'Je vois encore son sourire quand je l'avais surprise.'
Would it also be correct to use the perfect tense: 'Je vois encore son sourire quand je l'ai surprise.'?
Freeform Writing Exercise B2
Hi Stewart and Chris,
I can confirm that the pluperfect is correct in French what I don't know is why you don't use it in English.
I have asked our English natives for their opinion but have had no answer yet...
This story is in the past and says :
... one day when she had gone into town, I snuck in and ...
You might use the perfect tense to say of a nearer past
Hope this helps!
The context seems to be of an enduring memory of a past event.
This is why I think that the imperfect of avoir is appropriate (as in pluperfect).
It is not a completed action which would cause the perfect to be appropriate.
This is my opinion for what it is worth.
Hope it helps.
The use of le plus-que-parfait sounds odd to my ears, given the main clause is in present tense. I wonder what Cécile has to say about this.
Thanks Chris, that's what I thought ... could you perhaps ask Cécile to comment on this as you wondered what her opinion was. Thanks Stewart.
The order of events is: [he surprises her] -> [she smiles] -> [he remembers now] so I can see how the pluperfect could be applicable.
I think the problem (in English) is the word "when", which implies simultaneity. You could say "I can still see her smile after I had surprised her."
Thank you Cécile, yes your answer certainly clarifies the situation.
I’m starting to build an opinion that in French the speaker (and therefore the tenses they use) remain in the same time reference frame throughout the sentence (e.g. “I will do the washing up when you will have finished the dusting”). But in English, the “when” changes the time reference frame (e.g. I will do the washing up when you have finished the dusting).
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