depuis suggests using the present but what about when the sentence describes a condition?

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Ann

Kwiziq community member

15 October 2017

2 replies

depuis suggests using the present but what about when the sentence describes a condition?

La Dame en Noir hante (why not hantait?) cette maison depuis des siècles.

Ron

Kwiziq community member

16 October 2017

16/10/17

Bonjour Ann, If I can reword your question a bit. The following lesson applies to this regarding describing a condition https://french.kwiziq.com/my-languages/french/view/3858 Depuis could be used in a descriptive narrative along with l'imparfait as part of a descriptive narrative that paints a picture of an ongoing action. https://french.kwiziq.com/my-languages/french/view/440?rts=%252Fsearch%253Fs%253Dimparfait%2526kclfts%253DImparfait I hope this helps.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

16 October 2017

16/10/17

Bonjour Ann,

the times used in a sentence involving "depuis" are different in French than in English. In English you would say "The Lady in Black has been haunting this hause for centuries", and thereby stressing the fact that the haunting has started centuries ago and is still ongoing today. In French with "depuis" you emphasize that it is still ongoing today by using the present tense (there not being an equivalent of the continuous present perfect tense in English).

-- Chris (not a native speaker)

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