french school

25- The imperfect (l’imparfait) in French

The imperfect (l’imparfait) in French is a verb tense that is generally covered at an A2 level. It is a tense that allows for describing past actions, past habits, states of mind, or past circumstances. Here is a simple explanation of the imperfect with the group of verbs: First group (-er) - Verb "parler" (to speak) / Example: "parler" (to speak) Stem: "parl-" Imperfect endings: "-ais, -ais, -ait, -ions, -iez, -aient" Je parlais (I was speaking/I used to speak) Tu parlais (You were speaking/You used to speak) Il/Elle parlait (He/She was speaking/He/She used to speak) Nous parlions (We were speaking/We used to speak) Vous parliez (You were speaking/You used to speak) Ils/Elles parlaient (They were speaking/They used to speak) Second group (-ir) - Verb "finir" (to finish) /Example: "finir" (to finish) Stem: "finiss-" Imperfect endings: "-issais, -issais, -issait, -issions, -issiez, -issaient" Je finissais (I was finishing/I used to finish) Tu finissais (You were finishing/You used to finish) Il/Elle finissait (He/She was finishing/He/She used to finish) Nous finissions (We were finishing/We used to finish) Vous finissiez (You were finishing/You used to finish) Ils/Elles finissaient (They were finishing/They used to finish) Third group (-re) - Verb "prendre" (to take) / Example: "prendre" (to take) Stem: "pren-" Imperfect endings: "-ais, -ais, -ait, -ions, -iez, -aient" Je prenais (I was taking/I used to take) Tu prenais (You were taking/You used to take) Il/Elle prenait (He/She was taking/He/She used to take) Nous prenions (We were taking/We used to take) Vous preniez (You were taking/You used to take) Ils/Elles prenaient (They were taking/They used to take). The imperfect is a past tense widely used to describe continuous actions or states in the past. By understanding how to conjugate verbs for each group, you will be able to use the imperfect correctly to tell stories or describe past situations.

Did you understand it well ?

Question 1

Nous __________ (aller) au marché pour acheter des légumes.

Question 2

Elle ____________ (aimer) beaucoup les animaux.

Question 3

Tu ____________(avoir) un chien quand tu étais jeune.

Question 4

Ils ____________ (être) très heureux.

Question 5

Je ____________(jouer) au tennis le weekend dernier.

Typical restaurant from France