FR: she had been walking for an hour - temps


English - Canada

I am currently attempting to translate the following sentence:

She had been walking for an hour when the storm hit.

The clause "She had been walking" employs the past perfect continuous tense.

My question is, what is the most appropriate way to translate this tense?

I've noticed that machine translators prefer the use of the imparfait ("Elle marchait depuis une heure quand....").

Can the plus-que-parfait be employed instead?
  • oieblanche

    Senior Member
    English - American
    If you need an answer quickly, I'd said that I believe that either works and the plus-que-parfait might be slightly more elegant, but you probably want to wait for the native speakers to chime in.

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    I'm afraid the plus-que-parfait does not work here. That tense would indeed correspond to the English pluperfect (she had walked), which is not quite the same as the past perfect continuous.

    You should definitely use the imparfait:

    Elle marchait depuis une heure quand l'orage éclata.
    Cela faisait une heure qu'elle marchait quand l'orage éclata.


    Senior Member
    French - France, ♀
    Le plus-que-parfait convient pour exprimer un action révolue dans le passé.
    Elle avait parcouru six kilomètres lorsque...
    She had walked 6 kilometers (so far) when...