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The imperfect tense – L’imparfait

The imperfect tense - The 'used to' tense

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When and how to use the imperfect, l'imparfait?

When to use the imparfait

It i is tricky to speak in the past in French because you have to choose between the imparfait and the passé composé. Imparfait literally means “that is not finished, that is still being processed”. Use the imparfait when you are talking about a habit in the past, something that kept on happening. Also use the imparfait when talking about what you used to do, when describing the weather, when telling time, talking about age, when you are setting a story in place or talking about emotions.

In a nutshell

If you’re asking the question:

How was it?

Use the imparfait

How to use the imparfait - Formation

Apply the corresponding imparfait endings to the root of your verb.

pronoun root ending
je root ais
tu root ais
elle root ait
il root ait
on root ait
nous root ions
vous root iez
ils root aient
elles root aient

 

Practice with these Mots Croisés – Crossword Puzzle

Définitions – Clues

Horizontal .............................................Vertical

2. we used to laugh, nous (rire)............1. we used to study, nous (étudier)

5. you used to go, tu (aller)....................2. we used to receive, nous (recevoir)

6. you used to clean, vous (nettoyer).....3. they used to know, ils (savoir)

7. I used to eat, je (manger)...................4. you used to go forward, vous (avancer)

9. we used to do, on (faire).....................8. I used to be, j’(être)

Much more explanations and practice here

Related: Passé composé . Imparfait or Passé composé - Practice .

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