elle a toujours su = she has always known
she still knew = elle savait encore
"She has always known" is marked wrong, and the "my answer should have been correct" box is missing.
The passé composé expresses past and complete actions that you would express with an En past simple.
But the passé composé is also used for actions started in the past and still valid in the present time, and that is one of the uses of the present perfect. Key words would be "déjà" (already), "so far" (jusqu'à maintenant).
So "elle a toujours su" both means "she always knew" (complete) or "she has always known" (open-ended).
In stead of passe compose, "elle toujours savait. (Elle savait toujours.)" Does this change the nuance? Does this mean "she used to know, but she doesn't know now"?
Or you wouldn't use imparfait with "toujours"?
(Sorry, this is quite confusing to me.)
You should say "elle savait toujours", because the adverb must come after the first conjugated verb.
And yes, it could mean, "she used to know", or "she would know" (this isn't the conditional "would"), but it doesn't imply that she doesn't know the info now.
"Quand elle était plus grande, elle savait toujours faire des omelettes comme sa mère faisait quand elle était petite".
"When she was older, she still knew how to make omelettes how her mother would make them when she was little."
Thank you! So, in this particular case (elle savait toujours), the main point is the fact "she used to (would) know (in the past)." And, whether she still knows it now or not doesn't matter. (It's only talking about the past, and not the present state.)
But in the original case (elle a toujours su), she started to know something in the past, and has continued to know it now. The action ( in this case "know" ) never ended even though it is expressed in passe-compose. It's because there is this adverb "toujours"?
If there is no "toujours" - ella a su - (I am not sure you use savoir this way...), it means "she knew it (implying she knew in the past, but she doesn't know it now any longer) ?
"elle savait toujours quoi faire" is typical story-telling, located in the past, covering a period of time that has no precise beginning or end. Today does not matter.
"elle a toujours su quoi faire" means that she still knows what to do.
"ce jour-là, elle a su quoi faire" is about a one-time past action, and complete.
Unless, of course, the direct object precedes the noun.
Ex1. Ce sont les livres que nous avons achetés.
Ex2. Ce sont les pommes que nous avons achetées.
"toujours" is an adverb initially formed with "tous" (all) and "jours" (days). Its spelling never changes.
It is a matter of time sequence: he always knew she cheated on him = il a toujours su qu'elle le trompait (imperfect)
"She's" is also used as a contraction for "she is" so it does create some ambiguity in Duolingo's processing algorithm; it can't tell the difference. Although it is correct, the difficulty can be avoided by spelling out "she has".
when should i use 'avoir' or 'être' when it comes to past tense? like why is it "elle a su" but "elle est partie"?
If you use Google Images with the search term "etre in passé compose," you can find a few clever, helpful diagrams for remembering etre vs avoir. I rather like the one with the mountain, but there are a couple of others, too. Hope you write back with your impressions. Good luck, and happy learning!
thanks a bunch! Just saw the mountain pictures. liked the flow! so are those the only exceptions in past tense?
Avoid contracting "she has" to "she's"; and actually better to avoid contractions when entering answers in English. Once you have mastered the French tree, you can use all the contractions you want in everyday conversation.
I have given a lot of feedback that the contracted form is often more natural than the uncontracted form. The uncontracted form is mostly used for formal writing and for emphasis in speaking. The contracted form is mostly used for informal writing and everyday speech. Some uncontracted forms are excessively formal such as "let us", which should be "let's" in almost all formal and informal settings.
Of course, that is so true. It's the other ones where "s/he's" is used for both "s/he has" and "s/he is" that are the problem because the Duo computer has been programmed to see them as equivalent and now is feeding back incorrect answers, e.g., "She is a car" for "elle a une voiture". Apparently those who favor "she has" = "she's" are unaware of the mess this has made on the system and choose to see me as mean-spirited for even suggesting that unnecessary contractions be avoided.
Not any more. It's "She always knew" now.
Also: ""she has always known" not accepted 21 Mar 2017. Reported.
Not accepted?!? Both answers are regarded as "best answers" even though only one is shown at the top. There is nothing to report.
I copied and pasted my answer, to make sure I hadn't made another mistake. I don't understand it, either. It was not accepted. And the answer at the top of the page is what I was told is the correct answer:
"she always knew"
(also copied and pasted).
I would suggest taking a screenshot and submitting a bug report. There's only so much the course moderators can do.
I'll do that. I probably can search and find the exercise, redo it and see what happens.
But what type of exercise was it?
Was it a multiple choice question? Translate to English?
But, "She is always known" is the same as "She's always known.", right? One is the contraction and one is not.
The contracted verb in "She's always known" is "has", not "is". So, "she has always known".
I said "She had always known" and was marked wrong. Can someone explain this?
she had always known is past perfect = elle avait toujours su (plus-que-parfait).
the English present perfect matching the French passé composé in this sentence is "she has always known" = elle a toujours su, with the auxiliary in present tense.
It's the difference between "had" and "has". "had" is used before another event in the past, while "has" can be used before the present or future tense.
- She had always known [past perfect] and I asked her about it [past simple].
- She has always known [past simple]. I'll ask her about it tomorrow [future].
There's no infinitive in "She has always known". "to have" is conjugated in the present tense and "to know" is the past participle. The infinitive is in the form "to [verb]", such as "It is good to always know", which would either sound really awkward or subtly change the meaning if you moved "always" elsewhere. Avoiding split infinitives is a style guide, it's never been a rule because a lot of really good English uses split infinitives.
If you're saying that you can write "Elle toujours a su", then no, that would be incorrect. The adverb in this case must come after the conjugated form of avoir (or être).
Unless they mean in English, in which case "She always has known" is grammatical but awkward. It's better as "She has always known".
I don't know how many places this would be acceptable in. I'm sure it works in a few places, but not many.
Can passé composé express an action that has just happened like the present perfect tense in English?
Yes, if that action is complete. In fact, I just had a French native (although not from France) tell me that the passé composé is only used for recent events.
Not quite true, though.
- I have lost my keys = j'ai perdu mes clés
- I lost my keys 2 years ago = j'ai perdu mes clés il y a 2 ans
I was wondering about that because it didn't quite gel with me. I said, "It can be used for any completed action." She said, "No, just the recent past." So it's good to get a second opinion on that! She also said that you very rarely say « a su », but instead use « saviat », etc. This also sounds a little strange to me. Second opinion please? Like I said, although she speaks French natively, she's not from France so some of her grammar might be a little different.
"savoir" has an array of nuances in meaning that also appear through the use of tenses.
- je savais où était la clé = for an unlimited period of time, I was aware of the place where the key was being kept
- j'ai su où était la clé = at one point in time in the past, I was aware of the place where the key was being kept; since then, I have forgotten it or the place may have changed so I cannot say I know the place for sure.
- j'ai su/appris que XX a gagné la course = I (have) read/heard that XX won the race.
If you take a look at this page, you will see that "j'ai su" is very common: j'ai su
"ALWAYS" means happen every now and then, shouldn't it be present tense? So it should be "SHE ALWAYS KNOWS" instead.
There is a difference though. "She always knows" would suggest that she knows the thing in question no matter when it's brought up and there's also no mention of the past, as in, when did she start to know. The French compound past can be translated in two ways: i. "She has always known" would suggest that from a point in the past, she has known the thing and she still does. ii. "She always knew" solely talks about a point in the past where she knew but there is no mention of the present.
Aren't these two phrases the same: 1. She has always known (that) 2. She always did know (that)
Please point out what is wrong with the second phrase.
(that) is not included, just added it to both because it makes sense in both phrases.