espère que cela vous aidera et bonne chance.
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Alison (and Ron)! Thank you for these useful remarks. I've now updated the example accordingly. Bonne journée !
JamieA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
I think agruing that it's wrong to say "I pronounced it wrong" is imposing excessive, artificial logic on English. The argument is that a verb requires an adverb; you can't apply an adjective to a verb. But we say "I made it small," for example--we don't require one to say "I made it smally."

I'm not sure that "pronounced something wrong" is good English - incorrectly or badly?

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