bit confused with ne...pas Le passe compose/ present indicatif for depuis longtemps.

AnishB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

bit confused with ne...pas Le passe compose/ present indicatif for depuis longtemps.

I am a bit confused with ne...pas Le passe compose/ present indicatif for depuis longtemps. In a test I translated "How would you say ''I haven't been in France for long.''? as "Je n'arrive pas en France depuis longtemps."

But it was marked wrong.  Can you explain why Passe compose is the correct tense for this

Asked 1 month ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Anish,

I haven't been in France for long Je ne suis pas en France depuis longtemps.

You might use 'arriver' to say when you arrived  but you wouldn't use 'depuis'

Je suis arrivé/e en France il y a deux mois = I arrived in France two months ago 

The verb arriver is a single event in the past and has no continuation aspect to it.

What do you mean by the use of the passé composé in the example?

The passé composé is not always used after negative sentences, it depends on the meaning you are trying to convey.

 

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

You have used the present tense with depuis longtemps which is correct for "not long". The problem is the use of «n'arrive pas» - this doesn't translate to "I haven't been . . .     ' which is  «Je ne suis pas en France depuis longtemps».

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

You arrived in the past, so it has to be the passé composé, not the present. But I know that does seem to contradict the rules given in the lesson. This question gets asked a lot, I'm still not sure I understand it, but I'll repeat what I wrote last time about a similar example:

According to the lesson, the present tense is translated as "not long", but the passé composé should be translated as "not in a long time". So it should mean "Martin hasn't arrived in a long time", but it seems to be following the rule for the present tense instead. 

When arriver means "to happen", I think you do get the expected meaning according to the rules:

"ça n'est pas arrivé depuis longtemps" = "that hasn't happened in a long time"

If I had to guess at an explanation for this, I'd say that the rules in the lesson should be considered just as rules of thumb. When you have a negative sentence it could either be negating the verb (= it didn't happen) or the "longtemps" (= not long). You have to work out which it is from the context.

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Cécile, 

It looks a little odd to me, too, but one of the examples in the lesson is this:

Martin n'est pas arrivé depuis longtemps = Martin hasn't been here long.

I think there is also a similar quiz question as Anish says.

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Alan,

I think the problem is with the use of the verb 'arriver' which can mean, to get somewhere.

So, to say

Martin hasn't been here long 

you can say:

Martin n'est pas arrivé depuis longtemps 

or 

Martin est arrivé depuis peu de temps 

Just as you could say with the same meaning -

Martin n'est pas là depuis longtemps 

or 

Martin n'a pas été là depuis longtemps 

creating lots of confusion ...

Personally I would remove the example for a clearer one, but as it is in a quiz , I can't do it.

bit confused with ne...pas Le passe compose/ present indicatif for depuis longtemps.

I am a bit confused with ne...pas Le passe compose/ present indicatif for depuis longtemps. In a test I translated "How would you say ''I haven't been in France for long.''? as "Je n'arrive pas en France depuis longtemps."

But it was marked wrong.  Can you explain why Passe compose is the correct tense for this

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