"She never paid for a single drink at this bar."

Translation:Elle n'a jamais payé une seule boisson dans ce bar.

June 30, 2020

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"elle ne payait jamais une seule boisson dans ce bar" why is past imperfect wrong


It's accepted now.


My impression is that the imparfait implies that this behavior is over now. Is that right?


That's right, so the meaning is different from "n'a jamais payé" which means "has never paid... so far".


"Elle ne payait jamais aucune boisson dans ce bar." Is that acceptable too? Unusually, I find Sitesurf's explanation confusing: He responded to "My impression is that the imparfait implies that this behaviour is over now. Is that right?" with "That's right, so the meaning is different from "n'a jamais payé" which means "has never paid... so far". I feel on safer ground with "never used to pay"= imperfect, with "has never paid"= perfect. And that the 'imperfect' is used for 'an ongoing action in the past'.


a)Yes your alternative sentence is correct ..and it has been accepted. Note, as you CORRECTLY wrote without the indefinite article. b)In my humble opinion this sentence does not depend on the imperfect or passe compose for a 'timing' factor. Person A is confiding to someone about a past relationship...all happened in the PAST...DONE AND OVER WITH! Note either the imperfect or passe compose is accepted by DU0. When you use the imperfect, you are focusing on the 'HABITUALITY of her penurious behaviour ' . When you use the 'passe compose' you are focusing on the 'hundreds of individual times' (past actions with DEFINED start and end times to each) as examples of that behaviour. It would shape the nuance of your 'storytelling'.. but does not change the TIME FRAME. I would be surprised if DUO didn't accept the simple past 'paya'! If you google LAWLESS (or TEX) (or Columbia University) 'imperfect/ vs passe compose quiz' you would find some great exercises where this nuance( of past actions with DEFINED start and end times to each) must be perceived and, unlike in this sentence, only one choice, IMP or Passe Compose, is correct.


I'm afraid I think that you are looking at this wrong, Jim.

Person A is confiding to someone about a past relationship...all happened in the PAST...DONE AND OVER WITH!

That is not necessarily true.

Simple Past does not exclude the possibility that Person A is part of the group drinking in the bar right now. "She" (Person B) may have just got up to pay for the drinks for the first time ever (at this bar).

Simple Past can also be used as a substitute for Present Perfect: "She has never paid for a single drink at this bar.", the implication being that the action (of never paying) is (or appears to be) about to be completed.

Certainly, from a UK English perspective, "She has never paid for …" would have been a better translation of the original French sentence, and would have removed any ambiguity over the appropriate French tense.

In my opinion, the use of passé composé means that your assumed context of a past relationship is not compatible with Duo's chosen interpretation. The choice of passé composé would mean that the past actions of Person B are having a current impact on the here and now. Given that choice, it is unlikely that she is not present in the bar.


Malcolm, all of that seems to be consistent with Sitesurf's comment, so I don't understand the source of the confusion.


Not for me it wasn't... avril 2020


I put" elle ne payait jamais..." too. If you have never paid for something, it is a repeated action in the past, so should use the imperfect. The perfect tense is used for one-off actions in the past.


"Elle n'a jamais payé..." is also possible if you consider the meaning of "She has never paid... so far", and she still doesn't.


can I express this sentence with ne..que? (tried and failed)


This would mean "I only paid..."


"à" ce bar, was marked wrong, Why is that?


Simple question, does payer include the idea ' to pay for' so the 'for' is redundant?


Yes, "payer une boisson" or "payer une facture" or "payer une personne" are all used without "pour" (for).

"Payer pour" is used to mean "to pay on behalf of".


Thank you very much Sitesurf. I feel I ought to know that. Good to hear from you again.


However, I put the pour and was marked correct. Should i not have been marked right or did Duo take it as she never paid for anyone else in the bar?


"Pour" is just wrong in this sentence where no one else is mentioned or even alluded to.


Why not: "Elle n'a payé jamais une seule boisson dans ce bar." ?


It's not the correct word order for the negation. (auxiliary - negation - past participle)

     Elle n'a jamais payé.
     Il n'a pas vu.
     Tu n'as rien fait.


elle n'a jamais payé aucune boisson dans ce bar OK


Elle ne payait aucune boisson dans ce bar. Why does Duo not accept this?


You did not include the additional negation of JAMAIS! elle ne payait jamais aucune boisson...


"Elle n'a payait jamais une seule boisson dans ce bar." Why is this wrong?


You have amalgamated two tenses together. You can either say "elle n'a jamais payé " (perfect tense) or elle ne payait jamais" (imperfect tense).


Payer un seul verre?


I think that should be accepted, assuming the rest of the sentence is correct.


How do we know whether to use dans or a?


Enclosed spaces use "dans".

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