1. Petrie787 Senior Member

    English, United States
    Hi all,
    I was wondering about the usage of "s'appeler" in this instance. I am telling a story about a road trip I took last year with some friends (for my french class) and before the action begins, I am describing my friends and their characteristics. So my question is, do I use l'imparfait for their names as well, since it is a description of a past event, as in...

    "Elle s'appelait Stephanie. Elle était petite, mince et très belle... etc."
     
  2. pieralexc Junior Member

    Luxembourg
    France / French
    U can use both present and imparfait for decribing people . I would prefer present for describing a such beautiful girl! but if the whole text take part in the past u must use imparfait....
     
  3. Petrie787 Senior Member

    English, United States
    ok thank you! yes we are learning to distinguish the passe compose from the imparfait so the present would not work for this.
     
  4. Kaioxygen

    Kaioxygen Senior Member

    England
    England, English
    It's the same as English, you wouldn't say I met a girl who is tall for instance would you?
     
  5. Petrie787 Senior Member

    English, United States
    No, but I would say, "My friend is tall" even if I was describing her in a story in the past.. which is where the confusion can come in. In that case, to say "My friend was tall" would give something the idea that maybe she is dead.
     
  6. Kaioxygen

    Kaioxygen Senior Member

    England
    England, English
    Of course not, but it's the same in French as well.
     
  7. Stefan Ivanovich Senior Member

    Paris, France
    French
    What I would say, for what it is worth

    Mon amie s'appelle [présent]Stéphanie, elle est [présent] grande, mince et très belle. L'an dernier, nous avons décidé [passé composé] de faire un voyage ensemble. Nous avions [imparfait] hâte de partir. Quand nous sommes arrivés [passé composé] à destination, le temps était [imparfait] au beau fixe.

    ... or ...

    L'an dernier, j'ai rencontré[passé composé]Stéphanie; elle était [présent] grande, mince et très belle. Nous nous sommes plu [passé composé], et nous avons décidé [passé composé] de faire ...
     

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