"Je rangeais souvent ma chambre."

Translation:I would often tidy up my room.

April 6, 2018

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Why is "I would often tidy. . ." not accepted, after the long lesson teaching that "used to" or "would" are often the most appropriate English translation for the imparfait?


It's just a minor omission, as every other possible location of "often" has been considered except that one. It's now added.


I would use "used to tidy" here instead. I do not understand how "would" matches the French imperfect tense. Usually "would" has a conditional/politeness meaning in English. Does it have another meaning here?


"Would" can be used to express a repeated or habitual past action, together with elements of language like "when I was little/in the old days/at that time...", so as not to confuse it with the conditional present tense.


Thanks for the explanation. In fact, I remember now that I have already heard this construction in some movies. I'd still recommend to use "used to" in this exercise to avoid ambiguity and questions.

  • 1166

'Would' in this sentence is actually the past-future tense in English indicating someone was going to do something, other than politeness or the conditional usage coming with a clause, which is equivalent to le conditionnel présent in French. However, since the temporal adverb is just 'souvent' which means 'often', it's more natural to translate as 'used to tidy up' than 'would tidy up'.


Another context would allow for a past-future tense with would: "You knew I would tidy my room." In French, you would also need a conditional present "Tu savais que je rangerais ma chambre".

But this sentence is not suitable for a past-future tense and again "[past trigger: see above examples] + I would tidy up my room" is the expression of a past habit.


  • 1166

Yes, but I'm still distinguishing them. Think of the will in I will always love you. and then rewind will to the past and it becomes I would always love you.. I would often tidy up my room. sort of sounds like I would often like to tidy up my room. or I was often willing to tidy up my room. which includes some subjective will, while I often tidied up my room or I used to tidy up my room merely talks of the objective fact.


why can't I use organize here ?


"I was often cleaning my room" isn't accepted, not sure if "I was cleaning my room often" would have been. I sort of get why (it becomes more of an 'etais' statement?) but clear breakdown would be appreciated!

  • 1878

This answer should be accepted because in AmE it is extremely common to have to "clean your room" when the implied meaning is "tidy your room". I'd say that's the most common way to say this -- I've actually never heard anyone I know in the U.S. use 'tidy' as a verb, and they rarely even use it as an adjective. I just checked with my mother and she agrees that she never uses the word 'tidy', only 'clean', or less often 'clean up', or even 'straighten up'.



I suppose it depends on what you mean by "clean". The verb "ranger" means "to tidy (up)", to put away. The idea of "to clean" is a bit different.


How about "clean up," which has essentially the same meaning as "tidy up" but is far more common?

  • 1608

How about "I used to often tidy up my room"?


Using "would" to represent past actions, is not common in contemporary spoken English without additional context. Also, "tidy up" is extremely British and almost never used in the US.


Many english speakers just say 'tidy' rather than 'tidy up'


That's also accepted here.


I used to often tidy my room.

I often used to tidy my room.

I would often tidy my room.

I often would tidy my room.

Please correct the verbs if they are wrong.


''often I would tidy up my room'' not accepted. should be.


"rangeais" is "imparfait". Why is then "would" to be used in the translation?


The imparfait is also used for habitual moments in the past. Think "When I was young, I would often do this" type of sentences. The "would" here is not conditional.

  • 1166

Since this sentence isn't a conditional clause, there's no reason to use structure like would do here. I used to tidy up my room often or I often tidied up my room is supposed to make sense here.


Since this sentence isn't a conditional clause, there's no reason to use structure like would do here.

No, I disagree. "Would" is perfectly fine. Your other two suggestions are also accepted translations here.

  • 1166

It's grammatical even when there's no context, yet I just don't find it necessary here. It would be totally understandable if Duo wanted to demonstrate the difference between would tidy up and rangerais, the latter one being only good for use in a conditional clause. Otherwise it should not be the most plausible translation without proper temporal adverbials such as after work or on Sundays, the same way I won't translate Je range souvent ma chambre into I will often tidy up my room even though it's 100% grammatical.


If this is translated as "I would.." Then what would be a proper translation to the proposition "je rangrrais souvent ma chambre"


If there's a condition, yes, you would use the conditional: "je rangerais".


As already explained in other comments, "would" is usually used to express conditions and politeness. Less usually, it may also be used to express a past habit (ie, a synonym of "used to"). That's why "would tidy up" is a correct translation of "rangeais".

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