I’ve always wanted to try…

BrennanB2Kwiziq community member

I’ve always wanted to try…

Hi, I thought that something in the past that continues to the present (and is still continuing) would take the imparfait, not the passé composé: Je voulais toujours essayer…

Asked 7 months ago
MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Brennan, no, for something ‘happening’ in past and still happening in present - , the passé composé is used. 

If you used imparfait here, it would indicate that the ‘wanting’ had come to an end sometime previously, and leave a French speaker wondering ‘why’ if no further context was provided. 

The 2 links below are 2 of the best discussions of the practical uses of imparfait or passé composé I have come across. Both are worth going though completely.

 The excellent clip below by Hugo Cotton covers this topic, and uses the verb ‘vouloir’ specifically, at about 14 minute mark in discussion of ‘advanced use cases’. The whole clip is worth watching - it is in comprehensible French. 

https://youtu.be/3rpQ5xeFneg?si=g_NWrjrtTFxdzOSl

 https://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/french-verb-conjugation/passe-compose-versus-imparfait/

I’ve always wanted to try…

Hi, I thought that something in the past that continues to the present (and is still continuing) would take the imparfait, not the passé composé: Je voulais toujours essayer…

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