pour in future or the past.

DeborahB2Kwiziq community member

pour in future or the past.

In the lesson it says:  In French, you use pour + [durée] only to express a duration in the future., however in Lawless French:

https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/depuis-vs-il-y-a/?fbclid=IwAR2Yy7q_glAFPUv54NKv_xYP9EW4oqW84FTg9NIggZZ3CBgjSxE3JPbHAbc

Synonyms

Pour and pendant can replace depuis only when the verb is in the past tense.

J’étudiais pour / pendant quatre heures quand il a téléphoné. I’d been studying for four hours when he called.J’étais anxieux pour / pendant deux semaines. I’d been anxious for two weeks.



It seems to contradict this.  So I am confused.  Can someone clarify please. 


Asked 3 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Deborah, 

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.

Bonne Continuation!

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Cécile,

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."

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Alan,

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 :

Use -

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!

 

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Cécile,

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".

CécileKwiziq team member

iI Alan,

'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.

 

pour in future or the past.

In the lesson it says:  In French, you use pour + [durée] only to express a duration in the future., however in Lawless French:

https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/depuis-vs-il-y-a/?fbclid=IwAR2Yy7q_glAFPUv54NKv_xYP9EW4oqW84FTg9NIggZZ3CBgjSxE3JPbHAbc

Synonyms

Pour and pendant can replace depuis only when the verb is in the past tense.

J’étudiais pour / pendant quatre heures quand il a téléphoné. I’d been studying for four hours when he called.J’étais anxieux pour / pendant deux semaines. I’d been anxious for two weeks.



It seems to contradict this.  So I am confused.  Can someone clarify please. 


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