Past vs Imperfect Tense

How do I decide when to use the past and when to use the imperfect tense?!

Read in your textbook, Chapter 3, and do any of the practice exercises below.

About.com has a good explanation, uses of each, and a practice exercise for comprehension here.


Review from www.betterlearnfrench.com:

To review the past tense, read about the passé composé with avoir, and the passé composé with être.
To review the formation and more info on the imperfect, read about l’imparfait here.    

This chart contains examples of words/phrases that give you cues as to which tense will be used.
Adverbs used with the imperfect                    Adverbs used with the past tense

                         
tous les jours, tous les matins …

every day, every morning
un jour, un matin, un soir …
one day, one morning, one evening
 chaque jour, chaque matin, chaque mois ...
each day, each morning, each month
  soudain, brusquement, brutalement …
suddenly, abruptly, brusquely
 en général, généralement, d’habitude… 
in general, usually 
  tout d’un coup, tout à coup …
all of a sudden, suddenly
 autrefois, à l’époque … 
in the past, long ago, at the time  
 tout de suite, immédiatement …
 right away, immediately
 toujours, souvent …                  
always, often 
  d’abord, enfin …
first of all, finally
 rarement …
rarely
  puis, ensuite …
then, next

As always, if you have any further questions, feel free to call or email your teacher.

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