Infinitive past/present compared with passe compose

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Biochimiste, May 6, 2007.

  1. Biochimiste New Member

    Canada
    Passe compose
    infinitif present
    infinitif passe
    .
    J'ai voulu terminer avant midi.
    .... This sentence would be passe compose and it would translate as:
    .......... I wanted to finish by midday.
    Je veux avoir terminé avant midi.
    .... This sentence would be past infinitive and it is translated as:
    .......... I want to finish by noon.
    Je vex terminer avant midi.
    ..... This sentence would be present infinitve and would it translate as:
    .......... I want to finish by noon.
    .
    I am confused with the difference between present and past infinitive. Also would it be correct to translate the past infinitive (Je veux avoir terminé avant midi) as I wanted to finish by noon. From the translations i don't see how past infinitive relates to the past.
    Any help is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. CARNESECCHI Senior Member

    Auvergne
    French / France
    Hello,
    I would say :
    "J'ai voulu terminer avant midi" = I wanted to finish before noon"
    "Je veux avoir terminé avant midi" = "I want to have finished before noon"
    "Je veux terminer avant midi" = "I want to finish before noon"

    I think that "by" is "no later that" and that it's an instant later than "avant". Then I think that "J'ai voulu terminer avant midi" -> "I wanted to have finished by noon"
    Hope it helps!
     
  3. Biochimiste New Member

    Canada
    Merci!
    To make sure, infinitif passe is a past tense. Thus when one uses it in french it gives the sense of the past. What i was confused about is that when i see the english translations they are in the present tense.
     

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