L imparfait
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L’imparfait. Un temps du passé. Past tenses. We have already studied one past tense: le passé composé . There is another kind of past tense which is called l’imparfait .

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L’imparfait

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L imparfait

L’imparfait

Un temps du passé


Past tenses

Past tenses

  • We have already studied one past tense: le passé composé. There is another kind of past tense which is called l’imparfait.

  • They both tell us about the past. They are different, and we will eventually talk about the differences, but first let’s look at the imparfait by itself


Conjugation

Conjugation

  • The imparfait is simple to conjugate. It doesn’t matter whether it is an –er verb, an –ir verb or an –re verb, they all do the same thing.

  • There is ONLY ONE verb irregular in the imparfait in the whole French language. We will look at that in a moment.


Conjugation of imparfait

Conjugation of imparfait

  • You find the root by using the ‘nous’ form of the present tense, and chopping off the –ons at the end

  • Faire- faisons- fais

  • Aller- allons-all

  • Nager-nageons-nage

  • Prendre-prenons-pren

  • You add the following endings

  • Je ____ais

  • Tu____ais

  • Il/elle/on______ait

  • Nous______ions

  • Vous______iez

  • Ils/elles______aient


Some examples

Some examples

  • Il faisaittrès beau.

  • Les oiseauxchantaient.

  • Le soleilbrillait.

  • Nous nagions pendant quevouslisiez un livre.

  • Je bronzais et ma soeurécoutait la musique.

  • Le chienchassait un écureuil.

  • Tuavaisfaim.


The one and only exception

The ONE AND ONLY exception

  • Is être. …..Because the nous form of être is sommes, we simply can’t follow the rule: we can’t find the root by removing the -ons, because there is no –ons. The root for être in the imparfait is ét—add the endings to this and get…..

  • J’étais, tuétais, elle/ilétait, nous étions, vousétiez and ils/llesétaient.


Some verbs to watch

Some verbs to watch

  • Prendre-nous prenons- je prenais

  • Commencer-nous commençons- je commençais

  • Venir- nous venons- je venais

  • Dormir- nous dormons- je dormais

  • Recevoir- nous recevons- je recevais

  • Manger- nous mangeons- je mangeais

  • Voir-nous voyons-je voyais


Now you try these

Now you try these

  • Écrire (tu)=

  • Dire(elle)-

  • Lire(ils)=

  • Avoir(nous)=

  • Faire(je)=

  • Jouer(ils)=

  • Étudier(vous)=


How do we use these two past tenses

How do we use these two past tenses?

Le passé composé tells you what happened

L’imparfait tells you what things and people were like

Descriptions and situations

Past habits and actions repeated an unspecified number of times—’used to’

Often expressed as was….ing or were…ing in English

What was happening when something else interrupted

  • Distinct, specific, completed actions

  • Often end in –ed in English

  • An action that interrupted something else


Common uses of imparfait

Common uses of imparfait

  • After words that indicate repetition, like

  • Souvent

  • Tous les jours, tous les été, tous les samedid’habitude, généralement

  • After words that set up an interruption like pendant que

  • Age, looks, personality

  • What a thing looked like

  • Where someone or something was

  • Weather

  • Telling time or saying the date/day

  • States of mind like thinking, wanting and liking or disliking


L imparfait

Quandj’étais petite, nous habitions au bord de la mer. J’allaissouvent à la plage. Un jour, ilfaisaittrèsfroid et il y faisaitdu vent. Je jouaissur la jetéequand je suistombéedansl’eauglacée. Je suis tout de suite rentrée et ma mèrem’adonné du thé. Je ne suis pas allée chez le médecinmaismonpèren’était pas du tout content.


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