FR: je gagnais / j'ai gagné dix euros par heure - temps

Francophused

Senior Member
English-Ireland
The sentence is "J'ai travaillé dans un restaurant. Je gagnais dix euros par heure".
Can you use the imparfait here to say what you were earning over the summer, or does it sound like you are saying, "I used to earn ..." or does it sound like there should be an action interrupting the action of earning?
I crossed it out and put "j'ai gagné" because "j'ai travaillé" is in passé composé so it sounded strange to switch to imparfait in that sentence; then thought, but you are saying what you did every day over the summer, so it's a repeated action in the past, so imparfait should be ok?

and, if it is ok to use "je gagnais" here would you also have to change "j'ai travaillé" to "je travaillais". Then you have two actions happening at the same time so using imparfait is ok?
 
  • Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    Je gagnais dix euros de l'heure = I used to earn 10 euros an hour. (repeated action)
    J'ai gagné dix euros de l'heure = I earned 10 euros an hour. (one-off event)

    because "j'ai travaillé" is in passé composé so it sounded strange to switch to imparfait in that sentence
    It is not a problem per se to switch tenses within a sentence. It really depends on context.

    As to j'ai travaillé vs. je travaillais, both are possible depending on context.
     

    Francophused

    Senior Member
    English-Ireland
    Thank you.
    The context is talking about what you did this summer.
    The sentence was,"J'ai travaillé pendant les grandes vacances. Je gagnais dix euros par heure."
     

    olivier68

    Senior Member
    French Paris France
    "J'ai travaillé pendant les grandes vacances. Je gagnais dix euros par heure.":thumbsup::tick:

    [private@MeCapello : toujours ce même problème d'aspect dans la conjugaison…]
     

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    The context is talking about what you did this summer.
    The sentence was,"J'ai travaillé pendant les grandes vacances. Je gagnais dix euros par heure."
    We still need more context. :)

    Depending on the preceding and following sentences, the passé composé may be more appropriate than the imparfait or vice versa. Without further information, both tenses are equally acceptable.
     
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