Translation:You used to often come to this restaurant.
Wouldn't it be better translated by: you used to come to this restaurant often?
Many thanks for the link, it will be very useful. And yes, the next section I went on to had both tenses on the drop-down menu so I felt a bit silly for writing my comment!
Maybe it's due to space, but it would be helpful if there were drop-down menus for tenses other than the present. (Not that I'm complaining, having this free service has been invaluable...)
Souvent = Often / Frequently = Fréquemment. But the meaning is the same, so I'd say both are OK
You often came..should be accepted as the 'often' tells you it was ona regular basis, so the imperfect tense is implied. The English simple present is as acceptable as 'you used to'.. And is otherwise accepted as a translation of the French imperfect tense in this section. So, I still think Duo is wrong not to accept..'you often came ..'!
I also am puzzled. Seems that "I often came" would be natural English version. Since so many people are suggesting this, maybe the Duo team can reconsider?
Agree. And it seems to me that in other lessons with the imparfait we were encouraged to use the simple past "came" if modified by an adverb like "often" to imply a repeated action in the past. Could one of the experts respond to this?
If the problem is with the "au", it might help to think of "rest your aunt"
With all other verbs in this lesson, the English translation is simple past--I was, you were, I had, they said, ... Why is the simple past wrong with venir? Why does this not translate as "You often came to this restaurant?"
This is not specific to any particular verb; it has to do with the tense being used. The use of the imperfect tense is one of several past tenses in French. It is used in the following ways:
- An action that was going on in the past at the same time as another action. The first action is expressed in the imperfect and is usually translated "was + present participle", e.g., Il lisait un livre pendant que elle écrivait une lettre = He was reading a book while she was writing a letter. Both actions were taking place in the past.
- An action that was going on in the past when another action occurred: Nous mangions le dîner quand ils sont arrivés = We were eating dinner when they arrived. Note: Passé composé is used for the second action.
- An action that a person did habitually in the past, e.g., Les enfants allaient à la plage tous les jours = The children used to go to the beach every day. Without reference to another past action, the use of the imperfect tense compels the interpretation of a habitual action, so they "used to go...." which carries the sense of the habitual action into the English.
- A description of a mental or physical condition in the past, e.g., Elle n'était pas malade quand je l'ai vue. = She was not sick when I saw her.
- An action or state of being that occurred in the past and lasted for a certain length of time prior to another past action, e.g., J'attendais l'autobus depuis dix minutes quand il est arrivé = I waited for the bus for ten minutes when it arrived.
- The imperfect tense can also be used to "set a scene", e.g., C'était une soirée tranquille = It was a peaceful evening.
- The imperfect tense is used to tell the time of day or express age in the past, e.g., Il était sept heures et demie = It was seven-thirty. (or) Elle avait dix-huit ans = She was 18 years old.