“We we’re driving...” Nous conduisions or Nous étions conduire? Merci!

Answered! Jump to accepted answer.

Anna

Kwiziq community member

28 July 2018

9 replies

“We we’re driving...” Nous conduisions or Nous étions conduire? Merci!

Were not we’re 

This question relates to:
French lesson "Conjugate regular verbs in L'Imparfait (imperfect tense)"

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

29 July 2018

29/07/18

It is -

Nous conduisions .

Anna

Kwiziq community member

29 July 2018

29/07/18

Merci, Cécile. Why not nous étions conduire?  This is a new level for me. I’ve re-read the related lessons but I’m still missing it. I feel like it’s staring me in the face but I’m not seeing it. Thanks in advance for helping me see my error. 

Chris

Kwiziq community member

29 July 2018

29/07/18

Nous étions conduire doesn't mean anything. It is a literal translation from English which simply has nomparallel in French. 

-- Chris. 

Chris

Kwiziq community member

29 July 2018

29/07/18

Nous étions conduire doesn't mean anything. It is a literal translation from English which simply has nomparallel in French. 

-- Chris. 

Anna

Kwiziq community member

29 July 2018

29/07/18

Mais no! :-) 

if it means nothing, then why does it show up in https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/grammar/conjugate-etre-in-l-imparfait-imperfect-tense?

Merci

Anna

Kwiziq community member

29 July 2018

29/07/18

By “it” I mean nous étions.  Why, grammatically, is it incorrect to use it in “ we were driving”? Isn’t one use of l’imparfait yo express continuing action in the past?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

31 July 2018

31/07/18

Nous étions -- We were.

Nous conduisons. -- We drive / we are driving. 

Nous conduisions. -- We were driving / we used to drive. 

Nous avions conduit -- We had driven / we had been driving. 

Nous avons conduit. -- We drove. 

Grammatically, you never use the infinitive (conduire) after an auxiliary verb (être) in a compound tense. 

Also, the English continuous form (-ing form) does not have a one-to-one correspondence in French. 

-- Chris. 

Anna

Kwiziq community member

31 July 2018

31/07/18

Thank you SO much.  That’s what I needed!

Anna

Kwiziq community member

31 July 2018

31/07/18

And also I just realized I was mistaken in using être as the auxiliary.  I was thinking of driving as a coming/going verb. Thank you again. 

Your answer

Login to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Think you've got all the answers?

Test your French to the CEFR standard

find your French level »
3390questions7096answers134,794users
Getting that for you now.