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'Ils ont été'

Clif

Kwiziq community member

21 February 2016

3 replies

'Ils ont été'

In the example above this example seems a little misleading. Stated by itself, it seems as though it would be imparfait because it sounds to me that it could be describing a state of being in the past. Correct? In order to be passé composé wouldn't it have to describe an action with a clear ending? (after he canceled on them they were disappointed) ?

This relates to:
Conjugate être (+ avoir) in Le Passé Composé (conversational past) -

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

21 February 2016

21/02/16

Bonjour Clif,


The passé composé is also used when an action has a clear beginning. It's hard to make this distinction clear with "to be disappointed," so I'm going to use "to be sick" to show the difference:


J'étais malade = I was sick (for an unspecified period of time)


vs


J'été malade = I got sick (e.g., after eating some bad seafood)


So in the case of déçu, you need the imperfect when their disappointment is ongoing without a beginning *or* an ending, but the passé composé when they suddenly "got" disappointed because he cancelled on them.


Does that help?

Clif

Kwiziq community member

21 February 2016

21/02/16

Ok. Yes. That's the way I understand it lol. Like you said I think it was a little more challenging with that particular example. Thank you for clarifying.

E

Kwiziq community member

22 January 2017

22/01/17

Aurélie,
In a response regarding passe compose and imparfait, you used "j'ete malade" to mean "I got sick (because of seafood). What tense is that?

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