Conjugate voir/vivre in the historic past in French (Le Passé Simple)

Look at these sentences in le Passé Simple:

La princesse vécut dans un château splendide pendant de nombreuses années.The princess lived in a splendid castle for many years.

Alors, Cendrillon vit le château splendide du Prince.Then, Cinderella saw the Prince's splendid castle.

Et ils vécurent heureux et eurent beaucoup d'enfants.And they lived happily ever after.
[literally: And they lived happy and had many children.]

Quand je la vis, je tombai immédiatement amoureux.When I saw her, I immediately fell in love.

The reason we're teaching voir and vivre together in le Passé Simple is that they are very easy to mix up!

Have a look: 

   je vis    je vécus
   tu vis   tu vécus
   il / elle / on vit   il / elle / on vécut
   nous vîmes   nous vécûmes
   vous vîtes   vous vécûtes
   ils / elles virent   ils / elles vécurent

Notice how the first three persons of voir in Le Passé Simple (vis, vis, vit) are exactly the same as vivre in Le Présent, whereas vivre in Le Passé Simple is actually completely different (vécus, vécus, vécut)!

Here, only the context and your own knowledge can help you know which is which!



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