French Grammar Explained /

The imperfect II

Do you remember l'imparfait ? We are going to continue on this topic.
Maybe... is that the tense used for habits in the past?
Oui !
Then yes, I remember!
L'imparfait is the second past tense of the French language. It is used regularly with le passé composé and it is just as important. Both tenses are used in combination to express the past.
That doesn't make sense... why does French need two tenses for the same thing? Can I choose which tense I like better and just use that?
Unfortunately not. You really need both tenses in French. But we'll discuss that another time.
Quand il était enfant, il détestait l'école.
When he was a child, he hated school.
Monique était grande et blonde.
Monique was tall and blond.
Il faisait beau et la ville resplendissait.
It was sunny and the city was glowing.
As you can see from the examples, l'imparfait is used to describe or comment a situation, a person or a place, in the past.
So it's a little bit like watching a movie with my friend.
How so?
I have to pause the movie regularly to describe the story, give details or missing information, and I have to explain the plot because he doesn't pay attention to what's happening.
Well... yes, I guess you're right! L'imparfait used in this context is like the background information to the story! But... maybe you should stop watching movies with this friend...