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"Elle attend ce moment depuis longtemps."

Translation:She has been waiting for this moment for a long time.

December 29, 2012



"for a long time" is the only place it indicates past tense. Correct me if I'm wrong, but "attend" is not conjugated in the past tense, is it?


This sentence was given to you to illustrate the fact that the English construction with the present perfect + a date or a duration (since yesterday, for a long time) translate in French with a simple present.

If you place the action in the past, this is what happens : "she had been waiting for this moment for a long time" = "elle attendait ce moment depuis longtemps".

In addition, the English form of the verb is continuous (be + verb-ing), which does not exist as a verbal form in French. Therefore, in Duolingo, all continuous present forms are translated in simple present (is waiting -> attend) and continuous past forms in imparfait (was waiting -> attendait).


I wish Duolingo taught this through the exercises so we don't have to lose a heart to learn the concept.


I'm pretty sure if Sitesurf wasn't here a lot of people would have simply quit out of frustration.


yes (s)he really means a lot to me. I some times go swiftly through comments to check if (s)he said something about the tread in question. Thanks a lot to you sir/madam.


But we don't lose anything actually. Just redo the lesson, it is free.


That is what they do: showing you side by side French/English equivalents is a way to teach you about differences.


Its not about the hearts, its about learning! So if you lose a heart, but gain knowledge, it was a success. Dont get too caught up in the game aspect.


Maybe the best way to learn is by losing a heart


DuoLingo is heartless; it needs them. ;)


This is such a great explanation. Thank you!


So then why does duolingo give "She had been waiting for this moment for a long time" when attendre is not in the imparfait?

But as a simple rule you always use simple present with "depuis", correct?


If you use pluperfect "she had been waiting" it means that the action was entirely in the past, so in French, you translate it by the imperfect: "elle attendait".

If the English sentence uses since + present perfect, the French uses depuis + simple present.

-present: she has been waiting since yesterday: elle attend depuis hier

-past: she had been waiting since the day before: elle attendait depuis le jour précédent.


Thanks for explaining this, I was confused. If I want to use the present perfect generally, can I use the simple past tense or do I continue wiht present? par exemple: je suis très occupée car je travaille dur (or j'ai travaillé dur) - I am busy because I have been working hard. Many thanks.


The sentence doesn't sound quite right to me in English. "I am busy because" in English implies something happening now causing you to be busy. To then say "have been" doesn't seem grammatically correct in English. I would have said "I am busy because I am working hard" or "I have been busy because I have been working hard". "Have been" is present perfect, not simple past.


Yes, you are completely right! Another example then: 'I am tired, because I have been working hard' would work better. Je suis fatiguée, parce que je travaille dur (or j'ai travaillé dur)? Which option would be better? Thanks


I think so, and I would go with the french translation passé composé option.


I wrote " She awaits this moment." and a heart got taken from me :(. The dictionary, mentions that "to await" means "to wait for", however.


the problem is not with the choice of the verb but with the tense. In a contruction with "for a long time" or for + duration in general, you have to use the present perfect (continuous or not, depending on context).


I said "She awaited this moment ..." and I had a heart taken from me. So I think that the system is not recognizing awaited = waited.


I think you still need to refer to what Sitesurf said about the tense. "Elle attend ... depuis longtemps" is something that the subject of the sentence is in the process of doing right now, not something she has already done. So, to make a long story short, Duolingo took a heart from you because you used the word "awaited" instead of "awaiting" - you might try "she's been awaiting this moment..." and see if that works better for you.


The only difference between my answer and the Duolingo correct translation was that Duolingo used "waited" and I used "awaited". All other words were the same.


I hope you left a feedback, then.



She has been awaiting this moment is an unusual construction in English. Nothing wrong with it, just not common. If you report it they can add it to the library.

I can see a five hundred million lines of code program coming.


For a long time and since long time what is the difference


If you complain at a reception desk "I have been waiting since a long time" you will be understood but it will be clear that you are not a native English speaker. "I have been waiting for a long time" is correct. Alternatively "I have been waiting since 10 o'clock". "Since" always refers to an identified moment in the past.


please read above: "a long time" is a duration, not a date.


I translated this as 'she waits for this moment since long ago' which seems, to me, to be a more fluid way to express this in English. Is my translation wrong?


Yes. In English, we do not say "since a long time", it's always "FOR a long time." This is a very common mistake.


"elles attendent"? or have i missed something?


If it was "elles attendent" you would have heard the "s" in "elles", which you don't.




One of the correct answers it gave me is "She waits that moment for long." How does that sentence make any sense?


We're not yet holding at past-tense!! Aargghh


Not past tense (strictly), see Sitesurf comments above.


Why does this sentence not use the past tense or past perfect structure of the verb wait? i.e. waited, or has been waiting.


Why do they use 'depuis'? I don't get it.


Its a clue to the answer as I have learnt. The statement talks about something ongoing. So "depuis" is the key here to understand what Sitesurf mentioned with the construction of the French present tense to match the English present perfect (Sitesurf explains it well above). Or look at it this way, if the action was based in the past and has been completed, "pendant" would have been used, indicating also that the past tense verb for waiting should be used - "attendit". If it was a future action then "pour" could be used with "attendra" and so on. That's my understanding.


elle attend is present. she awaited is past. do not exist anything rule that change present to past.


You need to read the entire thread carefully. The French often use the present tense when making reference to the past - when this is translated into English anyway. I cannot speak for other languages. But the tense, in the English translation, changes through the use of the preposition "depuis". See here for more information - http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/depuis-pendant-pour.htm.


This was so confusing!!!! I had to agree with nat10sk2!


Why since long time is not correct?


"since" comes with a date to indicate when the action started: since last year, since 1821, since he got married...

With durations, you have to use "for": for a long time, for two weeks, for centuries...


How about "Elle attend ce moment depuis toujours" or "Elle attend ce moment pour longtemps"? Are those grammatically correct?


elle attend ce moment depuis toujours (correct) = she has always been waiting for this moment.

elle attend ce moment pour longtemps does not mean anything, I'm afraid:

  • elle attend ce moment depuis longtemps = she has been waiting for a long time (past to present)
  • elle est en prison pour longtemps = she is in jail for a long time (present to future)


Why is 'since' not accepted for 'depuis' today? I'm pretty sure 'since long ago' is a correct translation of 'depuis longtemps'... Annoyed


Longtemps is more "a long time" - see here. Depuis, alone, does mean "since", in the sense of an action beginning (and continues) within a specified date/time period: "... since 2014... 5pm".

"For" is used where the period referred to is unspecified. So here, "... a long time" is unspecific (but may still be continuing).

Long ago = Il y a longtemps


I heard "sa maman" :)


Why not since a long time ago?


Depuis can be since or for, depending on the context. In this case, "for" is the suitable translation because of "longtemps".


That is what I typedand you marked it wrong


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