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

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.


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


Q&A Forum 4 questions, 10 answers

FionaB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Hello Cécile, with this lesson on imparfait, I still do not understand. I am still struggling with this little phrase 'se'

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Fiona, 

If I have understood your question correctly the part you are struggling with is the extra pronoun 'se' which are pertinent to reflexive verbs ...

Take a look at the following lesson on reflexive verbs in the present tense -

https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/grammar/conjugate-reflexive-verb-se-lever-in-le-present-present-tense

This should show you how the additional 'se' figures with the following pronouns, il/elle/on/ils/elles .

Then you should be able to tackle reflexive verbs using the imperfect.

Hope this helps!

FionaB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Merci Cécile.

Hello Cécile, with this lesson on imparfait, I still do not understand. I am still struggling with this little phrase 'se'

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NigelA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

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?
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
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).
CécileKwiziq team member
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 .
NigelA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
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 !!
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
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 asked:View original

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?

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NigelA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

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"
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

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.

 

JimC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
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
Nigel asked:View original

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"

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DaveB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Tu te lavais ?

Tu te lavais ?.....can this also be read as "you used to wash yourself?"? Thanks in advance for any help.
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

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).

Tu te lavais ?

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

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