"I was searching my files when I came across this photo."

Translation:Je cherchais dans mes dossiers quand je suis tombé sur cette photo.

April 16, 2018



Is the "dans" necessary, or could you simply put "Je cherchais mes..."

July 4, 2018


Without the "dans", it would mean you were looking for your actual files, as opposed to you were looking IN your files for something. In other words,

  • je cherchais mes dossiers = I was searching for my files
  • je cherchais dans mes dossiers = I was searching my files
July 4, 2018


Yep makes perfect sense! Thanks!!

July 5, 2018


"Je suis tombé" translates to "I came across" (or "I stumbled upon" for a more literal translation)?

It marked "...quand je tombais sur cette photo" incorrect. Is that a general rule, that after "quand", you need to use passé composé?

April 16, 2018


Is that a general rule, that after "quand", you need to use passé composé?

Not at all. "Quand" has nothing to do with it.

You have an ongoing action "I was searching" with no clear beginning or end. This is the perfect example of the usage of the French imparfait. It is then interrupted by a one-time action "I came across". This is expressed using the passé composé. This sentence construction is very popular among French language teachers to demonstrate the difference between imparfait and passé composé.

April 17, 2018


Notice how the verb tenses interchange going from one language to the other; I was searching (past continuous) becomes je cherchais (simple past) and I came across (simple past) becomes je suis tombé (past continuous). In french, in a same sentence, when two actions happen in the past, the first action is simple past, the second action, past continuous (passé composé).

April 17, 2018


Why can't I use "lorsque" for "when" in this case?

June 17, 2018


When you make a sentence this complicated I look up a translation and type It in so I learn nothing

January 18, 2019


Why do you do that? It's better to do your best on your own, then study the correct answer if you get it wrong. All the thinking will make you learn it real fast. (Semantic learning)

February 15, 2019


How does the word "sur" fit into this sentance?

March 15, 2019


The verb "tomber" means "to fall", but "tomber sur" means "to come across" or to have a chance meeting with someone or something.

March 15, 2019


Why not "j'ai trouve?"

March 22, 2019


Why "je suis tombe" instead of "j'ai tombe?"

March 22, 2019


"Tomber" is an être verb. It doesn't use "avoir".

March 22, 2019


So, if dossier is both file and folder in French, how do you distinguish between them?

June 14, 2019


and what about file, which means also fichier ? I wrote : Je cherchais dans mes fichiers quand je suis tombé sur cette photo. If it is a search on a computer, could we use "files" instead of "dossiers" ?

July 28, 2019


I hate this question.

The sentence is too long so regardless of what you say, your answer will likely have too many things for the AI to complain about and it gives it too many excuses to falsely claim your answer was incorrect, when it was actually correct and should've been accepted.

I answered this comment several times through rewriting it in English as it told me to. Here're my answers...

• I was looking in my files when I came across this photo. - Incorrect

• I was looking in my folders when I came across that photo. - Incorrect

• I was searching my folders when I stumbled upon that photo. - Incorrect

This question is utter bµllsh¦t

I'm not trying to be rude, but this question is seriously annoying me >:(

July 20, 2019
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