Le passé simple

ConnieC1Kwiziq community member

Le passé simple

Bonjour - J’ai remarqué que l'homme de gauche a utilisé le passé simple deux fois (“et ce fut une défaite cuisante” et “notre équipe obtint . . .”).  Est-ce qu’il est courant d'utiliser le passé simple en parlant ?  Est-ce parce qu'il parlait de faits historiques ?  Merci !

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Connie,

The passé simple ( past historic) is mainly used in written form so you will encounter it in literature, some newspaper articles, etc.

However, occasionally people will use it orally talking about something that happened a long time ago as it conveys a depth of time that is not easy to replicate in English.

I think it is still found in certain dialects but don't know an awful lot about this.

You will also hear it spoken for effect sometimes in speeches made by heads of state, académiciens, etc.

You might be interested in this article about the future of this tense -

https://www.lefigaro.fr/langue-francaise/actu-des-mots/2018/01/03/37002-20180103ARTFIG00001-le-passe-simple-est-il-condamne-a-disparaitre.php

Bonne Continuation !

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

No. The passé simple is only ever used in writing. 

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

@ Chris

Don't agree that it is only ever ....   it is in fact used in everyday speech, particularly by the older French population in my experience.

Bonne Journée

Jim

Le passé simple

Bonjour - J’ai remarqué que l'homme de gauche a utilisé le passé simple deux fois (“et ce fut une défaite cuisante” et “notre équipe obtint . . .”).  Est-ce qu’il est courant d'utiliser le passé simple en parlant ?  Est-ce parce qu'il parlait de faits historiques ?  Merci !

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