1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

FR: Je faisais la queue

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by Music22, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. Music22 Senior Member

    English
    Hello, I have seen this example of the imperfect
    Je faisais la queue parce que j'avais besoin de billets.

    I have been told that the imperfect presents actions as "ongoing, continuous, incomplete"... however, I wouldn't have thought that standing in a que was incomplete because you're obviously not standing in the queue any more, and it's not ongoing because you're not standing there anymore?

    I'm having real trouble grasping this idea!
    Any help would be really appreciated.. thanks
     
  2. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    It is difficult to give you a definite answer because you didn't provide any context. Anyway, the sentence you mention is likely an explanation of the circumstances of some other event, which would be told in the passé simple or passé composé.
     
  3. Music22 Senior Member

    English
    Thank you for your response, I understand more clearly now
     
  4. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Note that in that example the imparfait would be translated using a past continuous in English (which also describes the circumstances of some event): I was queuing because I needed tickets.
     
  5. chiapas249 Junior Member

    persian
    hello

    This sentence that you mentioned it would be apart of a complete sentence

    like
    je lui ai dit "je fais la queue parce que j'ai besoin de billets"
    Je lui ai dit que je faisais la queue parce que j'avais besoin de billets

    like in English direct speech and indirect speech

    I said "I stay in queue because I need some tickets" [direct speech]
    I said that I stayed in queue because I needed some tickets [indirect speech]

    on the other hand ,staying in a queue is a continuos and ongoing task
     

Share This Page