I am curious about the predicate nominative. Translating "He was devastated". I said Il dévastait, but my friend said Il était dévasté, which one?

I am curious about the predicate nominative. Translating "He was devastated". I said Il dévastait, but my friend said Il était dévasté, which one?

This question relates to:French lesson "to be"
Asked 9 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Linda, 

I see...

I think you are confusing the rules of the Perfect tense (using avoir or être) with this use of the verb être simply followed by an adjective.

The use of the imperfect is correct as être, being a verb of state, will be more often in the imperfect ( imparfait) than the Perfect (passé composé) but if it were it would be 

Il a  été bouleversé par cette nouvelle ( indicating that he has probably got over it by now)

Hope this helps!

 

CécileKwiziq language super star

Hi Linda,

If you are talking of a person you could say -

Il était anéanti/bouleversé/effondré ...

if you are talking of a building, land, country ...

you could use dévasté/ ravagé.

Hope this helps!

 

Thank you Cecile! So dévasté would not be used for a person. My question though was the construction, seeing etre conjugated with a non "house of etre" verb, threw me. I would have picked avoir as in 'avait dévasté' which was before I knew not to use dévaster for a humain!! lol Is this construction the predicate nominative? I'm just trying to learn when to use this construction and when not to! Thank you!!

I am curious about the predicate nominative. Translating "He was devastated". I said Il dévastait, but my friend said Il était dévasté, which one?

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