par le passé / dans le passé

guyper

Senior Member
French Creole
"Tu l'as déjà fait par le passé"

Pourquoi a-il dit par le passé au lieu de dans le passé? C'est quoi la différence entre ces deux?

Merci à vous
 
  • lpfr

    Senior Member
    France, french
    I'm not sure, but when I hear "dans le passé" it means that it is something that is no more or that won't happen anymore.
    But if I hear "par le passé" it means that is something that can happen or be now or in the future.
     

    boterham

    Senior Member
    French, France
    There isn't any difference, really. They both mean in the past.
    Par le passé is maybe a bit more formal whereas dans le passé is more standard. But maybe it's just my own interpretation...
     

    boterham

    Senior Member
    French, France
    I'm not sure, but when I hear "dans le passé" it means that it is something that is no more or that won't happen anymore.
    But if I hear "par le passé" it means that is something that can happen or be now or in the future.
    Now that's interesting. I had never looked at it from that angle...
    Could you provide an example sentence?
     

    heidelbergerin

    Member
    Great Britain English
    Hmmm... this is indeed interesting... I have no idea.

    Although, I do have a sentence:

    "Par le passé, l'entreprise avait déjà initié differentes actions et suscité une vaste reflexion à ce sujet".

    "In the past, the company had already set up different activities and inspired considerable reflection about this subject matter".

    From lpfr's comment above, does this then suggest to the French readership that the company will continue to do this sort of thing?

    Does anyone know if there's a way I can construe this idea in the English properly?
     

    renaudr

    Senior Member
    France, french
    From lpfr's comment above, does this then suggest to the French readership that the company will continue to do this sort of thing?
    I don't think so myself. I don't see any difference apart from botheram's comment:
    Par le passé is maybe a bit more formal whereas dans le passé is more standard.
     

    lpfr

    Senior Member
    France, french
    Well, in this particular example, my "feelings" seem correct. I do feel that the company continues to do this sort of things.
    Moreover, "l'entreprise avait déjà initié différentes..." means that something happening now has been already been done (déjà initié) in the past.
     

    BlitheNess

    New Member
    Français-France
    Bonsoir,

    Sémantiquement les deux expressions se valent, la seule différence est que "par le passé" est généralement utilisée dans une proposition comparative:
    - Je mange plus que par le passé.
    - Dans le passé, je mangeais moins.
    Voir PASSÉ : Définition de PASSÉ :)
     
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