Conjugate semi-regular -ger verbs in L'Imparfait (imperfect tense)

In L'imparfait, almost all verbs conjugate in the same way, but verbs ending in -ger require a slight spelling change - an extra 'e' after the soft 'g' - to keep the pronunciation [j]. 

Notice that in the nous and vous forms, the -e of mange has been removed because the -i is enough to keep the g soft.

 
je mangeais
tu mangeais
il/elle/on mangeait
nous mangions
vous mangiez
ils/elles mangeaient

Listen to these examples:

Je mangeais des pâtes.
I used to eat pasta.


Tu rangeais ta chambre?
Were you tidying your room?


Elle voyageait beaucoup.
She used to travel a lot.


Nous changions de voiture tous les ans.
We changed cars every year.


Vous voyagiez tout le temps.
You used to travel all the time.


Ils mangeaient leurs crottes de nez.
They used to eat their bogies. (ew!)





Here is a non-exhaustive list of -GER verbs:

manger (to eat)
ranger (to tidy)
changer (to change)
voyager (to travel)
partager (to share)
etc

See also Conjugate semi-regular -cer verbs in L'Imparfait (imperfect tense) 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Nous changions de voiture tous les ans.
We changed cars every year.


Elle voyageait beaucoup.
She used to travel a lot.


Ils mangeaient leurs crottes de nez.
They used to eat their bogies. (ew!)


Tu rangeais ta chambre?
Were you tidying your room?



Je mangeais des pâtes.
I used to eat pasta.


Vous voyagiez tout le temps.
You used to travel all the time.


Q&A Forum 6 questions, 18 answers

Question on Nous voyagions

For the question: Nous voyagions souvent en été . To me this reads as “we often used to travel in the summer” if it was the imparfait. But the translation says “we traveled often in the summer”.

I make this out to be the passé composé which should be nous avons souvent voyagé en été  

Help! 

Asked 3 months ago
ChrisC1Correct answer

The "often" is the key word that indicates that the imparfait is called for. It is a repeated action in the past. There are many ways to translate this into English, not only the one you quote. One could also translate it as "We were traveling...". Which one is the most appropriate one is determined by context.

Thanks so much for your response , Chris. 

Question on Nous voyagions

For the question: Nous voyagions souvent en été . To me this reads as “we often used to travel in the summer” if it was the imparfait. But the translation says “we traveled often in the summer”.

I make this out to be the passé composé which should be nous avons souvent voyagé en été  

Help! 

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Spelling mistakes + unanswered questions.

Unfortunately I make lots of mistakes in spelling and often do not answer a question. These can be caused by my clumsiness when using touch screen tablets. It does not necessarily mean that I didn't know the answers. Would it be possible for Kwiziq to introduce a filter which allows the learner to override these "mistakes". I make spelling mistakes using touch screen tablets I would never make when writing long hand. It seems that my keyboard skills are being tested not just my French.

Asked 7 months ago

Spelling mistakes + unanswered questions.

Unfortunately I make lots of mistakes in spelling and often do not answer a question. These can be caused by my clumsiness when using touch screen tablets. It does not necessarily mean that I didn't know the answers. Would it be possible for Kwiziq to introduce a filter which allows the learner to override these "mistakes". I make spelling mistakes using touch screen tablets I would never make when writing long hand. It seems that my keyboard skills are being tested not just my French.

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"Nous changions de voiture tous les ans". Why can't we say "Nous changions une/notre voiture tous les ans"?

When do we use "changer de" and when do we use "changer"? What is their difference? 

Thank you

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Joan,

When you use the verb 'changer' the subject is doing the "changing".

e.g.

Il a beaucoup changé, on ne le reconnait plus.

(He has changed a lot, you don't recognise him any more.)

With 'changer de' it is the object doing the "changing".

Je vais changer de coiffeur = I am going to change my hairdresser

Je vais changer de robe/de pantalon  = I am going to change my dress/trousers

Hope this helps!

Hi Joan,

Changer de and changer have a very similar meaning albeit not exactly the same.

Changer de -- to switch, to change over, a change of something
Changer -- to change, to exchange

Nous changions de voiture tous les ans. -- We used to have a change of cars every year.
Nous changions la voiture tous les ans. -- We used to change the car every year.

That's my understanding of the matter, but the opinion of a native speaker would be appreciated.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Hi Cécile,

this is an interesting explanation that I am still not entirely clear about.

Would the sentence "Je change ma robe." be incorrect? And if not, how would it be translated?

-- Chris.

CécileKwiziq language super star

Hi Chris,

Yes, you can say 'Je change ma /de robe car j'ai fait une tâche dessus'.

or even 'Je change ma/de voiture cette année.

I was trying to simplify the different usages of 'changer'

Changer ( intransitive verb) means just 'to change'.

e.g. Cette ville a beaucoup changé depuis la guerre. (This town has changed a lot since the war.)

Il change en ce moment, il devient vraiment méchant.

(He is changing at the moment, he is becoming nasty.)

In the case of transitive usages of 'changer quelque chose':

it conveys 'to bring change to something'or 'to replace something':

Changer une ampoule = to change a light bulb

Changer le monde  = to change the world

Changer les draps = to change the sheets

'Changer DE quelque chose'  will usually mean 'to switch something' or 'to get a different something'

Changer de T-shirt, changer d'avis /d'idée  (to change one's mind)changer de couleur. etc...

A big difference in meaning between "Je veux changer le pays" (I want to change the country) and "Je veux changer de pays" (I want to leave the country)!

Hope it is clearer...

My 2 bits:    I want 'a change of' country (changer de).

I want 'to change' (changer,trans) the country.

The country is changing (changer ,intrans).

"Nous changions de voiture tous les ans". Why can't we say "Nous changions une/notre voiture tous les ans"?

When do we use "changer de" and when do we use "changer"? What is their difference? 

Thank you

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Used to or was doing something...

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1Correct answer

Hi Katie,

yes, the Imparfait can express habits in the past or describe the setting of an event which happened in the past.

Le dimanche je visitais le musée. 
-- Sundays I used to visit the museum.

Je visitais le musée quand j'ai rencontré Marie. 
-- I was visiting the museum when I met Marie.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

AurélieKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Bonjour Katie !

In French, you have mainly 2 past tenses : L' Imparfait and Le Passé Composé.
We don't have a Continuous past, equivalent to "was doing", so we will use L'Imparfait instead.

It's also L'Imparfait that we use when talking about repeated actions in the past, hence being equivalent to "used to" in certain cases.

Here are links to our related lessons:

https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/grammar/l-imparfait-usage-expressing-continuing-action-in-the-past-imperfect-tense

https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/grammar/l-imparfait-usage-expressing-habits-or-repeated-actions-in-the-past-imperfect-tense

https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/grammar/l-imparfait-usage-describing-and-expressing-opinions-in-the-past-imperfect-tense

I hope that's helpful!

Bonne journée ! 

Sorry, my full question didn't post. Used to or was doing something... Is imparfait more of "I used to do something" or storytelling "I was doing something" ? The examples on this lesson use "I used to..." but on another imparfait lesson they use "was doing." Je mangeais des pâtes. I used to eat pasta. Could the translation also be "I was eating pasta" ? An example on another lesson for l'imparfait is: Je faisais un château de sable. I was making a sandcastle. Based on the examples on this page- the translation for could also be "I used to make sandcastle(s)" Help!

Used to or was doing something...

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'donc je dois beaucoup pratiquer' (week 57 writing challenge, level A1)

Why is beaucoup placed before pratiquer? In the sentence 'Elle voyageait beaucoup.' this lesson (and in other examples), beaucoup is placed after the verb. Thank you for your help! Terri
Asked 2 years ago
RonC1
Bonjour Terri. In the passé composé, i.e. j'ai beaucoup voyagé, the word beaucoup functions as an adverb and goes before the past participle of voyager; however in the present tense «je voyage beaucoup» it follows the verb. Bonne chance,
Ron, thanks for your answer. I'll need to work that one through a bit. Is it because it's a negative vs affirmative statement issue, or that it's another of the words that has two meanings depending on where it is placed?
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Terri ! Usually, when you have a conjugated verb followed by an infinitive, as is the case here (dois + pratiquer), the adverb will come in between the two verbs :) Bonne journée !
Aurélie, thank you for your response. This makes sense, and I seem to remember coming across this before - the adverb between the two verbs. Thanks for the challenge, now I can tackle it! Terri
RonC1
Aurèlie, Merci pour l'explication parce que je n'ai pas entendu cela expliqué comme ça.

'donc je dois beaucoup pratiquer' (week 57 writing challenge, level A1)

Why is beaucoup placed before pratiquer? In the sentence 'Elle voyageait beaucoup.' this lesson (and in other examples), beaucoup is placed after the verb. Thank you for your help! Terri

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mangions and voyageons ... help

why does one use -ions and the other -eons, they're both -ger verbs.
Asked 2 years ago
LauraKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Matt, Those are two different tenses. Present tense: nous mangeons, nous voyageons Imperfect: nous mangions, nous voyagions
Oops. Moi mal (?) :)
AurélieKwiziq language super star
You would say "Au temps pour moi" :)

mangions and voyageons ... help

why does one use -ions and the other -eons, they're both -ger verbs.

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Getting that for you now.