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Martin n'est pas arrivé depuis longtemps.

Andy

Kwiziq community member

28 January 2016

1 reply

Martin n'est pas arrivé depuis longtemps.

This is also a tricky example to comprehend because here arriver is translated as having the same meaning as être. Would it be possible to see a translation of "Martin n'arrive pas depuis longtemps." to compare the difference the tense makes (for clarification) please?

This relates to:
Using Le Passé Composé or Le Présent in negative sentences with ''depuis'' -

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

29 January 2016

29/01/16

Bonjour Martin,

The tricky issue here is that you can't use the verb "to arrive" the same way as we use "arriver" in French. In this context, you'd rather use "to be" in English, however you need to remember that "arriver" in French is more of a process (i.e. in bad English it would be closer to "Martin hasn't got/arrived there for long").
Therefore, here, the process of "getting there" IS finished in the past, and NOT ongoing in the present: that's why you need to use Le Passé Composé.

FYI, "Martin n'arrive pas depuis longtemps." would give a very weird "Martin hasn't been getting there for long.", giving the impression that he's still in the process of arriving!

I hope that's helpful!

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