What is the difference between Imparfait and Passe Compose? - ProProfs Discuss
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What is the difference between Imparfait and Passe Compose?

Asked by S. Barnes, Last updated: Sep 08, 2020

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Robert Hazlewood

Robert Hazlewood

Here to relax my mind a bit

Robert Hazlewood
Robert Hazlewood, Senior Executive, MBA, Louisville

Answered Jul 29, 2019

The French word imparfait is the imperfect English tense, and passe compose present perfect tense in English. Imparfait speaks to past situations, and passe compose speaks of specific circumstances. More to the point, imparfait can set the stage for a situation expressed with passe compose.

Imparfait can also lay the groundwork for a condition expressed with passe compose. Imparfait is used for ongoing action. Passe compose used for some events that started and ended in the past time. Imparfait is also used for repeated or habitual actions.

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