Why is the first sentence in imparfait - he only went on one business trip?
Why is the second sentence in passe compose - she had tears in her eyes all day long?
quand Samuel était en
voyage d'affaires à
j'ai eu les larmes aux yeux toute la journée !
Freeform Writing Exercise B1
Good answer, Jim (Alan)! Here is a little bit more:
L’imparfait is used to describe an ongoing action in the past (here: the fact that Samuel was in brussels – as Jim said "during the time" that Samuel spent in Brussels). The action of ‘meeting Karine’ is in Le Passé Composé because it is interrupting the ongoing action of being in Brussels.
The action of ‘being teary’ happened on that ONE day only, albeit for the whole day, and is entirely completed. Having L’Imparfait here would mean that she started crying at some point, even before the wedding happened, and that the crying got interrupted by them suddenly getting married.
Je pleurais quand l’orage a éclaté
→ I was crying when the storm started
Lorsque l’orage a éclaté, je pleurais déjà
→ when the storm started, I was already crying
J’ai pleuré toute la journée une fois que l’orage a éclaté
→ I cried all day once the storm started
Quand l’orage a éclaté, j’ai pleuré toute la journée
→ when the storm started, I cried all day
I hope this is helpful.
Bonne journée !
"quand Samuel était en voyage d'affaires à Bruxelles." Perhaps there was only one trip but on the "one trip" to my mind would be imparfait because the text is referring to an ongoing action "when Samuel was on the trip" or "during the time" etc. etc.
"j'ai eu les larmes aux yeux toute la journée !" The event of tears appearing in the eyes happened and was a completed event and then these tears having happened remained all day long.
Let me know if you disagree with my analysis but this is my take on the texts above.
Hope it helps.
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