French Grammar Explained /

Revisions of past tenses

Do you remember the past tenses in French?
... maybe?!
They are le passé composé and l'imparfait.
Ah oui ! Well, I remember the tenses and something about theater...
Ah ah, très bien !
In our previous topic about the past tenses, we used this example:
Quand je suis entré mes enfants faisaient des crêpes dans la cuisine. Il y avait de la farine partout. Nous avons mangé les crêpes ensemble et ils ont nettoyé la cuisine pendant que je lisais sur le canapé.
When I entered, my children were making crêpes in the kitchen. There was flour everywhere. We ate the crêpes together and they cleaned while I was reading on the sofa.
Je me souviens de cet exemple.
And do you also remember when to use le passé composé or l'imparfait?
Plus ou moins. It wouldn't hurt to do a quick review.
Passé composé
→ gives information on the background (the settings). « Il faisait beau... »
→ gives information on the foreground (the actions). « suis sorti(e) me promener. »
→ explains what was happening, without saying if or when the action ended. « Je marchais dans le parc. »
→ explains what happened, the actions are completed and finished. « J'ai fini ma promenade. »
→ expresses a habit in the past (action that happened an unspecified number of times). « J'allais à l'école en bus. »
→ expresses actions that happened a specific number of times. « Je suis allé(e) à l'école en bus. »
→ indicates a feeling or a state of being that hasn't changed. « Avant, j'avais peur en avion. »
→ indicates a feeling or a state of being that is different from the present. « J'ai eu longtemps peur en avion. »
This is a very useful chart!
C'est l'heure de pratiquer maintenant ?
Oui ! Let's see if you can put your new skills into practice.