Translation:I was finishing my work when he told me that.
Finissais sounds like 'fee-say' in the audio of this sentence but sounds like 'fee-nee-say' when the word is played by itself...are both correct?
One of the main uses of the imperfect tense is to describe actions in progress in the past.
- Je finissais mon travail = I was finishing my work.
- J'ai fini mon travail = I finished my work.
Finished implies you're already done. Finishing, however, suggests that you are in the process of completing.
Is proper english not 'I was finished with my work'? I have never heard of 'I was finished my work'? Anyone who knows?
That's because it's not 'I was finished' but "I was finishing" as in the process of finishing, those little tasks that you do as you bring the task to an end. The use of the imperfect shows that the telling happened as they were finishing the task, not after they had finished it.