Passé simple

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Passé simple

Mesaj  Admin Bir Salı Mart 24, 2009 9:51 pm

Passé simple
French Simple Past
The passé simple (simple past or preterite) is the literary equivalent of the passé composé, which means that it is used only in formal writing (e.g., historical and literary writing) and very formal speech. In such writing and speech, the passé simple is used alongside l'imparfait, just as in everyday speech/writing, the passé composé and imparfait are used together.

You will probably never need to actually use the passé simple, but it is important and easy to recognize it. (My high school French teacher told me that if a verb looked weird, it was probably in the passé simple. :-)

The passé simple of -ER verbs is formed by dropping the -er and adding the passé simple endings:

Singular Plural
1st person je -ai nous -âmes
2nd person tu -as vous -âtes
3rd person il -a ils -èrent

Thus to conjugate parler, you would remove the -er to find the radical parl- and then add the appropriate endings:

PARLER Singular Plural
1st person je parlai nous parlâmes
2nd person tu parlas vous parlâtes
3rd person il parla ils parlèrent

All -er verbs (including aller) are conjugated according to this pattern, except for irregularities in verbs that end in -ger and -cer:

je mangeai nous mangeâmes je lançai nous lançâmes
tu mangeas vous mangeâtes tu lanças vous lançâtes
il mangea ils mangèrent il lança ils lancèrent

Because a g or a c followed by an a would make a hard g or c sound (like in gave or cave), an e has to be added after the g and the c has to change to a ç in the imparfait du subjonctif to keep the g soft (like in gel) and the c soft (as in cell). These are known as spelling-change verbs.

Regular -IR and -RE verbs have the following endings:

Singular Plural
1st person je -is nous -îmes
2nd person tu -is vous -îtes
3rd person il -it ils -irent

Remove the -ir or -re and add the passé simple endings to get:

je finis nous finîmes je rendis nous rendîmes
tu finis vous finîtes tu rendis vous rendîtes
il finit ils finirent il rendit ils rendirent

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