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"We came back very late."

Translation:Nous sommes rentrés très tard.

4 years ago

23 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/tennisfanatic1

Why is the second alternative, 'Nous rentrions..." accepted? I thought using the imparfait implied the action was ongoing, recurrent or incomplete?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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You are right, "nous rentrions" should not be accepted:

  • nous rentrions très tard à cette époque (habit) = we used to come back...

  • nous rentrions très tard quand la voiture est tombée en panne (lasting action) = we were coming back...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
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In the three sentences presented (to me), the other two were completely off, the "nous rentrions" was the closest. On the other hand, I understand that the imperfect past can be used in the sense of "setting the scene", in which case its use could be accepted here if we overlooked Duo's habit of dropping the second action that was either going on at the same time or interrupted the first one.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tennisfanatic1

Thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
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Not just "ongoing" but it refers to the fact that the action was in progress at some point in the past; in this context, it is normally juxtaposed with a second phrase which refers to another action that was also taking place or that happened (passé composé) while the first action was taking place. The second phrase is absent in Duo's example and leads us to question if it is a valid application of the Imperfect tense. Given that the imperfect can be used to "set the scene", it could be used, except that the next action is missing (a common fault in Duolingo). The opening line in a mystery story: "We came back very late that night when suddenly, it happened". http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/pasttenses_2.htm So the question is, are we willing to overlook Duo's abbreviated version in an effort to learn from it?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DLow
DLowPlus
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Just to check, we can't use "retourner" here? It was marked wrong but I'm just not sure on the difference between revenir, renter and retourner (although sitesurf have a great explanation of the first two above)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/melenkholly

What about using "revenir", as in "nous sommes revenus très tard"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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In French, comparing "revenir" and "rentrer", the latter means "come back to where you belong (home, hotel...)", whereas the former does not convey/specify that notion.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/historicbruno
historicbruno
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I still don't understand why revenir or retourner can't be used here. We only know that the "speaker" is part of the subject, and came back very late. But we don't know where they came to, or where they are now. That context is critical, according to: https://www.frenchasyoulikeit.com/retourner-revenir-rentrer-whats-the-difference/

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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"Revenir" can be used: "nous sommes revenu(e)s très tard", but "retourner" needs a destination to mean "come back": "nous sommes retourné(e)s là-bas/chez nous très tard".

With the meaning of "came back" or "returned home", the French use "rentrer" which can stand alone to mean exactly that.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

You know, I kind of like "explicit" as a verb in that sentence. It's concise. However, I'm afraid that in English it is only a mere adjective. You would have to say "does not make that notion explicit," or perhaps "does not specify that notion".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Oh la la ! Merci !

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JonathanDu937423

what's the difference between rentrées and rentrés here?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Don"t you guess?

rentrés is masculine: "we" is all men or a mix of men and women

rentrées is feminine: "we" is all women

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JonathanDu937423

Ah of course! ;) Thanks

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan554280

I keep forgeting when to make the agreement. Is it with the passé composé?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Passé composé = compound past.

Compound = in two words

"Sommes + rentré(e)s" = 2 verb forms: 1 auxiliary + 1 past participle

"Sommes" is the auxiliary "être".

With the auxiliary "être", the past participle agrees with the subject.

"Nous" can be masculine of feminine.

"Rentrés or rentrées" are possible, correct and accepted.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan554280

une tres bonne explication merci beaucoup!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KATEJ15

Elicit, might serve but your meaning was clear. (convey)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Merci aussi !

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lalisa_is_bae

why cant i do "nous avons rentres tres tard"? since they used the 'have' word for past verbs before.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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"rentrer" is an "être" verb.

You will use it with "avoir" if there's a direct object: nous avons rentré les chaises (we brought the chairs back in).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eduard830406

Merci Sitesurf!

4 months ago