Choose your tense carefully. Now imparfait is associated with a description in the past or a lasting action. The biggest example of a condition is weather, but could include other kinds of conditions, such as age. The passé composé is used more often in spoken language, while the passé simple is preferred in written language.. This is one reason why the imparfait and passé composé are often used in the same passage or phrase—the imparfait sets up the main action by giving background, while the passé composé is used for the primary, completed action. The situation becomes troublesome for some as they see both of them being used in a single sentence. Imagine a painting or a picture. To Note. In this discussion I will try to make clear when one should use Imparfait or Passé Composé in French. The first word in this sentence, "hier" indicates that this was a specific occurence. The passé composé focuses on specific actions and past events that started and stopped at specific times. All this takes on special importance in narration of past actions, when both tenses often occur in the same story. Imparfait and passé composé are both used for this purpose. This action happened at one moment in time and could have been captured by the click of an instamatic camera. The difference between the imparfait and the passé composé can also be applied to the imparfait/passé simple, since the passé composé and the passé simple function in similar ways. Here’s an image to help you remember these 2 opposite elements. The Passé Composé and Imperfect Tenses often occur in the same sentence. Generally, the passé composé is used to relate events while the imparfait is used to describe what was going on in the past, states of being in the past, or past habits. In this lesson, we're going to look at how to use Passé composé on its own, as well as combined with Imparfait. The background of the painting is imparfait: it sets the scene. Fill in the blank with the correct form of the verb in parantheses. The Imperfect is used to express a past action or event that was happening when another action or event – expressed in the Passé Composé – interrupted it.. Marc étudiait quand je … The passé composé is used to express specific actions that happened in the past. (Ça a été / C'était) formidable! Now, we’re going to watch the same video of Philippe, but in between what took place (in passé-composé), I’ll describe what was happening in Philippe’s head and around him, using Imparfait, illustrating the difference between passé-composé and imparfait. The foreground of the painting is passe compose: it’s the storyline where the action takes place. In English it can be referred to as the compound past or the present perfect. Both have multiple uses, and unless one is fully aware of the usage and the context in … The imparfait is used to describe repeated or ongoing actions and conditions.It is the “used to do” or “used to be” tense. Imparfait: This tense is similar to the English simple past tense, I did/I was doing. Imparfait vs. Passé Composé. Imperfect Versus Passé Composé The passé composé expresses a completed action that occurred at a specific time in the past. Don't forget accents! The passé composé for most French verbs is composed of the present tense of the auxiliary or helping verb avoir with a past participle. 7 – Learn the Difference Between Passé-Composé And Imparfait. The main difficulty when talking about the past in French is to know when to use Imparfait or Passé composé. remember that Passe Compose is typically specific while Imparfait is typically general. The painting is passe compose is typically specific while imparfait is associated with a past participle typically.. 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