Infinitive past/present compared with passe compose

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Biochimiste, May 6, 2007.

  1. Biochimiste New Member

    Passe compose
    infinitif present
    infinitif passe
    J'ai voulu terminer avant midi.
    .... This sentence would be passe compose and it would translate as:
    .......... I wanted to finish by midday.
    Je veux avoir terminé avant midi.
    .... This sentence would be past infinitive and it is translated as:
    .......... I want to finish by noon.
    Je vex terminer avant midi.
    ..... This sentence would be present infinitve and would it translate as:
    .......... I want to finish by noon.
    I am confused with the difference between present and past infinitive. Also would it be correct to translate the past infinitive (Je veux avoir terminé avant midi) as I wanted to finish by noon. From the translations i don't see how past infinitive relates to the past.
    Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. CARNESECCHI Senior Member

    French / France
    I would say :
    "J'ai voulu terminer avant midi" = I wanted to finish before noon"
    "Je veux avoir terminé avant midi" = "I want to have finished before noon"
    "Je veux terminer avant midi" = "I want to finish before noon"

    I think that "by" is "no later that" and that it's an instant later than "avant". Then I think that "J'ai voulu terminer avant midi" -> "I wanted to have finished by noon"
    Hope it helps!
  3. Biochimiste New Member

    To make sure, infinitif passe is a past tense. Thus when one uses it in french it gives the sense of the past. What i was confused about is that when i see the english translations they are in the present tense.

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