Imparfait vs Passé composé

Imparfait vs passé composéKnowing whether to use the passé composé or imparfait is particularly difficult when translating certain verbs into French. Very broadly speaking, the imperfect is equivalent to was/were + ___ing, but some English verbs are not often used in this form. So when translating was, had, and liked into French, you have to think about the meaning in order to decide which tense to use.


Imperative Mood

French imperativeIt's imperative to understand the imperative mood if you want to give orders, make requests, express desires, provide recommendations, offer advice, and prohibit actions.

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French imperfectThey say practice makes perfect, so how can one of the most common French past tenses be imperfect? In grammatical terms, "perfect" means "complete," so the imperfect tense is used to describe an incomplete or ongoing action or state of being.

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Imperfect Subjunctive

French imperfect subjunctiveThe imperfect subjunctive is a literary verb form, meaning that it's reserved for formal, written French - mainly literature, but also history and journalism.

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Passé composé

Passé composéThe passé composé is the most important French past tense, and just to make things interesting, it has three possible English equivalents.

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Passé composé vs Imparfait

Passé composé vs imparfaitFrench videoWhen talking about the past in French, there are two different tenses that work together: the passé composé and the imparfait. Although English has verb forms that appear to be exact equivalents for each of these, they don't quite match up in the two languages. This video will help you understand when, why, and how to use each French tense.


Passé simple

Passé simpleThe passé simple is a single-word past tense, equivalent to English's simple past. However, the passé simple is a literary tense and is thus limited to formal writing, such as literature (including children's books), journalism, and historical accounts.

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Passive Constructions

French passive constructionsThe best-known passive construction is the passive voice, which has a verb performing on a subject (e.g., he is seen). But did you know that French has several other passive constructions that are just as important to recognize and use?