Confusion about usage of imparfait

Aniruddha

Kwiziq community member

2 February 2019

1 reply

Confusion about usage of imparfait

If I am recalling something from the past, do I need to use PC or imparfait?

For eg: I got down from the train that day.

Je me suis descendu du train ca jour

OR

Je descendais du train ca jour?

Which one is correct?

This question relates to:
French lesson "Describing and expressing opinions in L'Imparfait (imperfect tense)"

Steve

Kwiziq community member

6 February 2019

6/02/19

The answer is "it depends".

We need to see the complete context to work out whether it is more appropriate to use the imparfait or PC.

If this was a sentence in a story where you were talking about something you habitually did every day (i.e., getting off the train), then the imperfect is appropriate.

If you are describing a specific one-off event (the main story line) then PC would be better.

Generally speaking, imparfait sets the scene, and PC describes the action.

I'm a non-native speaker and PC v imparfait is a continual battle I'm afraid!

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