My cousin and her accordion writing challange--Passé Composé vs Imperfect

Michelle

Kwiziq community member

30 January 2019

3 replies

My cousin and her accordion writing challange--Passé Composé vs Imperfect

This Imperfect vs. Passé Composé thing is giving me a very hard time. I'm starting to think that I will never make sense of this in all but the most clear cut cases. In the writing challenge, it asked me to translate "But she has always liked this instrument"...and it's in the passé composé? 

She now plays the accordion so she didn't stop liking it. She still likes it, with no ending in sight and no clear beginning (obviously always doesn't really mean always...she wasn't born that way). I have the feeling that it has something to do with the word always, but I'm just not understanding why, especially since aimer, at least from what I've seen, seems to use the Imperfect more often (though I mostly see it related to love between people...where there might be an emotional competent that is missing when you talking about an accordion?) 

This question relates to:
French lesson "Expressing continuing action in L'Imparfait (imperfect tense)"

Alan

Kwiziq community member

30 January 2019

30/01/19

I think it's more to do with the word "has". "She has always liked" is the present perfect tense, which is one of the other uses of the passé composé. 

If it had just been "she always liked", then I think you'd use the imperfect. The imperfect is used for actions that have no clear end, but they do have to be in the past. If it's still true today you use the present perfect, not the imperfect.

Michelle

Kwiziq community member

3 February 2019

3/02/19

Whenever you think you know all of the uses of these tenses, another one pops up. I need to start making a guide book or something.

I thought past actions that continue into the presence are in the imperfect though? I even saw an example of it on here a while back (though it didn't use the present perfect). Better just remember that present perfect equals passé composé than try to find logic in it. 

Alan

Kwiziq community member

3 February 2019

3/02/19

Can you remember the example?

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