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In French, there are several ways of expressing the past tense. Two of these are the Passé Composé and the Imperfect. To form the Passé Composé, conjugate your auxiliary verb (either avoir or être depending on which verb you want to put into the Passé Composé) and add the past participle of your verb. For example, if you want to say 'I have eaten,' you would take the 1st person singular form of avoir and add the past participle of the verb manger, leaving you with 'J'ai mangé.' To form the imperfect of regular verbs, go to the nous form of the present tense, take of the ending, and add the imperfect endings (-ais,-ais,-ait,-ions,-iez,-aient).
To differentiate between them, you need to know the context: if the verb is a completed action in the past (e.g. I gave her the book), you would use the Passé Composé (Je lui ai donné le livre). Also, if the verb happened in a specific timeframe (e.g. I was in France for five years), use the Passé Composé (J'ai été en France pendant cinq ans). However, if the action was a continuous action in the past (e.g. I was walking along the street), then use the imperfect (Je marchais le long de la rue). Also, if the action is repeated in the past (e.g. I saw my brother every day), use the imperfect (Je voyais mon frère tous les jours).see more
The discursive essay contains several hoops that you have to jump into if you want to achieve a successful mark. You can gain or lose a lot of marks simply for your structuring of this essay. The best things to do to improve the structure are: 1) Include an introduction, briefly explaining some context and hinting at your own standpoint on the discussion. 2) Start with opposing arguments (ie arguments that you do not agree with) and write a short paragraph explaining some of these standpoints. 3) After this, write at least two long paragraphs, rebutting the opposing arguments and creating new arguments for your side. 4) Finally, write a short conclusion, summing up very briefly what you have said, and perhaps adding in a further argument for your side (if you are still within the word count).
The key thing to remember is to back all of your points up with evidence. This evidence does not necessarily have to be completely correct but it makes it look like you have researched this subject and gives you authority in your arguments.
Finally, it helped me to keep a list of complex grammatical structures that I wanted to use in my essays and check them off when I had used them - this will encourage you to improve the quality of your essays and will let the examiner know that, in addition to you knowing all about the subject of the question, you also know how to work with complex grammar.see more
Reported speech is differs from English to Russian. In Russian, the reported speech remains in the tense in which it was spoken originally. So, if you want to translate the sentence: 'I said that I would cook dinner tonight,' you would find out in which tense it was originally spoken (ie. I will cook dinner tonight - future) and use that for the reported speech. Thus the translation would be: 'Я сказал, что я приготовлю ужин сегодня вечером.' This clearly differs from English where we would simply use the conditional in this instance.see more