Thrown by the imparfait / passé composé conundrum.....

JimB2Kwiziq community member

Thrown by the imparfait / passé composé conundrum.....

Just completely thrown by the imparfait/passé composé choices in this one. Before I started this course, I would have translated without hesitation "This has always been my favourite..." using the passé composé. However, mindful of "continuing activity in the past", I used the imparfait... and, as a result of that being wrong, thought, ok, I'll use the passé compose again at "I really wanted to see it on stage" (completed action in the past, surely?) - and of course that was wrong too. I'm really struggling to see what the logic is for using the particular tenses used here. The irony is, that if I'd followed my gut instincts and not thought about it, I'd almost certainly have got them the right way round!

Asked 1 week ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Jim,

Follow the link here: j-ai-toujours-voulu-etre-danseuse (and the subsequent ones in the reply too). 

I hope this is helpful.

Bonne journée !

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Jim,

I understand your frustration. I have had the same feeling many times over this issue.

"This has always been my favourite..." This is an enduring completed action "always been".

"I really wanted to see it on stage"        As I understand it vouloir tends to be in the imparfait because the "wanting" is enduring but incomplete.

Try here for further insight:-

https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/passe-compose-vs-imparfait/

https://www.francaisfacile.com/exercices/exercice-francais-2/exercice-francais-17862.php

Hope this helps.

Jim

Thrown by the imparfait / passé composé conundrum.....

Just completely thrown by the imparfait/passé composé choices in this one. Before I started this course, I would have translated without hesitation "This has always been my favourite..." using the passé composé. However, mindful of "continuing activity in the past", I used the imparfait... and, as a result of that being wrong, thought, ok, I'll use the passé compose again at "I really wanted to see it on stage" (completed action in the past, surely?) - and of course that was wrong too. I'm really struggling to see what the logic is for using the particular tenses used here. The irony is, that if I'd followed my gut instincts and not thought about it, I'd almost certainly have got them the right way round!

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