Passé composé never

Passé composé never

Are negative statements in the past, e.g. jamais,  mostly passe composé rather than imparfait. I can't décide if 'never' is an ongoing state (i never learnt to ski) or a terminated action (i never ate it) but as i write this i am thinking context dependant , but since i have already written it i will post it ; )
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Michael,

If you are talking of things that you never did in the past, you would use the imparfait and 'jamais'.

"Quand j'étais jeune, je n'allais jamais au théâtre et nous n'allions jamais en vacances, ni en promenade en famille..."

It describes a state of affairs that was the norm when you were young.

Hope this helps!

 

Hi Michael,

I, too, found that negative statements in the past are predominantly passé composé. Just think about something similar in English. How often do you say, e.g., "I never learned to ski." versus "I was never learning to ski."

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Hi Chris,

My thoughts as well, just thought there might be some convention in french that favours the PC over the imperfect as if  'not happining' is considered a single completed state at a given point in time. Perhaps a question for Jean-Paul Satre.

Thanks Cécile.

Passé composé never

Are negative statements in the past, e.g. jamais,  mostly passe composé rather than imparfait. I can't décide if 'never' is an ongoing state (i never learnt to ski) or a terminated action (i never ate it) but as i write this i am thinking context dependant , but since i have already written it i will post it ; )

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