FR: I went swimming

grantja

Senior Member
English-USA
J'ai nagé. (I swam).

In English, we often say, I went swimming to describe the past tense... is this used... je suis allé nager?

I assume the first (j'ai nagé.) is the most accurate and used by the French?
 
  • lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Actually, the difference between "I swam" and "I went swimming" exists in French too. "J'ai nagé" means "I swam," so presumably there's some other information about you being near a body of water elsewhere in the sentence. But "J'suis allé nager" means "I went swimming," so I would assume that you went to a beach, a pool, etc. for the express purpose of swimming.
     

    Oddmania

    Senior Member
    French
    Hi,

    No, it's actually the same! If you say J'ai nagé, it sounds like I swam or I've swum. The person you're taking to would probably feel like replying When?? or So what?

    Je suis allé(e) nager is fine.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Nb. French actually follows the same "to go X'ing" pattern for all verbs. There are actions (hiking, dancing, running, biking) that we normally think of as happening not in the normal space where we're located, actions that we have to "go do." French has the same distinction for all these verbs.

    So, just as you would say "I was at the beach all day Sunday. It was awesome - I swam, I read my book, I got a great tan" in English, you would use "j'ai nagé" in that context in French.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Why not? The verb is "faire de la natation." "La semaine dernière à Hawaii, je faisais deux heures de natation par jour." But "faire de la natation" often has to do with sport practice, I believe.
     
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