All courses available either in person or via Skype or Telephone.  Please contact us for more information

Vous recherchez des Cours d'Anglais? Cliquez-ici.

Book with confidence! Fully flexible cancellation policy related to Covid-19 Enquire Now!

Imparfait

As you may know, in French there are two main tenses we use in the past : « Passé composé » and « Imparfait ».

« Passé composé » has been previously explained in another Grammar for Dummies , now time to focus on « Imparfait ».

  1. When is it used ?
  2. How to conjugate it ?

 

  1. When is it used ?

The French use it to express three different things :

 

  • A description : if you’re describing a person, a landscape, emotions…

Ex: Il faisait beau, les oiseaux chantaient. Les enfants jouaient dans le parc. Tout le monde avait l’air heureux.

 

  • A habit in the past : if you’re explaining what you were doing regularly during a certain period of time (that is in the past and over). For example, talking about your childhood:

Ex: Quand j’étais petit(e) j’allais tous les week ends chez ma grand-mère. On faisait des gateaux ensemble et ensuite on les mangeaient à côté de la cheminée.

 

  • An on-going action interrupted by another one: You were doing something when something else happened.

Ex: Je regardais la télé quand le telephone a sonné.

 

  1. How to conjugate it ?

There is a “technic” to find the stem of the verb : take the stem of the verb when you conjugate “nous” in the present tense and then add the ending of Imparfait.

The endings are the following :

Je parlais

Tu parlais

Il / elle /on parlait

Nous parlions

Vous parliez

Ils /elles parlaient

 

Ex: verb PRENDRE

“nous prenons” à I’m keeping “pren” to which I add the Imparfait endings

so je prenais/ tu prenais / il prenait ….

 

Ex: verb BOIRE

“nous buvons” à I’m keeping “buv” to which I add the Imparfait endings

so: je buvais, tu buvais, il buvait…

 

There is ONLY 1 exception: ÊTRE

It is an exception because if we were to follow the rule of using “nous”, we would have “nous sommes”, when the stem of Être in imparfait is “ét”

 

J’étais

Tu étais

Il /elle / on était

Nous étions

Vous étiez

Ils /elles étaient

 

 


Christmas in France – What to expect

Just like everywhere else in the world, Father Christmas (known as Père Noël or Papa Noël in France) brings gifts to children who have been well-behaved on Christmas Day. The sapin de Noël (Christmas tree) is the main decoration in homes, streets, shops, and offices. On le Réveillon (Christmas Eve),…

Continue Reading

Vous or Tu : Which one do I use?!

The subject pronouns Tu and Vous can be quite confusing for English speakers when they are first learning French, considering we only have one subject pronoun to mean you in English. However, once you get your head around how to use it, you will see it’s not as difficult as…

Continue Reading

Pronunciation

PRONUNCIATION   There is nothing worse than knowing the right word but once you pronounce it, people don’t understand you !! So let’s have a look at a few pronunciation rules. Once you know how to pronounce the word, your brain identifies it very rapidly when it hears it, so by…

Continue Reading

VOUS vs TU

VOUS or TU ??   How embarrassing not to know which one to use ? Is there a rule, how do the French know which one to use ?   You are speaking to an adult : If the person is a family member = TU If the person is not a family member…

Continue Reading

CPF Logo Chèques Vacances Logo CAF – VACAF Logo Région Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Logo Qualiopi Logo LanguageCourse.net Logo Daily Mail Logo Datadock Logo FAFIH Logo Bright Language Logo BULATS Logo The Guardian Logo

All courses available either in person or via Skype or Telephone.  Please contact us for more information

Vous recherchez des Cours d'Anglais? Cliquez-ici.