Questions about "le passé."

I know "I live in Paris. = J'habite à Paris."

"I lived in Paris," which on below is correct?

"J'ai habité à Paris." ou "J'habitai à Paris."

You loved me, "Tu as m'aimé." ou "Tu m'aimas." ?

Le passé is so complicated for me. >___<

Many Thanks!

December 19, 2017


Passé composé : J'ai habité à Paris. / Tu m'as aimé. (Pronoun m' proceeds the conjugated verb "avoir".)

Imparfait : J'habitais à Paris. / Tu m'aimais. (Pay attention to the spelling!)

Both tenses take place in the past but they aren't interchangeable.

Passé composé is used for : 1. a completed action in the past 2. an event that happened a single or countable number of times. 3. a new event at a precise moment. 4. an interruption.

Imparfait is used for : 1. an uncompleted action in the past. 2. something that happens habitually or is uncountable. 3. an ongoing event. 4. the background description.

This is not easy to get a feel for and just takes practice!

One final note: To say that you have lived in Paris since a certain year, the present tense is actually used in conjunction with "depuis."

Like this: J'habite à Paris depuis 2015. = I've been living in Paris since 2015.

J'apprends le français depuis un an. = I've been learning French for one year.

December 19, 2017

It depends on the situation you're using it in. Generally, the imparfait is used to describe what's going on in the background. Details like: what a person is wearing, what day it is, and what kind of weather it is outside. The passé composé is used to describe the main action or event.

I hope this helps!

December 19, 2017

The following link provides a good explanation as to when to use each tense: Bonne chance!

December 19, 2017
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