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Action Shots! Background vs Foreground : Imparfait vs Passé Composé

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Presentation on theme: "Action Shots! Background vs Foreground : Imparfait vs Passé Composé"— Presentation transcript:

1 Action Shots! Background vs Foreground : Imparfait vs Passé Composé

2 The passé composé is used in French to answer the question 'What happened?'. On the other hand, you will usually put a verb in the imparfait if it answers the question 'What was going on when something else happened?' Generally, the passé composé is used to relate events while the imparfait is used to describe what was going on in the past, states of being in the past, or past habits.

3 All this takes on special importance in narration of past actions, when both tenses often occur in the same story. Narrating a story entails both describing a setting (habitual actions, atmosphere, places and people) using the imparfait and recounting a plot or a series of events, actions, changes of feelings or thoughts using the passé composé.

4 Imparfait: usually implies ongoing actions in the past Time: –It was 2 oclock… Date: –…on a sunny Saturday in May. Weather: –It was beautiful out – a truly perfect spring day! Background actions: was …ing, were …ing –The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, the flowers were blooming, and love was most definitely in the air… Feelings/Emotions: –I was feeling happy, healthy, and good about life,… Habitual Actions: –On such days, I used to go for walks in the park…

5 The following adverbs are commonly associated with the imparfait:

6 Act 1, Scene 1: Setting the stage w/ lImparfait Cétait quoi la date? Quelle heure était-il? Quel temps fasait-il? Comment était lenvironnment? Quelle âge avait la personne? Comment se sentait la personne? Se passait-il autre chose dans larrière plan?

7 Act 1, Scene 1: Setting the stage w/ lImparfait What was the date? What time was it? What was the weather like? Describe the environment? How old was the person? How was the person feeling? Was there anything else going on in the background?

8 Révision: le temps hotchaud coldfroid coolfrais nice outbeau bad weathermauvais humidhumide heavylourd windydu vent sunnydu soleil foggydu brouillard cloudynuageux stormyorageux Il fait… ou: (Il) pleuvoir (Il) neiger

9 Imagine et décris la scène:

10 Act 1, Scene 2: The foreground w/ the PC An action on a specific date/point in time: –On that sunny Saturday, the 24 th of May, my life changed. Interrupting action: –As I was strolling through the park, a beautiful specimen ran right into me, knocking me both literally and figuratively on my butt. Repetition of events: –I got up, disoriented, but fell back down again 3 times. Sequence of events: –When I was finally able to stand, first I brushed myself off, then I straightened out my shirt, finally I got the nerve to approach her…

11 The following adverbs are commonly associated with each of the passé composé: S.I.R.S. interrupting action specific date/point in time sequence of events une fois, deux fois, 3 fois… once, twice, 3 times… repetition of events

12 Imagine et décris la scène: background & foreground

13 1. Which tense should I use? IMPARFAIT (ais, ais, ait, ions, iez, aient) 1. DESCRIPTIONS: -Time -Date -Weather -Feelings/emotions/conditions -physical 2. HABITS (used to/would…) 3. ONGOING actions (was/were …ing) 4. NON-SPECIFIC DATE RANGE PASSÉ (1) COMPOSÉ (2) Like its name, it has 2 parts PC = h.v. + p.p. 1. EVENTS moving the plot forward (It usually interrupts an ongoing action in the Imparfait) 2. SUCCESSION of events (1 st, then, after, finally…) 3. REPITITION of events (anytime you use fois) EXCEPT w/ Il était une fois… (once upon a time) 4. SPECIFIC DATE/POINT IN TIME settingsetting

14 If PASSÉ COMPOSÉ, then ask yourself: Is the verb I want to use a VANDERTRAMP or REFLEXIVE verb? If the answer is yes, select être as your helping verb. 1.Conjugate être in the PRESENT tense. 2.Turn the verb you want to conjugate into a past participle. -ER é -IR i -RE u 3.Make sure your p.p. agrees in gender and # with the subject. If the answer is no, select avoir as your helping verb. 1.Conjugate avoir in the PRESENT tense. 2.Turn the verb you want to conjugate into a past participle. -ER é -IR i -RE u 3. USUALLY dont worry about any agreements. Regular verbs only

15 A vous: In pairs, illustrate a scene and describe it, using both past tenses. The catch? You both interpret the scene very differently… Specs: Write at least 3 sentences each to describe the background (imparfait) and at least 7 sentences each to describe the foreground/developing events (passé composé).

16 Devoirs: Trouve 3 photos qui représentent tes vacances (vraies, de préférence, mais fausses, si nécéssaire) et décris-les en utilisant les temps du passé. Utilise un minimum de 5 phrases par photo (= 15 phrases, totale) Date limite: le lundi 14 janvier 2013.

17 Imperfect une fois, deux fois, 3 fois… once, twice, 3 times… Passé Composé

18 For more info, see: http://www.laits.utexas.edu/tex/pr/tap8.html


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