French to English autrefois

Dictionary entry: autrefois

rosace17

Member
English - USA
Rather than using a time marker, the modal verb phrase "used to (verb)" can often work in the place of 'autrefois', and may sound more natural than "in the past", or "once".
 
  • DrD

    Senior Member
    Dictionary Editor
    England English
    Hello,

    Thank you for your message, but as autrefois is often used with the imperfect tense, which itself is often translated with 'used to', I think you may be advocating not including it in the translation at all. I don't necessarily think you are wrong, but I think that's a case-by-case translation decision rather than a good dictionary translation for the word itself. In most cases, I think there is some version of 'once' or 'in the past' that can work (but I also think we'd often used them at a different point in the sentence. I've made some changes to the sentence translations to make them sound more natural. You'll see those changes next time the dictionary is updated).
     
    Top