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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PamelaAlfr

French Imparfait - Question

Can I use the imperfect past tense to describe a duration the past - say 12 years ago but has finished?

For example:

J'habitais aux Emirats arabes unis pour douze ans.

Or, since it has finished - i.e. there is a specific ending, should I use passé composé form:

J'ai habité aux Emirats arabes unis pour douze ans.

Thank you.

June 9, 2018

4 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

You need a passé composé and another preposition:

  • J'ai habité aux Emirats Arabes Unis pendant douze ans. (duration, past and complete)
  • J'habite aux Emirats Arabes Unis depuis douze ans. (duration, still valid today)

You will use the past imperfect tense for other time references:

  • En 2009, j'habitais aux Emirats Arabes Unis (date/point of reference in the past)
June 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PamelaAlfr

Thank you!

June 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/W-Ruggles-Wolfe

If you have not seen it, this article about passé composé and imparfait is helpful.

https://languagecenter.cla.umn.edu/lc/FrenchSite1022/FirstVERBS.html

June 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PamelaAlfr

I'll go over and look. Thank you!

June 13, 2018
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