I had this correct but I was wondering if one can say, "She did not look at me."
There is a reason the speaker chose to use imperfect rather than Passé composé. Two years ago, sentences in these two tenses were for the most part translated the same way with no apparent rhyme or reason. But there is a difference.
- Passé composé refers to an action in the past which was completed. It represents a snapshot of the completed action. Il a marché dans la rue = he walked down the street.
- Imperfect Past tense refers to an action which was taking place without regard to when it began or when it finished; time is irrelevant; only the action is ongoing. It is like a moving picture of an action that was taking place in the past. Il marchait dans la rue = he was walking down the street.
- Imperfect has other uses, too, but the difference described above should help to clear up any confusion about our decision regarding which tense to use.
For an extremely thorough explanation of the difference between Passé Composé and Imparfait, fasten your seat belt and go to: https://languagecenter.cla.umn.edu/lc/FrenchSite1022/FirstVERBS.html
Hmmm.. did I get it right that it depends on the context? Since there is no context here, shouldn't we be allowed to translate both ways? Thanks!
No, because context is not required since this has to do with the conjugation - the tense of the verb. In this case, the tense informs you of the context, to an extent.
In fact the verb tense doesn't provide enough information to restrict the translation to a single tense option. It's more just a policy issue on the part of the French group as to how they want to teach learners and what points they want to try to convey within the limitations of the Duolingo platform.
The French tense can indeed be translated to a number of different English constructions — i.e. "was not looking at", "did not look at", "did not use to look at", "would not look at" (and there may be more, but these are enough to make the point) — and then there's also the verb "watch". Which of those would be correct in a given scenario would depend on the precise meaning, which would come in part from the external context, not solely from the sentence itself, which is only part of the story.
If verb tenses had one-to-one correspondence between the two languages, this discussion wouldn't arise.
So many different ways to translate " Elle ne me regardait pas". - So many different ways to get it wrong. This unit is killing me.
That's one way to translate it but it depends on the context. When we're talking about a past habitual action, we can use "would" but it isn't considered conditional, and it translates to the imparfait, not the conditionnel.
You could translate it that way, but in a context where the sentence was describing a habitual action occurring in the past: "I walked by her every morning in the hallway. She did not look at me."
Bonjour n6zs, I was marked incorrect for writing " She did not watch me".
I believe that "Regarder" translates as "To Watch" in some cases, as in "to watch the TV".
Is it absolutely incorrect to use it that way in this sentence? If it is incorrect , how WOULD one say "She watched/is watching me?"
You can use 'regarder' to mean 'to watch'. The problem is with the tense you used. The French sentence is written in Imparfait, which is used for past continous and habitual past, not the simple past.
'She did not watch me' suggests a single event that has been completed. That would have been written in passé composé - 'Elle ne m'a pas regardé'. 'She is watching me' is present tense - 'Elle me regarde'.
Thanks for that Karen.
I just had this sentence again and Duo accepted "She was not watching me" as a correct answer :]
1- She didn't see me (Past Simple)
(Meaning: She was passing by in the car park, but didn't stop to say help. She didn't see me/ look at me)
2- She was not looking at me/ She didn't use to look at me/ She wouldn't look at me.
(Meaning: We used to go to the same school and take similar classes, but she would not look at me. Now, she's applying for a job in the company and claims that we were best friends. She didn't even use to look at me!)
I hope the nuances in meanings are explained properly now. I have to say that DuoLingo's translation is not helping here either!
Regarder is to look,not to see. To see is voir. If you don't see the difference,just have a look )))) at any English dictionary.
This is what i typed. I think that the reason is that regarde is watching and not seeing. Subtle, yet important difference.
Yes, depending on the context. You could try reporting it, but you might want to read the rest of the discussion first.
I typed "She didn't look at me" and got marked wrong. Does "was" come from "-ait" in "regardait"?
Yes, that's where you get your "was [...]ing". However, your sentence isn't wrong. It just requires a particular context (habitual past). Apparently at this point they've only programmed this question to accept a continuous aspect.
Hey, CJ. You've probably got this nailed by now but given this thread, it's good to shed a little more light on the subject of the imperfect tense. It does not always mean it refers to a habitual action. It is often used in the sense of an action that is taking place, i.e., in progress, but in the past. It has to do with the point of view and how one might describe something. For example:
- elle m'a regardé = she looked at me
- elle me regardait = she was looking at me
For an excellent explanation of the difference between Passé composé and Imparfait, open this link in your browser: https://languagecenter.cla.umn.edu/lc/FrenchSite1022/FirstVERBS.html
Certainly, but you'll want to read n6zs's remarks above for an inside perspective on the choice here.
The link he provides is good, too:
Sitesurf has some further commentary on these matters here:
This following comment on that page contains a rather extensive list of the possibilities (though it canvasses the verb constructions specifically for sentir, so it's possible that not everything can be transposed exactly onto regarder):
There's always a debate about what possibilities to allow and why. This lesson is a bit inconsistent judging by my last run-through, but as long as you yourself do your best to understand the reasoning and possibilities, you'll get along well, regardless of Duo's limitations.
Alright fair enough. Because I also put "she would not look at me", which should be a correct answer but is not, and I've been hitting my head as to how else to express something like "everytime i talked to her in middle school, [she would not look at me]", other than using the imparfait/imperfect. It is still a habitual action/storytelling,etc. Just making sure i was on the right thought process.
This could also be "Elles ne me regardaient pas"
There's no difference in pronunciation
"She didn't use to look at me" is correct and I wonder if "She used not to look at me" is correct as well, but not "She used to not look at me".
All of those are okay. Split infinitives are allowed in English. Style is another matter.
As Douglas Adams said: "… to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before …"
:-) It's in chapter 15 on page 89 of the first book (original printing) and I'm surprised I found it that quickly!
Again, I have a problem with the given translations, this time the alternatives. "She did not look at me" is not imperfect but perfect tense.
Yes, you're right. I think the translation would be
she did not look at me = elle n'a pas me regardé.
We use French's passé composé for English's simple past tense. I'm not a francophone but that's what I learned from a native French speaker.
It's tricky, though, because the French use the imperfect much more often than in English. There are a lot of cases in which translating the French imperfect directly to the English imperfect just sounds weird. For example in French you might say "Je regardais la tele hier soir.", which technically translates to "I was watching TV last night", but no English speaker would say that without a "when" statement attached to it. So it's a little awkward translating back and forth between the two.
What were you doing last night? Je regardais la télé = I was watching TV. It doesn't require an interrupting event to be translated in the past continuous. It is quite normal in both languages.
How does this sound any different from "Elle ne me regarder pas"? (assuming that's the correct way to say 'she isn't watching me').
The simple present (She isn't watching me) is «Elle ne me regarde pas», which sounds different because it ends on the /d/ sound and the final "e" is silent.
is there a difference in pronunciation “ elle ne me regarde pas “ and “elle ne me regardait pas” i am confuse. it sounds the same to me
They shouldn't sound the same. The -e in regarde is not pronounced. The -ait in regardait is like the "e" in "bed".
she did not look at me..............means the same i don't understand this at all
I just posted an explanation of this in a reply to birsar above. It should clear it up for you and there is also a link to a very thorough explanation on the University of Minnesota website.
The verb "regarder" means "to look at" or "to watch". The verb "voir" means "to see". She did not see me = Elle ne m'a vu (or) Elle ne m'a vue, depending on if the "me" is masculine of feminine. Remember that Passé Composé generally refers to actions that are complete, finished, done. Generally speaking, the imperfect tense refers to actions in the past without regard to whether they were finished or not, i.e., they are generally expressed as a continuing action. For example:
- L'homme a marché dans la rue = The man walked down the street (the action was completed).
- L'homme marchait dans la rue = The man was walking down the street.
These two verb tenses give the speaker a slightly different perspective of what happened. Please take a look at my note to birsar at the top of this page.
Why not "She would not look at me"? ex. "Elle ne me regardait pas, car elle se sentait trop gênée." "She would not look at me because she felt too embarrassed."
why she did not use to look at me not accepted? and how can we say that in French