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Édith Piaf - portrait français

Édith Piaf was a French cabaret singer and international star. Read and listen to our bilingual article, then listen to a few of her classic songs.

Note: The tenses in this French article and its English translation don't match! In French, we use the present and future tenses to describe historical stories like this to evoke a sense of immediacy, whereas in English, we commonly use the past tense - learn more about historical French tenses.

 
Classic Édith Piaf

Q&A relating to this exercise 1 question, 2 answers

TracyA1Kwiziq community member

Imparfait? Why are you using devient?

Why are you devient? As in, elle devient une star... Devient seems to be the present tense of devenir; shouldn't you be using the imparfait?

Merci

Tracy

Asked 3 weeks ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

You'll notice that the entire paragraph and following ones are in present tense. This is a stylistic means to draw the reader into the story. The same is possible in English as well, by the way, even if not used as commonly as in French.

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

That there is a  difference in approaches to 'tense' in writing formal historical articles between French and English is noted in the text preceding the article, and a link to the more detailed description is given: 

https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/historical-tenses/

Imparfait? Why are you using devient?

Why are you devient? As in, elle devient une star... Devient seems to be the present tense of devenir; shouldn't you be using the imparfait?

Merci

Tracy

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