Conjugate reflexive verbs in L'Imparfait (imperfect tense)

Look at these reflexive verbs in Imparfait:

Je me levais à 6 heures tous les matins.
I got up at 6 every morning.

Tu te lavais?
Were you having a wash?

Elle s'amusait avec lui.
She used to have fun with him.

Nous nous habillions à 6 heures et demie.
We dressed up at half past 6.

Ils se couchaient avant 10 heures.
They used to go to bed before 10.

Vous vous réveilliez à 5 heures?
Did you use to wake up at 5?

To form Imparfait with reflexive verbs, it is exactly as in Présent indicatif but with the verb endings of Imparfait : (-ais/-ais/-ait/-ions/-iez/-aient)

Note: For verbs beginning with a vowel (amuser) or a silent 'h' (habiller)me/te/se become m'/t'/s'

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Elle s'amusait avec lui.
She used to have fun with him.


Je me levais à 6 heures tous les matins.
I got up at 6 every morning.


Tu te lavais?
Were you having a wash?


Vous vous réveilliez à 5 heures?
Did you use to wake up at 5?


Ils se couchaient avant 10 heures.
They used to go to bed before 10.


Nous nous habillions à 6 heures et demie.
We dressed up at half past 6.


Q&A

Nigel

Kwiziq community member

17 January 2018

4 replies

Vous vous réveilliez à 5 heures? Did you use to wake up at 5?

Is "Vous vous réveilliez à 5 heures?" more conversational (given that it relies on inflection and punctuation) than "Vous reveilliez vous a 5 heures?" Is the latter still correct, if so, when would you use it rather than the former?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

17 January 2018

17/01/18

French adhers to a pretty strict word order. That said, I don't believe you can say, "Vous réveilliez vous...". It is always "Vous vous réveilliez..."

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

18 January 2018

18/01/18

Both are correct Nigel but in general the French find the inversion more formal and don't use it as much in spoken French...hope this helps .

Nigel

Kwiziq community member

18 January 2018

18/01/18

Cecile,
OK, many thanks!!

Does your response apply to simpler verb constructions as well, or primarily only the reflexive constructions?

For example, is "Allez vous au cinema ce soir?" less likely to be heard than "Vous allez au cinema ce soir?"

When might you choose to use/write the inversion rather than the direct form?
Is there a lesson on the topic?

Many thanks !!

Chris

Kwiziq community member

23 January 2018

23/01/18

Question to Cécile? Would the inverted form need a hyphen between the werb and the personal pronoun? As in:

Vous réveillez-vous à 6 heures.

Or is the hyphen only used in commands and questions?

-- Chris.

Nigel

Kwiziq community member

17 January 2018

2 replies

Nous nous habillions

Nous nous habillions à 6 heures et demie. We dressed up at half past 6. In English "dressing up" is closer to se costumer or se deguiser, I think. S'habiller is closer to "dressing"

Jim

Kwiziq community member

29 January 2018

29/01/18

As I understand it habiller means "to dress in" or "to dress up".
S'habiller means to get dressed in the sense of putting one's clothes on.
So to take your text "Nous nous habillions ......" this means to dress one's self not to dress up.
Have I understood your query correctly?
Hope this helps
Alan

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

15 April 2018

15/04/18

Hi Nigel,


I would have translated,


Nous nous habillions à...


by


We got dressed at... 


and indeed to dress up is se déguiser.


Will let Kwiziq know.


 

dave

Kwiziq community member

21 December 2017

2 replies

Tu te lavais ?

Tu te lavais ?.....can this also be read as "you used to wash yourself?"? Thanks in advance for any help.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

21 December 2017

21/12/17

Depending on context, yes. It could also mean "you were washing yourself". Using the imparfait in French can be a bit tricky because the temporal structure in the English language is somewhat different. I found the corresponding lessons quite helpful.


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

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