FR: Je t'avais dit qu'il pleuvrait

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by jioisr, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. jioisr Senior Member


    If we say- Je t'ai dit qu'il pleuvrait- instead of Je t'avais dit qu'il pleuvrait- I told you there will be a rain and now it is raining, the meaning is the same ?

    Both tenses are interchangeables here ?

    Merci d'avance
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  2. geostan

    geostan Senior Member

    English Canada
    Not interchangeable, but possible. The choice of the initial tense would depend on the time context.


    [Yesterday] Je t'ai dit qu'il pleuvrait.
    [It was raining yesterday. Two weeks earlier] Je t'avais dit qu'il pleuvrait.

    This isn't exactly the same as your example because you are stating that the rain is falling as we speak.

    I cannot think of a good example now, but the principle is the same. I could have told you at some earlier time that it would rain, and it is now raining.
    The bottom line is that the tenses are not interchangeable.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  3. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    To my ear, the passé composé is a simple statement of fact: I said it would rain. I told you it would rain.
    You could just as well have said "The sky is blue," or "The car is in the garage." The passé composé merely reports what you said.

    But the point isn't to report what you said; it's to insist on the present relevance of what you said (in this case, the fact that your prediction was correct). The plus-que-parfait achieves this better than the passé composé because it highlights the anteriority of your statement compared to the present in a way that the passé composé does not.

    Are the tenses totally interchangeable in this context? I would say no, not if you want to convey the nuance of "I told you so!"

    From Wikipedia:
  4. jioisr Senior Member

    - On va faire une promenade.
    Daughter :-Il va pleuvoir.
    -M: Il ne va pas pleuvoir.
    M: Ouvrez la porte !C'est délicieux!
    Allez viens, ne traîne pas.
    - Quelle félicité supplante ceci?
    -D: Je t'avais dit qu'il pleuvrait.
  5. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    Well from that dialogue, I would say that it is not currently raining.

    However, the pluperfect still serves to insist more heavily than the p.c. would on the daughter's reason for refusing to go out. The point of her statement is not to report the words she previously spoke, but to insist on her motivations...
  6. Oddmania

    Oddmania Senior Member


    I didn't understand the dialogue, it's curiously written... But anyway, I agree with both Geostan and Jann :thumbsup: The Plus-Que-Parfait suggests that the anteriority is stronger in comparison to the Passé Composé. If you want to stress the fact that you've showed great foresight, I suggest you use the Plus-Que-Parfait. The Passé Composé sounds much more neutral.

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