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The imperfect tense

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This presentation teaches the imperfect tense in French.

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The imperfect tense

  1. 1. The imperfect tense
  2. 2. Uses of the imperfect tense • To describe a continuous action in the past Quand j’étais jeune, je regarderais la télé tous les jours. • To describe what something or someone was like in the past Quand j’avais deux ans, ma mère avait les cheveux bruns. • With depuis when the action lasted for some time but it doesn’t happen now Il habitions en Irlande depuis une année quand sa grand-mère est mort. • After si when followed by a conditional clause Si tu rangiez ton chambre, ce serait propre. • In reported speech La semaine dernière, mon ami a dit qu’il n’aimait pas le rugby.
  3. 3. Formation of the imperfect tense First, take the NOUS form of the infinitive in the present tense. Eg: Aller = to go Nous allons Then, knock off the ONS and add the following endings depending on the subject. J’allais Tu allais Il/Elle/On allait Nous allions Vous alliez Ils/Elles allaient
  4. 4. With the imperfect tense, all of the infinitives are irregular except être where instead of using the nous form in the present tense, the stem is ÉT. Être = to be J’étais Tu étais Il/Elle/On était Nous étions Vous étiez Ils/Elles étaient
  5. 5. There are also verbs that have some small spelling changes. • Verbs like MANGER have an extra E before the A Je mangeais, Elles mangeaient • For verbs like COMMENCER, change the C to a Ç before the A Tu commençais, Il commençait

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