Saviez vous? ?Correct tense

MarkC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Saviez vous? ?Correct tense

"Mais saviez vous que..."

I am a bit confused here.. why saviez and not savez? In English we often say "did you.." but that is a quirk and actually means "do you?" and it is heard as present tense. I see saviez as "did you use to know".. implying that you might have forgotten.. This is clearly an active question and I thought that French was more particular than that on its use of tenses.

Asked 9 months ago
MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Imparfait is used in French for continuing actions started in the past, or actions seen previously in progression, without clear start and end points. Imparfait fits even if the knowing has finished, because it still had vague start and end times,  and is not a discrete period.

Savez-vous asks "Do you know (at this present point in time) "; saviez-vous 'Did you know' or 'were you knowing' (prior to this point in time) . . '.   In this sense imparfait does not require that 'knowing' is completed, and both questions allow for knowing to be continuing/progressive into the future

Expressing-continuing-action-in-the-past-imperfect-tense

Although English may interchange 'do you' and 'did you' liberally, the distinction is similar. 

Saviez vous? ?Correct tense

"Mais saviez vous que..."

I am a bit confused here.. why saviez and not savez? In English we often say "did you.." but that is a quirk and actually means "do you?" and it is heard as present tense. I see saviez as "did you use to know".. implying that you might have forgotten.. This is clearly an active question and I thought that French was more particular than that on its use of tenses.

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