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"Was" or "waste"? Don't make the mistake anymore!

2022-12-06T06:21:07.530Z

We tend to confuse the past simple and the imperfect subjunctive. There is a simple way to tell them apart.



"She was surprised to see me seated like this"

,

"It was complicated to find the solution to this problem without prior explanation"

... The French conjugation is not without creating some difficulties for the who wishes to respect its good use.

The rule which consists in writing a verb conjugated with a circumflex accent, or not, is one of the most misunderstood of them.

To discover

  • Crosswords, arrow words, 7 Letters... Free to play anywhere, anytime with the Le Figaro Games app

And for good reason, the third person singular of the past simple (to talk about a past action interrupting a situation in progress) and of the subjunctive of the imperfect (to express an action not carried out in the past) are almost similar. when the verb is of the third group.

“Plaire”, for example, takes the form “pluit” in the past simple, and “plût” in the imperfect subjunctive.

Mnemonic device

“Hate of the imperfect subjunctive can only exist in the brain of an imbecile”

, said Léon Bloy.

If this tense is used more in literature than during a conversation between friends, let's prove to him that handling it correctly is child's play.

In fact, let's use the mnemonic device proposed by the Voltaire Project.

Namely, without accent = when one can say in the plural "had", "were", "pluck"... With accent = when one can say in the plural "had", "were", "plus".

Read alsoThese grammatical inconsistencies that must be avoided at all costs

In one case, an interrupted action is mentioned:

"When he had finished his work, he left"

(know if one can say

"when they had finished"

).

And in the other, a situation that could have taken place:

"If someone had tried to rob his brother, he would have defended him"

(know if one can say

"that they would have accused"

).

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2022-12-06

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