In the sentence from the lesson "Il jouait au football quand il était petit." Should the translation not be as-
"He used to play football when he was young."(in place of played)
Please explain the reason.
Verbs of state, ones that describe a state of being or emotions, are most often in th imperfect than the perfect. Être is such a word, as it describes a state and not an action.
In the example you quote, you cannot say, quand j'ai été petit and 'ça a été un match' for the reasons given by Chris above.
Verbs of state like, être, paraître, sembler, croire, penser describe duration which is conveyed by using the 'imparfait' in French and they are seldom in the 'passé composé'.
The imparfait is normally translated into English by,
something you did on a regular basis, you used to do, or would do frequently at that period of time - when you were a child.
Hope this helps!
Also why the verb "être" in this sentence is used in "Imparfait" ? Can't Passé Composé be used ?
I have also observed a sentence like-
"C'était un match entre l'Angleterre et la France."
Why can't Passé Composé be used?
In the previous post too I had doubts with " Il était petit" which I still am unable to figure out even after re-reading the lessons.
Madame Cécile, aidez-moi s'il vous plaît.
Merci would like Madame Cécile to expand a bit
Merci beaucoup Madame Cécile
Really grateful for your help
Sign in to submit your answer
Don't have an account yet? Join today
Test your French to the CEFR standard