a été réveillé vs était réveillé

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Kwiziq community member

9 August 2018

2 replies

a été réveillé vs était réveillé

In filling in the blank for Bob __ par la reveil tous les jours (Bob was awaken by the alarm every day), I typed "a été réveillé par" instead of "était réveillé". Could you help me understand why the imparfait was incorrect? Thanks!


This question relates to:
French lesson "Forming La Voix Passive with simple tenses (passive voice)"


Kwiziq community member

9 August 2018


Hi Gregory,

Actually, the imperfect is correct and you answered in the passé composé.

Bob a été réveillé... -- a été is passé composé of être
Bob était révaillé... -- était is imperfect of être

You need the imperfect in this sentence because the action is repeated over a longer period (...was awaken every day...)

-- Chris (not a native speaker).


Kwiziq language super star

9 August 2018


Hi Gregory,

The tense you used in 'a été réveillé ' is the perfect tense ( passé composé).

The imparfait 'était réveillé' is correct as the action is repetitive.


J'ai été réveillé par les éboueurs dans la nuit = I was woken up/awaken by the rubbish collectors last night (One action in the past done and dusted.)

compared with - 

John était réveillé par les éboueurs toutes les nuits = John was woken up/awaken  by the dustmen every night  (Repetitive action which happened every night.)

Hope this helps!

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