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Manuel

passé composé vs. imparfait

passé composé vs. imparfait

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La plage de Trestraou en Bretagne.

Passé composé

I went to Trestraou Beach last Tuesday (that Tuesday).

Je suis allée à la plage de Trestraou mardi dernier.

Imparfait

I used to go to Trestraou Beach on Tuesdays (every Tuesday).

J'allais à la plage de Trestraou tous les mardis.

Short practice here or here

Full explanation here

Related: When to use the passé composé . Imparfait .

Manuel

Uses of Present Tense in French

Uses of Present Tense in French

The present tense is used in five instances

1.an action that is going on

  • J’apprends le français à FRENCH ETC.
  • I am learning French at FRENCH ETC.

2.a general statement

  • On apprend bien le français à FRENCH ETC.
  • One learns French well at FRENCH ETC.

3.a habitual or lasting action

  • Je vais en cours à FRENCH ETC.
  • I go to school at FRENCH ETC.

4.with time expressions

  • J’attends le bus depuis 15h30.
  • I have been waiting for the bus since 3:30 p.m.
  • Je fais du français avec FRENCH ETC. depuis une année.
  • I’ve been studying French with FRENCH ETC. for a year.
  • Il y a six mois que je fais du français avec FRENCH ETC.
  • I’ve been studying French with FRENCH ETC. for six months.
  • Ça fait six mois que je fais du français avec FRENCH ETC.
  • I’ve been studying French with FRENCH ETC. for six months.

5.when expressing an immediate action

  • Je vais apprendre le français à FRENCH ETC. la semaine prochaine.
  • I’m going to learn French at FRENCH ETC. next week.

In English, the present tense has two forms

  1. the simple present: I learn
  2. the progressive present: I am learning. It's an ongoing action.

French doesn’t work that way: am –ing, is –ing are –ing. Instead, when insisting about the on-going aspect of the action, French uses être en train de.

  • Je ne peux pas laver la vaisselle car je suis en train de faire mes devoirs.
  • I can’t wash the dishes because I am doing my homework (right now).

Related: More on the present tense in French . Expressing time in French (since, ago...) . French tenses .

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Manuel

Present tense – Verbs like PLAIRE – Formation

french lighthouse, plaire

Le phare plaît à ta mère.

Verbs like PLAIRE – Present tense

How do French verbs like PLAIRE work? How are they conjugated?

For verbs like TAIRE, take off the –RE off the infinitive form to get the root. Note the one –s (/Z/ sound) in the plural forms.

  • je/j’ (I) –s
  • tu (you sing.) –s
  • elle (she) –ît
  • il (he) –ît
  • on (we inf.) –ît
  • nous (we form.) sons
  • vous (you pl.) sez
  • ils (they m.) sent
  • elles (they f.) sent
je plais
tu plais
elle plaît
il/ça plaît
on plaît
nous plaisons
vous plaisez
ils plaisent
elles plaisent

In context

  1. Il plaît à ta mère. .... Your mother likes him/it.
  2. Ils leur plaisent.  .... They like them.

 

 

 

Two verbs in this category for you to know

  1. plaire à .... to like, to be pleasing to
  2. se plaire .... to please, like each other

 

Other rules for the present tense in French

Full French conjugations

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C’est cool

C'est cool ! means Sweet!

Related: More Easy French

Manuel

Literary past – irregular verbs

Literary past – irregular verbs - Le passé simple – verbes irréguliers

Play online - Get detailed PDF on the Literary Past

They have the following endings :

  • je (I)  –s
  • tu (you sing.)   –s
  • elle (she)   –t
  • il (he)   –t
  • on (we inf.)  –t
  • nous (we form.)  –ˆmes
  • vous (you pl.)  –ˆtes
  • ils (they m.)  –rent
  • elles (they f.)  –rent

Irregular Passé Simples

  1. to be -- je fus -- nous fûmes
  2. to be born -- je naquis -- nous naquîmes
  3. to beat -- je battis -- nous battîmes
  4. to break -- je rompis -- nous rompîmes
  5. to come -- je vins -- nous vînmes
  6. to cover -- je couvris -- nous couvrîmes
  7. to defeat -- je vainquis -- nous vainquîmes
  8. to die -- je mourus -- nous mourûmes
  9. to do/make -- je fis -- nous fîmes
  10. to drive -- je conduisis -- nous conduisîmes
  11. to fear -- je craignis -- nous craignîmes
  12. to have[1] -- j’eus -- nous eûmes
  13. to hold -- je tins -- nous tînmes
  14. to join -- je joignis -- nous joignîmes
  15. to offer -- j’offris -- nous offrîmes
  16. to open -- j’ouvris -- nous ouvrîmes
  17. to paint -- je peignis -- nous peignîmes
  18. to see -- je vis -- nous vîmes
  19. to suffer -- je souffris -- nous souffrîmes
  20. to translate -- je traduisis -- nous traduisîmes
  21. to write -- j’écrivis -- nous écrivîmes

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[1] to have is not irregular per say, but is good to review here

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Manuel

IF clauses – Part 2

IF clauses – Les phrases avec SI

Get PDF

IF clauses are used in French when expressing a hypothesis, a condition that hasn’t happened yet, or that didn’t happen.

.

This worksheet applies to literary French and only to literary French. The three instances below are almost never used, and certainly never in spoken French.

IF clause -- following clause

1. pluperfect -- pluperfect subjunctive

2. pluperfect subjunctive -- past conditional

3. pluperfect subjunctive -- pluperfect subjunctive

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In context

  • Si j’avais fait du français, je fusse allé/e à Paris.
    Si j’eusse fait du français, je serais allé/e à Paris.
    Si j’eusse fait du français, je fusse allé/e à Paris.

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Also visit If clauses - part 1

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