1. ron2110 Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    English
    Hi everybody,

    I understand that when using the passé simple in French, the slight nuance between, say, "he has finished" and "he finished" is lost. That is, there is no difference between the two in French when using the passé simple.

    So how would one say "après avoir fini..." using the passé simple? Or is there no way of saying it without reverting to the passé composé?

    Thanks!
     
  2. itka Senior Member

    France
    français
    Mind !
    il a fini : passé composé "a little time ago, the action is connected with the present time" (only possibility when you speak)
    il finit : passé simple "a long time ago, the action has completely ended" (used when you write a story)
    après avoir fini : infinitif passé. That's something else like : having finished. Nothing to do with passé simple.
     
  3. david314

    david314 Senior Member

    Clayton, Missouri
    American English
    Itka, so what is the unique meaning of l'imparfait de l'indicatif, je finissais. Thank for your efforts.
     
  4. itka Senior Member

    France
    français
    Is it a question ? :) I'm afraid my english is too poor to understand everything !

    Anyway : L'imparfait is used to express an action in the past which has a duration or which is repeated. It is properly im - (not) perfect (finished)

    "Je finissais mon repas quand il est arrivé" / "je finissais mon repas quand il arriva"
    My meal was not finished : I was finishing it when...

    "Je prenais le bus tous les matins à huit heures. Un jour, il eut un accident..."
    Every morning, I was taking the bus, but one day...

    OK ?;)
     
  5. ron2110 Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    English
    Merci beaucoup itka!!! :)
     
  6. Fred_C

    Fred_C Senior Member

    France
    Français
    Hi. A very simple explanation :
    The "passé simple" is a tense that exists only in the indicative mood.
    "Après avoir fini" is in the infinitive mood. in this mood, there is only one past tense.
     

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