Why is "Ils ont été" and not "Ils étaient" ? These answers for were baffle me. They have been - They were, or are they interchangeable ?
Dictation exercise A2
His brother’s group gave a performance - an event, a highlight of the afternoon, with clear start and end points - hence passé composé.
Compare to ‘il y avait beaucoup de choix’ - background information, not a single or specific event; happening at the concert, yes, but no clear time boundary, something that possibly started before they arrived, and may have continued after they left, but is now also finished - imparfait.
Have a look at the link below - text and the small videos following.
I think it is excellent for extending beyond theory and principles to further developing a feel for use of imparfait or passé composé, how to ‘choose’ between them and the difference in meaning they convey.
"Ils ont été" expresses a past completed action (passé composé)
"Ils étaient" (L'imparfait) expresses a past continuous action (was, were, in English) or past habitual action (would, in English).
They are not interchangeable because they express different aspects of grammar.
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