Kwiziq community member
21 February 2016
'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 question relates to:French lesson "Conjugate être (+ avoir) in Le Passé Composé (conversational past)"
Kwiziq language super star
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)
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?
22 January 2017
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