Concept Test #45 – Past Imperfect 2

http://www.laits.utexas.edu/tex/gr/tap6.html

Give the imparfait of the verb indicated in parentheses.

  1. En France, Tammy ______ du shopping tous les jours. (faire)
  2. Chez les nonnes (‘nuns’), Tex ______ la Bible chaque jour. (lire)
  3. Fiona: Joe-Bob, est-ce que tu ______ beaucoup dans ton enfance? (chanter)
  4. Tex: En France, je ______ dans le parc après la messe. (se promener)
  5. Fiona: Joe-Bob et Corey, est-ce que vous ______ à vos parents? (obéir)
  6. Tex: Rita, est-ce que nous ______ ensemble avant mon départ? (jouer)
  7. Tammy et Bette ______ une vie heureuse avec un homme unique. (imaginer)
  8. Tex et Edouard ______ à obtenir des ingrédients français pour la recette. (ne pas penser)
  9. Tammy: Bette ______ de mauvaise humeur hier soir! (être)
  10. Tammy: Tex et moi, nous ______ très contents à Lyon. (être)
  11. Edouard: En France, je ______ ! (ne jamais grossir)
  12. Dans son enfance, Joe-Bob ______ toujours ses devoirs. (perdre)

The rules:

  • The imperfect tense (l’imparfait) has two primary uses: to describe on-going actions or states of being in the past, and to state habitual actions in the past.
  • The imparfait is used to describe people, places, conditions or situations in the past.
  • The imparfait is also used to state habitual actions in the past. These past habits are often translated as ‘used to’, or ‘would.’
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Concept Test #44 – Past Imperfect Expressions

http://www.laits.utexas.edu/tex/gr/tap7.html

Formulate wishes by using ‘si’ plus the imparfait and the subject indicated in parentheses. Place an exclamation point at the end of each sentence.

  1. Regarder une vidéo (on)
  2. Etre plus mince (je)
  3. Etre déjà en vacances (nous)
  4. Venir danser avec moi (tu)
  5. Penser à moi (Tex)’
  6. Avoir plus de temps (je)
  7. Inviter des amis à la maison (vous)
  8. Se marier (on)
  9. Aller à Barton Springs (nous)
  10. Se trouver plus près d’Austin (Opelousas)
  11. Ne pas boire d’insecticide (Corey)
  12. Ne pas être snob (les tatous)

The tricks:

  • The imperfect tense (l’imparfait) has two primary uses: to describe on-going actions or states of being in the past, and to state habitual actions in the past.
  • The imparfait is used to suggest an action in phrases beginning with Si on … ?
  • The imparfait is used to express wishes such as ‘If only we didn’t have a test this week!’ The French equivalent structure, si + imparfait, may, or may not, contain the adverb seulement.
  • The imparfait also occurs in idiomatic uses with depuis and venir de.

Concept Test #43 – Past Imperfect (Imparfait)

http://www.laits.utexas.edu/tex/gr/tap5.html

Give the imparfait of the verb indicated in parentheses.

  1. Tex et Tammy ______ la table quand Paw-Paw a téléphoné. (mettre)
  2. Tammy ______ la chimie avant la soirée. (étudier)
  3. Joe-Bob: Je ______ des noix quand il a commencé à pleuvoir . (ramasser)
  4. Fiona: J’______ la musique française quand Joe-Bob est arrivé . (écouter)
  5. Fiona et Bette: Nous ______ nos devoirs quand le cours a commencé . (finir)
  6. Fiona: Corey, tu ______ de l’insecticide toute la soirée? (boire)
  7. Tex: Joe-Bob et Corey, vous ______ des voix mystérieuses pendant le cours? (entendre)
  8. Bette ______ à l’amour de Tex quand Tammy est arrivée . (réfléchir)
  9. Edouard ______ le repas quand le client a commandé du ketchup. (servir)
  10. Fiona: Tammy, est-ce que tu ______ du piano quand j’ai appelé? (jouer)
  11. Joe-Bob ______ son ami Corey quand il a rencontré une belle minette. (chercher)
  12. Tammy et Bette ______ du shopping quand Tammy est tombée dans la rivière. (faire)

The tricks:

  • The imperfect tense (l’imparfait), one of several past tenses in French, is used to describe states of being and habitual actions in the past. It also has several idiomatic uses.
  • To the stem, add the endings -ais, -ais, -ait, -ions, -iez, and -aient.
  • There are many irregular nous versions (see page).
  • The -ais, -ais, -ait, and -aient are all pronounced alike.

Pluperfect, Passé Composé, Past Imperfect and Past Simple

http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/pastperfect.htm

The French past perfect, or pluperfect, (plus-que-parfait) is used to indicate an action in the past that occurred before another action in the past. The latter can be either mentioned in the same sentence or implied.

Il n’avait pas mangé (avant de faire ses devoirs).       
He hadn’t eaten (before doing his homework).

J’étais déjà sorti (quand tu as téléphoné).
I had already left (when you called).

The pluperfect is also used in si clauses to express a hypothetical situation in the past contrary to what actually happened:

Si tu m’avais demandé, j’aurais répondu.
If you had asked me, I would have answered.

Nous y serions allés si nous avions su.
We would have gone if we had known.

The French past perfect is a compound conjugation, which means it has two parts:

  1. imperfect of the auxiliary verb (either avoir or être)
  2. past participle of the main verb

Note: Like all French compound conjugations, the past perfect may be subject to grammatical agreement:

  • When the auxiliary verb is être, the past participle must agree with the subject
  • When the auxiliary verb is avoir, the past participle may have to agree with its direct object
French Past Perfect Verb Conjugations
AIMER (auxiliary verb is avoir)
j’ avais aimé nous avions aimé
tu avais aimé vous aviez aimé
il, elle avait aimé ils, elles avaient aimé
DEVENIR (être verb)
j’ étais devenu(e) nous étions devenu(e)s
tu étais devenu(e) vous étiez devenu(e)(s)
il était devenu ils étaient devenus
elle était devenue elles étaient devenues
SE LAVER (pronominal verb)
je m’étais lavé(e) nous nous étions lavé(e)s
tu t’étais lavé(e) vous vous étiez lavé(e)(s)
il s’était lavé ils s’étaient lavés
elle s’était lavée elles s’étaient lavées

There are other forms of the past in French. Let me introduce you to a visual mnemonic for past perfect/pluperfect:

Pluperfect/Past Perfect (plus-que-parfait) – Ava had flown Avions to the EU, and the ETA was pluperfect, EZ and convenient.

Past Perfect

The pluperfect is the tense which gave me the most trouble when conjugating. It doesn’t help that it is also known as the Past Perfect (which means it contains the past participle element, which means there are two auxiliary verb conjugations to worry about). There are two words which anchor the mnemonic, Avions and Pluperfect. Either one, for me, triggers the entire mnemonic, which in turn solves the riddle of the conjugation, and the English equivalents.

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In the Passé Composé (Present Perfect in English) form, many verbs conjugate with être, and must match in gender and number of persons. Passé Composé is the most common French past tense, and expresses an action completed in the past, repeated a number of times in the past, or a series of actions completed in the past. The equivalent of Passé Composé in English, is the simple past (I danced), present perfect (I have danced) and past emphatic (I did dance).

The Passé Composé uses “avoir” for every verb except 17 verbs that use “être”. There is a memory tool…DR MRS VANDERTRAMPP (Devenir Revenir Monter Rester Sortir Venir Aller Naître Descendre Entrer Retourner Tomber Rentrer Arriver Mourir Partir), and it’s easier to memorize these verbs than to make sense of anything else. Many teachers rely on this picture:

passcompose with etre

http://www.cliffsnotes.com/foreign-languages/french/french-ii/french-ii-past-tenses/the-passe-compose

There is even a song for learning the 17 verbs that use “être”:

http://www.frenchlearner.com/songs/dr-mrs-vandertramp/

The forms of Être (to be) that we are most likely to encounter, for the most common verb conjugations, are as follows:

Present – Je suis, Tu es, Il est, Nous sommes, Vous êtes, ils sont
Future – Je serai, Tu seras, Il sera, Nous serons, Vous serez, Ils seront
Imperfect – Je étais, Tu étais, Il était, Nou étions, Vous étiez, Ils étaient
Subjunctive – Je sois, Tu sois, Il soit, Nous soyons, Vous soyez, Ils soient
Conditional – Je serais, Tu serais, Il serait, Nous serions, Vous seriez, Ils seraient
Passé Simple – Je fus, Tu fus, Il fut, Nous fûmes, Vous fûtes, Ils furent
Imperative – Tu sois, Nous soyons, Vous soyez
Present Participle – étant
Past Participle – été
Auxiliary Verb – avoir

Verbs that conjugate with Être are: aller, arriver, descendre, devenir, entrer, monter, mourir, naître, partir, rentrer, rester, retourner, revenir, sortir, tomber and venir.

The forms of Avoir (to have) that we are most likely to encounter are as follows:

Present – J’ai, Tu as, Il a, Nous avons, Vous avez, ils ont
Future – Je aurai, Tu auras, Il aura, Nous aurons, Vous aurez, Ils auront
Imperfect – Je avais, Tu avais, Il avait, Nou avions, Vous aviez, Ils avaient
Subjunctive – Je aie, Tu aies, Il ait, Nous ayons, Vous ayez, Ils aient
Conditional – Je aurais, Tu aurais, Il aurait, Nous aurions, Vous auriez, Ils auraient
Passé Simple – Je eus, Tu eus, Ile eut, Nous eûmes, Vous eûtes, Ils eurent
Imperative – Tu aie, Nous ayons, Vous ayez
Present Participle – ayant
Past Participle – eu
Auxiliary Verb – avoir

Many idioms use avoir, and the meaning differs from “to have” and can often be confused with “to be”. The “Il y a” expressions are often confusing for this reason. “Il y a” means “there is” or “there are” although “a” is the conjugated “to have”.

In the Passé Composé, Être and Avoir are used with the imperfect form of other verbs, to create compound tenses that describe past actions which have completed.

There are irregular Passé Composé verbs, covered here:

Here is a visual mnemonic for Passé Composé:

Present Perfect (passé composé) – A composer says, “I have spoken!”, to his Avon selling son.

Present Perfect

 

This visual not only tells you the English equivalent, but reminds you that an accent mark at the end of the past particle tells you that it is one of the perfect tenses. You will see this tense so often, that you will probably have no problem with the je, tu, il, and vous conjugations, but you may be tricked by the nous and ils conjugations. The mnemonic addresses that with Avon and son, color linking mnemonic words to the conjugations.

We’ve now coverered Past Perfect (Pluperfect), and Passé Composé. There is also Past Imperfect.

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Normally the Past Imperfect describes actions that are on-going. A good example of this is the Past Imperfect, “je mangeais”, which means I was eating (on going action). The Passé Composé version, “j’ai mangé”, translates to the English equivalent Present Perfect of “I have eaten”, and the action is completed. That’s the simplest way to differentiate between Passé Composé and Past Imperfect.

Here is a visual mnemoic for the Past Imperfect (imparfait):

Imperfect (imparfait) – She was eating a parfait, it is imperfect, how I-ronic.

Imperfect

For an American, a parfait is something they sell at McDonald’s, and it contains yogurt or ice cream, and is adorned with nuts, syrup, etc. What could be more perfect? The irony is that as “she” was eating one, it is imperfect, and therefore ironic. The mnemonic attempts to reveal the conjugation trickery of the Imperfect tense. Through the use of colors, the strange “a” that appears in je, tu, il and ils is shown. The “is” and “it” are revealed in the je, tu, and il conjugations, and finally, the word I-ronic reminds the conjugator, to make sure they slip an “i” into each conjugation.

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The final past tense in French is one that is used mainly in literature, and it is Passé Simple.

Passé Simple is a third tense used to describe past actions, and is described as being the literary equivalent of Passé Composé, because it is used in formal writing and formal speech. Passé Simple will often look strange, and the verbs are conjugated dependant on the verb’s endings (ER, IR/RE, and irregular).

ER Ending verbs – drop ER and add…

Je –ai, Tu – as, Il – a, Nous – âmes, Vous – âtes, Ils – èrent

IR/RE Ending verbs – drop the IR/RE and add…

Je – is, Tu – is, Il – it, Nous – îmes, Vous – îtes, Ils – irent

Irregular verbs:

s’assseoir            s’ass-
mettre                  m-
conduire              conduis-
naître                    naqu-
dire                        d-
peindre                peign-
prendre                pr-
écrire                    écriv-
faire                       f-
rire                         r-
joindre                 joign-
voir                        v-

Let me give you a visual mnemonic for this tense as well:

Past Simple (passé  simple) – Simple paid past-times, test a rented SST

Past Simple

This was the most difficult mnemonic to create, and also the most intricate one. This mnemonic is not as intuitive as the others, and may require you to use it several times before it’s automatic. The mnemonic does contain all of the conjugations for -er verbs, as seen by the colors. The ending triggers the peculiar -ir and -re verb conjugations for je, tu, and Il/elle/on. Notice the accent above the “Nous” and “Vous” conjugations? I have no idea how to trigger that in this mnemonic, so you simply have to note that the accent makes the Past Simple not that simple.

Verbs – Past Imperfect Lessons 1 and 2

Study Tip – When using verb conjugations, you may find that talking with your hands, like Italians, is a good way to add the memory power of motion. When you talk about the future, and conjugate the future, push your hands forward in whichever gesture you feel comfortable with. The present will have it’s own gesture. The past imperfect will have one that is slightly different than the past perfect, and so on. Work on those gestures and agree on them now, so that as you introduce new verb conjugations, you will couple them with body movements that will become synonymous with that conjugation.

The Imperfect (Imparfait) is what was happening all around you (including you), and the background. Also on-going events, habits, and what used to be. I’m going to give you a visual mnemonic to help you remember this verb tense and how to conjugate it…forever:

Imperfect (imparfait) – She was eating a parfait, it is imperfect, how I-ronic.

Imperfect

For an American, a parfait is something they sell at McDonald’s, and it contains yogurt or ice cream, and is adorned with nuts, syrup, etc. What could be more perfect? The irony is that as “she” was eating one, it is imperfect, and therefore ironic. The mnemonic attempts to reveal the conjugation trickery of the Imperfect tense. Through the use of colors, the strange “a” that appears in je, tu, il and ils is shown. The “is” and “it” are revealed in the je, tu, and il conjugations, and finally, the word I-ronic reminds the conjugator, to make sure they slip an “i” into each conjugation.

https://quizlet.com/78255002/duolingo-french-past-imperfect-1-flash-cards/

https://quizlet.com/78255754/duolingo-french-past-imperfect-2-flash-cards/

Vocabulary

Faisiez – did/made (they)
Allait – went (you fam.)
Disaient – says (they)
Veniez – came (they)
Voulaient – wanted (they)
Avais – had (I)
Pensiez – thought (they)
Connaissais – knew (I/you fam.)
Croyait – believed (he/she)
Parlais – spoke (I/you fam.)
Regardiez – looked for (they)

Notes

The imperfect describes an ongoing action with no specified completion:

J’allais en France. – I was going to France.
Je visitais des monuments et prenais des photos. – I was visiting monuments and taking pictures

The imperfect is used for habitual or repeated actions, something that happened an uncounted number of times:

Je voyageais en France tous les ans. – I traveled (used to travel) to France every year.
Je visitais souvent le Louvre. – I often visited the Louvre.

The imperfect describes a general physical or mental state of being:

J’avais peur des chiens. – I was afraid of dogs.
J’aimais les épinards. – I used to like spinach.

Past Imperfect
Verb Meaning Je Tu Il/elle Nous Vous Ils/ells
Aimer To like J’aimais Aimais Aimions Aimiez Aimiez Aimaient
Aller To go J’allais Allais Allait Allions Allies Allaient
Avoir To have J’avais Avais Avait Avions Aviez Avaient
Connaitre To know Connaissais Connaissais Connaissait Connaissions Connaissiez Connaissaient
Croire To believe Croyais Croyais Croyait Croyions Croyiez Croyaient
Dire To say Disais Disais Disait Disions Disiez Disaient
Étre To be J’Étais Étais Étair Étions Étiez Étaient
Faire To do/make Faisais Faisais Faisait Faisions Faisiez Faisaient
Parler To speak Parlais Parlais Parlait Parlions Parliez Parlaient
Partir To go Partais Partais Partait Partions Partiez Partaient
Penser To think Pensais Pensais Pensait Pensions Pensiez Pensaient
Regarder To look at Regardais Regardais Regardait Regardions Regardiez Regardaient
Sentir To smell Sentais Sentais Sentait Sentions Sentiez Sentaient
Trouver To find Trouvais Trouvais Trouvait Trouvions Trouviez Trouvaient
Venir To come Venais Venais Venait Venions Veniez Venaient
Voir To see Voyais Voyais Voyait Voyions Voyiez Voyaient
Vouloir To want Voulais Voulais Voulait Voulions Vouliez Voulaient

Normally the Past Imperfect descirbes actions that are on-going. A good example of this is the Past Imperfect, je mangeais, which means I was eating (on going action). The Passé Composé version, j’ai mangé, translates to the English equivalent Present Perfect of “I have eaten” and the action is completed.

Sentences

Avant, vous veniez chez mes parents – Earlier, you came to my parents’
Comment était ta journée? How was your day?
Du moins, il croyait! At least, he believed!
Elle allait lire un magazine – She went to read a magazine
Elle ne me regardait pas – She was not looking at me
Elle savait lire – She knew how to read
Elle venait seule – She came alone
Elles ne voulaient plus écrire – They did not want to write any more
Hier j’étais malade – Yesterday I was sick
Il allait acheter une voiture – He was going to buy a car
Il allait parler – He was going to talk
Il croyait son père – He believed his father
Il disait quoi? What was he saying?
Il était à sa fenêtre hier – He was at her window yesterday
Il faisait beau – The weather was beautiful
Il n’allait pas le faire – He was not going to do it
Il ne faisait rien – He did not do anything
Il ne voulait pas manger – He did not want to eat
Il n’était pas chez lui It didn’t used to be in home/He was not in his house
Il pensait à moi – He thought about me
Il savait parler – He knew how to speak
Il se sentait bien – He felt fine
Il se sentait mal- He felt bad
Il sentait le chocolat – He smelled the chocolate
Il y avait un chat dans la voiture – There was a cat in the car
Ils allaient au café – They were going to the café
Ils avaient une lampe dans leurchambre – They had a lamp in their bedroom
Ils n’avaient rien à manger – They had nothing to eat
Ils ne voulaient jamais ma photo – They never wanted my picture
Ils ne voulaient pas ça – They did not want that/it
Ils/Elles ne voulaient plus écrire – They did not want to write any more
J’allais dans ce restaurant – I used to go to this restaurant
J’allais écrire une letter – I was going to write a letter
J’avais un petit robot quand j’étais petit – I had a little robot when I was young
J’avais une voiture – I had a car
Je crois ce qu’elles disaient – I believe what they said
Je n’ai pas voulu le faire / Je ne voulais pas le faire – I did not want to do it
Je n’avais pas le temps de prendre un petit-déjeuner – I had no time for breakfast
Je ne savais pas – I did not know
Je ne voulais pas l’acheter – I did not want to buy it
Je parlais à mon père – I was talking to my father
Je parlais de ça avec mes parents – I spoke about that with my parents / I was speaking with my parents about that
Je voulais cette voiture – I wanted that car
Je voulais de nouvelles chaussures – I wanted new shoes
Je voulais des chaussures rouges – I wanted red shoes
Je voyais souvent mon neveu – I used to see my nephew often
J’étais chez elle le mois dernier – I was at her house last month
Les femmes faisaient des frites – The woman made some fries
Les hommes faisaient des gateaux – Men made cakes
Ma sœur disait que tu es trop vieuxpour elle – My sister said you are too old for her
Nous disions? We were saying?
Nous ne trouvions plus son chapeau – We did not find his hat anymore
Où allaient-ils? Where did they go?
Où étaient-ils samedi soir? Where were they Saturday night?
Tu avais seulement à dire non – You only had to say no
Tu ne connaissais pas ça – You did not know that
Tu ne me trouvais pas – You did not find me
Tu parlais avec ma sœur – You spoke with my sister
Tu regardais la television – You were watching television
Vendredi je parlais avec leprofesseur de mon fils – Friday I spoke with the professor of my son
Vous aviez à manger? Did you have something to eat?
Vous étiez dans votre cave – You were in your cellar
Vous ne faisiez rien – You did nothing
Vous pensiez la même chose quemoi – You thought the same thing as me
Vous veniez me voir – You came to see me
Vous veniez souvent dans cerestaurant – You came to this restaurant often