Kwiziq community member
21 February 2016
'Ils ont été'
In the example above this example seems a little misleading. Stated by itself, it seems as though it would be imparfait because it sounds to me that it could be describing a state of being in the past. Correct? In order to be passé composé wouldn't it have to describe an action with a clear ending? (after he canceled on them they were disappointed) ?
This question relates to:French lesson "Conjugate être (+ avoir) in Le Passé Composé (conversational past)"
Kwiziq language super star
The passé composé is also used when an action has a clear beginning. It's hard to make this distinction clear with "to be disappointed," so I'm going to use "to be sick" to show the difference:
J'étais malade = I was sick (for an unspecified period of time)
J'été malade = I got sick (e.g., after eating some bad seafood)
So in the case of déçu, you need the imperfect when their disappointment is ongoing without a beginning *or* an ending, but the passé composé when they suddenly "got" disappointed because he cancelled on them.
Does that help?
22 January 2017
Login to submit your answer
Don't have an account yet? Join today
Test your French to the CEFR standard