In the lesson it says: In French, you use pour + [durée] only to express a duration in the future., however in Lawless French:
Pour and pendant can replace depuis only when the verb is in the past tense.
Laura says that pour and pendant can replace depuis only when the verb is in the past tense and in the examples you give they do.
However, this doesn't' mean that pour has to be used in the same way -
If you say
Je vais en France pour deux semaines = I am going to France for two weeks
Je vais en Italie pour les vacances = I am going to Italy for the holidays
you cannot substitute depuis or pendant in those examples which describe an intent so a future event and this is a totally different case.
The problem is that we have many ways of saying 'for' indicating a duration of time in French, but they are used for different situations, and this creates problems for learners and I do appreciate that.
I think the problem is that the Kwiziq lesson says you can't use "pour" for periods in the past, and I think I've seen that rule in other grammar books too. From the lesson:
"In French, you use pour + [durée] only to express a duration in the future."
I know that the rule of thumb says to use 'pour' for future actions , which is correct as an intent is a future event, but I can give you an example to illustrate this isn't always the case:
Elle était allée en Australie pour un mois et elle y est restée pendant dix ans = She had gone to Australia for one month and stayed there for ten years.
The first 'for' represents the intent and the second 'for' represents the duration. It also implies that she has left Australia and has come back so it is a past completed event.
If you said -
Elle est en Australie depuis dix ans = She has been in Australia for ten years
it implies that she is still there and this is going to continue.
The problem is that 'pour' is overused by English speakers of French and we, teachers always try to find ways to make it more understandable.
I would say that :
pour for future time OR intended action
pendant for completed PAST action
Depuis is more tricky, in my opinion, as the tense used will depend whether the action is continuing or not, but let's not forget that depuis means since and is a starting point.
Hope this helps!
Yes, that's very useful and it makes sense to me. But I think it means that Laura's examples would only be correct with "pendant" and not with "pour".
'LawlessFrench.com' is Laura's own independent site, so we can't comment on that.
I have seen this future/past distinction on many language sites but personally I have never taught it that way.
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