FR: pendant que / quand

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by Burin' Urine, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. Burin' Urine New Member

    I have questions regarding the difference between "Pendant que.." and "Quand"
    I know they both mean "when." But I've heard that the verb in clauses beginning with "Pendant que" must be imparfait while the verbs in the clauses following "Quand" can not be imparfait, but can be other tenses.

    I need some clarification and explanations, please. Thank you.
  2. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    Hey there - this thread might help you.

    In terms of English, think of "pendant que" as "while" and "pendant" as "during" or "all through."
  3. Krimifan New Member

    Los Angeles
    German - Germany
    After checking some examples, I think that pendant que is in fact only used before an imparfait (ongoing action) in the same clause, while the main clause can show imparfait for ongoing (parallel) actions and repeated actions, or passé composé for one-time completed actions, as for example in the German Klett Grammar of French (Klein-Kleineidam 1993 , reprinted 1989), p. 267 §386:
    Pendant que nous marchions, Alceste regardait derrière lui.
    Pendant que nous marchions, il m'est venu une drôle d'idée.

    The conjunction quand is flexible for the past tenses, for example according to Discovering French Nouveau 3, p. 131:
    J'ai téléphoné (completed) quand tu regardais la télé (ongoing). AND:
    Je téléphonais (ongoing) quand tu es parti (completed).

    The German Klett Grammar of French (Klein-Kleineidam 1993 , reprinted 1989), p. 267 §386 also offers one quand clause with an imparfait, but here in the sense of repeated/habitual action in the past:
    Quand/Lorsque Alceste venait, ma mère se fâchait. SAME AS:
    Chaque fois qu'Alceste venait, ma mère se fâchait.

    ... and similarly in §390 on p. 391; well, it is a plus-que-parfait, but I am sure an imparfait variation would work here, too:
    Quand il avait déjeuné, il faisait la sieste. (Whenever...)
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2015

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