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Passe Simple vs Present with Finir.

CarolC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Passe Simple vs Present with Finir.

I have read the lesson and the questions and answers below.  From what I can tell, Leila finit sa soupe tres vite should indicate in passe simple that Leila finished her soup very fast.  The lesson indicates that the context of the question should indicate which tense is being used; there is no apparent (to me, at least) context that would suggest that she is finishing her soup quickly (present tense rather than passe simple).  To have given both answers suggests that we should use both because each is possible, which confuses me.  I've read and re-read the answers and I'm still not entirely certain that I understand the logic here.  Please help!!

Asked 1 year ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Carol,

I am sorry that it seems a bit confusing. Maarten makes a very good point  in that, in “normal” circumstances, the context would give out enough of a clue for you to know if the person is using Le Présent or Le Passé Simple. As mentioned in the lesson, regular -IR verbs that follow finir conjugations are similar with je/tu/il/elle/on in Le Passé Simple and Le Présent de l’Indicatif. The questions from our kwiz are a useful tool to check our users’ understanding of the lesson content, which can then be put into practise in other exercises/challenges etc. Part of this particular exercise is to see if one can recognise (from the lesson content) which verbs follow this pattern in Le Passé Simple and Le Présent without giving out too much of a clue.

I hope this is helpful and less confusing.

Bonne journée!

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Carol,

I haven't read the text so am commenting blind, but I hope that I can offer a perspective.

Seems to me that the problem comes from the fact that "finit" is a third person conjugation for both present and simple past.

Reading your text however, the task is to understand "Leila finit sa soupe très vite", so this is a completed past action; the fact that the action has occurred "very fast" suggests that to me. 

I'll be interested to see what the other contributors think.

Alan (Jim) 

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

On this occasion, I think there are still 2 interpretations of tense - Leila finishes/is finishing her soup very quickly, or Leila finished her soup very quickly. 

Confusion, I think,  arises from the text of the lesson noting that context will allow the distinction between which tense is meant. However there is no context in the quizzes, so that both interpretations are expected as possible. While both interpretations are possible without context, clearly in any specific situation, only 1 will actually be true.

 If the question is like most of these multi-choice questions I have seen, one of the issues is that they usually start with "X MEANS (Y or Z etc)". This really should be something like "Depending on context, X CAN MEAN (Y or Z etc). Please select all possible meanings . . ".

Without context, 1 answer may be less likely than another, which comes up repeatedly in the pronominals discussions - are they reflexive or reciprocal in meaning in situations where they can be either. But less likely is not usually 'impossible'.

CarolC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thank you to Jim and Maarten for their tres vite responses.  I will hold on for any additional explanations but I truly appreciate that other people up as late as I seem to be.  

Passe Simple vs Present with Finir.

I have read the lesson and the questions and answers below.  From what I can tell, Leila finit sa soupe tres vite should indicate in passe simple that Leila finished her soup very fast.  The lesson indicates that the context of the question should indicate which tense is being used; there is no apparent (to me, at least) context that would suggest that she is finishing her soup quickly (present tense rather than passe simple).  To have given both answers suggests that we should use both because each is possible, which confuses me.  I've read and re-read the answers and I'm still not entirely certain that I understand the logic here.  Please help!!

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