"After we ate the cake, I had coffee."

Translation:Après que nous avons mangé le gâteau, j'ai eu du café.

April 5, 2018

This discussion is locked.


Why is there a "que" near the beginning? What does that serve?


here is an explanation of when to use après and après que

après + noun / pronoun

après + verb in the past infinitive (past infinitive indicates an action that occurred before the action of the main verb, but only when the subject of both verbs is the same)

après que + a clause with a conjugated verb


Il part après son repas - He leaves after his meal
Il part après qu'elle a mangé - he leaves after she has eaten
Il part après avoir mangé. - He leaves after eating
C’est bon de boire une bière après le ski. - It is good to drink a beer after skiing
Après avoir marché pendant une heure, j'étais perdu - After walking for an hour I was lost
Je dois commencer après qu'il part. - I must start after he leaves.
Je dois commencer après son départ - I must start after his departure. Deux ans après que je suis parti - Two years after I left
Après cela il a marché - After that it worked
Après que je l'ai frappé, il a marché - After I hit it, it worked
Je pensais qu'ils en avaient après toi - I thought they were after you


The first time I looked at this I thought it was a bit odd.

Now I read it again and I see a bit of a pattern: in French many things are introduced or key words are used to indicate what follows.


Le garcon, il est lourd. ---- The boy is mentioned first and then a pronoun refers back to him.

C'est une pomme. Il est rouge. ---- First the thing is identified as an apple and then it is referred to by a pronoun when adding that it is red.

In the après examples it can apparently be used three (3) ways:

1) as preposition with a noun phrase following ---- après son repas

2) with an infinitive form of a verb referring to the same subject as what preceded it ---- Il part après avoir mangé. The "Il" subject applies to both the "part" after "avoir mangé". ---- HE is leaving after HE has eaten.

3) After "après" the use of "que" indicates another subject verb predict will be used. ----- "Il part" HE is leaving "que" "elle a mangé" new subject "elle" after SHE has eaten.


Nicholas Ashley, The way you break down the constructions into formulas is extremely helpful and your examples are always on point. Thank you for being a contributor -I'm surprised you are not an adminstrator. I always look forward to your discussion points. Are you native French or just a lifelong learner of French


I am glad my explanations are helpful to you. I am British and learning French.


Merci beaucoup !


The same thing I want to ask. Why is wrong "Après nous avons mangé......" and is right the "Après que nous avons mangé...." ?


I would also like to hear the answer


Why not "j'ai bu du cafe"?


It's correct too.

  • J'ai pris du café

  • J'ai bu du café

  • J'ai eu du café

All these solutions are correct. Maybe the first one is a little more used than the other but they are all used a lot.


I used j'ai prise, why is that wrong?


Could you use imperfect or pluperfect here instead?


I think the word "the" changes the tense. If it were "After we ate cake, I had coffee." It's not clear when this began or ended or how many times it may have happened. When you say "After we ate THE cake ..." It seems more like a specific reference to one time and that it is done since he has already gone on to having coffee.

These slight impressions are far from definitive. I'm a native English speaker.


Would 'Après que on a mangé le gâteau, j'ai eu du café' be correct as well? If not, why?


According to nicholas_ashley above, it would seem to be, according to the 'rule': "après que + a clause with a conjugated verb"


Isn't this sentence an example of past-before-past? Why isn't the first clause in plus-que-parfait?

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