How would you say "We were learning Spanish." ?

MelanieA1Kwiziq community member

How would you say "We were learning Spanish." ?

This was a question in the test and I chose the passé composé answer "Nous avons appris l'espagnol." because the action has no effect on the present. But the answer key said the imparfait answer "Nous apprenions l'espagnol." is correct choice. Why is that?

Asked 2 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Melanie, 

As it states in the lesson -

"L'Imparfait is also the tense to express continuing actions in the past, or actions seen in their progression, with no clear beginning or end.

This usage is similar to the Past Continuous (or Past Progressive) in English (i.e. I was doing, he was sleeping)." 

So when you say you were doing something it is always the imparfait in Fench.

Bonne Continuation!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

The English already gives a hing by using the continuous (-ing) form: the learning is, in some context, an ongoing action. Take a look at these two sentences:

On apprennait l'espagnol quand tu es rentré. -- We were learning Spanish when you came back. Here you're still doing the learning when he returned. The learning part sets the background action, it wasn't finished at the time of his return.

On a appris l'espagnol avant d'aller en Espagne. -- We learned Spanish before going to Spain. This says that you finished learning Spanish before going to Spain.

MelanieA1Kwiziq community member

All clear. Thank you!

How would you say "We were learning Spanish." ?

This was a question in the test and I chose the passé composé answer "Nous avons appris l'espagnol." because the action has no effect on the present. But the answer key said the imparfait answer "Nous apprenions l'espagnol." is correct choice. Why is that?

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