A terrible fairy tale about Imparfait or the second of the past tenses in French

Imparfait answers the question "what was doing?" and means the following:

1) an unfinished action in the past that occurs at the time mentioned;

2) an action that serves as a background for another action in the past;

3) habitual, regular action in the past;

4) is used after si to express an offeror an invitation to action;

5) focuses attention on the action in the meaning of the past completed, and

6) is used for artistic descriptions.

 

For its formation it is necessary to take the basis of the verb in the first person plural in Présent. In simple terms, it is enough to recall the form of the verb for nous.

Below there are conjugations of some verbs in Imparfait:

Of course, we cannot do without any exceptions:

Now, let's look at each of the cases of applying Imparfait in practice separately:

Incompleteness or continuation of action at a certain point of time

Au moment où j'ai regardé par la fenêtre, il y avait deux étrangers qui se promenaient devant le café. - When I looked out the window, two strangers were walking in front of the cafe.

A sept heures du soir nous étions assis et table et dînions. - At seven o'clock in the evening we were sitting at the table and eating dinner.

Aux premiers rayons du soleil, toute notre famille s'éveillait et une nouvelle journée de travail commençait. - With the first rays of the sun our whole family woke up, and a new working day began.

Tard dans la nuit l'écrivain se tenait devant le moniteur de l'ordinateur et éditait les derniers chapitres de son livre. - Late at night the writer was sitting in front of the computer and editing the last chapters of his book.

Background for another action

Alors que le maître expliquait un nouveau thème, les élèves l'écoutaient avec attention. - At a time when the teacher was explaining a new topic, the students were listening attentively to him.

Lorsque nous prenions le petit déjeuner, quelqu'un a sonné à la porte. - When we were having breakfast, someone rang the doorbell.

 

Tandis que les agents de police menaient l'accusé vers la voiture, des reporters tachaient de lui tirer quelque information sensationnelle. - While the police were leading the accused to the car, the reporters tried to get some sensational information out of him.

Quand le speaker faisait le discours, les députés se comportaient comme des enfants. - When the speaker was delivering a speech, the deputies were behaving like children.

Habit or regular action in the past

Le vieux bougon venait chez nous chaque soir et nous racontait les dernières nouvelles. - The old grumbler came to us every evening and told us the latest news.

Le matin tous s'habillaient, déjeunaiente et se rendaient à leurs affaires. - In the mornings everyone got dressed, had breakfast and went for their business.

Chaque année on annonçait une nouvelle spire d'impairment et tout se répétait de nouveau. - Every year a new round of inflation was announced, and everything was repeated anew.

Invitation to action or offer

Si nous achetions une imprimante? - What if we buy a printer?

Si l'on ne remplissait pas la commission du patron? - What if wedo not follow the boss's instructions?

Et si tu parlais avec tes parents? - Why do not you talk to your parents?

Attraction of attention to the action, its accentuation

La tour s'écroulait et ensevelissait quelques maisons. - The tower collapsed and covered / buried several houses.

La lame d'Athos perçait les attaquants l'un après l'autre. - Athos's blade pierced the attackers one by one.

Artistic description

Une nuit obscure un homme noir marchait à travers la forêt noire ... - On a dark night, a black man walked through a black forest.

Le vent soufflait de la mer. - Wind was blowing from sea.

And yet, Imparfait is part of the conditional sentences, but we'll talk about this in our next useful materials. And now just a couple of examples of such use:

Quand il faisait froid, elle restait chez elle. - When it was cold, she stayed at home.

Chaque fois que j'appelais mon chien, il accourait très vite. - Every time I called my dog, it quickly resorted.

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