MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

525 views

How do you know whether to use the imperfect or perfect tense?

The perfect tense is used to for completed actions in the past. For example, le semaine dernier je suis allé en France would translate to last week I went to France. The imperfect is used for incomplete action. For example, j'allais en France would translate to I was going to France.

The imperfect can also be used to describe something that happened regularly in the past, a habitual event. So the imperfect would be used to translate when I was younger I used to pay football - Quand j'étais  petit je jouais au foot. 

The imperfect can be used to set the scene in the past, so describing the weather on a day in the past would be formed in the imperfect tense: hier il faisait chaud.

Finally, there are situations in which the perfect tense and imperfect tense are used together in the same sentence. For example, I was doing my homework when the telephone rang. 'I was doing my homework' would be translated in the imperfect tense as this is an incomplete action. 'The telephone rang' would be translated in the perfect tense as this is a complete event in the past.

So the sentence as a whole would translate into French to be:

Je faisais mes devoirs quand le téléphone a sonné.

Megan P. GCSE Maths tutor, A Level Maths tutor, A Level Further Mathe...

1 year ago

Answered by Megan, an A Level French tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

61 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£22 /hr

Kat H.

Degree: Modern Languages (French, Spanish, Arabic) (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: French, Spanish+ 1 more

French
Spanish
English Literature

“Hello my name is Kat and I am a 3rd year linguist at Durham university. I am currently working abroad teaching English Literature in France and love really interactive lessons. I absolutely loved languages, literature and drama at sch...”

£20 /hr

Zahra S.

Degree: Modern and Medieval Languages (Bachelors) - Cambridge University

Subjects offered: French, Spanish+ 3 more

French
Spanish
Italian
-Personal Statements-
-Oxbridge Preparation-

“Who am I? I am currently in my first year studying French and Spanish at Cambridge University. I grew up bilingual, and have always been fascinated by the process of language learning. Languages open up new worlds, and I would love ...”

£22 /hr

Simon C.

Degree: Modern Languages and Cultures (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: French, Spanish+ 4 more

French
Spanish
Religious Studies
History
.MLAT (Modern Languages)
-Personal Statements-

“Bilingual Durham undergraduate looking to help students with Spanish, Personal Statements, French, History, RS and MLAT performance. About Me Hi, I’m Simon and am currently a first year student at Durham University, studying Spanish,...”

About the author

Megan P.

Currently unavailable: no new students

Degree: Maths and French (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered: French, Maths+ 1 more

French
Maths
Further Mathematics

“Maths and French student at the University of Exeter, looking to share my enthusiasm and help you to succeed”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Posts by Megan

How do you construct the perfect tense for verbs that take avoir?

How do you know whether to use the imperfect or perfect tense?

What is differentiation and how is it done?

Other A Level French questions

What are 'si' clauses?

What is the subjunctive and when do I use it?

What else is the definite article (le/la/les) used for in French?

How do I form the subjunctive for regular verbs in French?

View A Level French tutors

Cookies:

We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok