"Je jouais avec le chat."

Translation:I used to play with the cat.

April 5, 2018

This discussion is locked.


"Would play" needs to be accepted.


Yes, the use of "used to" or "would" in English both can be used to refer to a habitual or repeated action in the past. The sentence may be interpreted as:

  • I was playing with the cat (action in progress in the past)
  • I used to play with the cat (habitual or repeated action in the past)
  • I would play with the cat (habitual or repeated action in the past)


I don't really think that would is the best choice.

"I would play with the cat" should be translated into "Je jouerais avec le chat" in French (conditionnel and not imparfait)

I don't have very high skills in English but I think you can use "would" in the past if you are speaking about an habits. But I don't think that in this case there is a notion of habits.


English "would" has both conditional and (habitual) imperfect meaning. Therefore "I would play with the cat" can correspond to either conditional Je jouerais avec le chat or imperfect Je jouais avec le chat.

Jouais can have either continuous imperfect or habitual imperfect meaning. Therefore Je jouais avec le chat can correspond to either continuous imperfect "I was playing with the cat" or habitual imperfect "I used to play with the cat / I played with the cat / I would play with the cat". All of these are equally natural and correct English translations.

[deactivated user]

    Ok earlier in this lesson I answered "je jouais avec le chat" and it was marked wrong because I was supposed to use passé composé verb form and now apparently "j'ai joué avec le chat" was marked wrong in favor of the imparfait. Make up your mind, Duolingowl!


    Hello, Juan. The use of Passé composé would generally indicate a completed action, i.e., a single action (I played with the cat), but the use of the imperfect tense is generally used for 1) an action in progress in the past (I was playing with the cat) or 2) a habitual/repeated action in the past, e.g. "I used to play (or) I would play with the cat". The latter should not be confused with the conditional use of "would". The mapping of verb tenses between French and English is anything but straightforward but here is an excellent, in-depth explanation of the difference between Passé composé and imparfait: https://languagecenter.cla.umn.edu/lc/FrenchSite1022/FirstVERBS.html


    Why is the past perfect translation sometimes accepted and sometimes not?

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