The passé composé is a French tense used for the past. 1. This free website is created with love and a great deal of work. Interesting. All rights reserved. Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 23+ years in the US and France. To Note. If you cannot understand this story, maybe you shouldn’t be worrying about imparfait vs passé-composé right now and concentrate on priorities for French beginners. Below, you’ll find a short French story featuring imparfait vs passé-composé and in parenthesis why I used this specific tense of the past. Again, this is not set in stone. Présentation . As for the passé composé, it has three English equivalents. Now, I would like to give you a feeling of the difference in dynamics between passé-composé and imparfait. The French imperfect is a French tense used for the past. Cars were driving behind me and I could hear the sound of the city all around me. Il a sorti son téléphone et a envoyé un texto à son ami Pierre. Le serveur a téléphoné aux pompiers (specific event, storyline). Il est sorti de la baignoire, puis il a voulu jouer de la guitare. © 2020 Lawless French. There is no debate. Philippe faisait des progrès en cuisine ! Le serveur est tout de suite revenu avec mon café (specific event). I read newspapers regularly and I talked about current events all the time to my friends. French auxiliary verb être: conjugations and pronunciation, how to choose être or avoir for Passé Composé. You may also enjoy my article on how to choose être or avoir for Passé Composé. 2. Je me suis réveillée (specific event), mais je me sentais encore faible (ongoing). Imparfait vs passé composé In a nutshell, the imparfait is used for incomplete actions while the passé composé is reserved for completed ones, but of course it’s more complicated than that. Des voitures passaient derrière mois et j’entendais le bruit de la ville tout autour de moi. Mais cette année-là (specific time so PC will follow), je suis allée à Paris avec des amis. Allons-y ! Includes dialog, study guide and full transcript + translations. But you simply can’t say Je travaille ici lors des attaques en novembre – it sounds absurd. I studied every day because for that I needed to be accepted into a prestigious university. Understanding the contrasting relationship between the passé composé and imparfait is essential to communicating in French. My French audiobooks are exclusively available on French Today. The most important French past tenses are the passé composé and the imparfait, and they are troublesome for several reasons. “I was singing” or verbs in past progressive are going to be imperfect. Generally, the passé composé is used to relate events while the imparfait is used to describe what was going on in the past, states of being in the past, or past habits. Experience how different and efficient our method is. J’étais si contente d’être là. Le passé composé et l’imparfait sont les deux temps principaux du passé en français. Ça lui faisait du bien de nager. C’était nouveau pour lui : Philippe était encore un débutant et c’était un peu difficile. To achieve this, only one solution: work with level adapted French audio novels. Pendant que j’attendais mon repas, et que je buvais tranquillement mon café (ongoing events), j’ai commencé à me sentir mal (specific event). When I decided to be a politician, I started studying every day. Passé Composé and Imparfait are the two past tenses in the French language. In this video, we’ll concentrate on what took place in Philippe’s life, the series of actions he did that evening. Available for iOS, Android, Mac and Windows. Il n’est pas toujours facile de faire la différence entre les deux parce qu’ils ont certains emplois proches.