The imparfait (continuous past) emphasises the progression or the regular repetition of an action in the past.
How to Conjugate Verbs in the Imparfait:
- The stem consists of the first-person plural (nous) form of the present tense without the – ons ending.
- Add the following endings to the stem:
1. – ais 1. – ions
2. – ais 2. – iez
3. – ait 3. – aient
- All of the singular and the third-person plural endings are pronounced the same way
1. Description of a situation in the past;
Ex. : Quand il était jeune, il habitait à Paris. – When he was young, he used to live in Paris.
2. Description of a person, a paysage;
Ex. : Elle avait des cheveux blonds. – She had blond hair.
3. Habitual action in the past.
Ex.: J’allais au cinéma tous les samedis. – I used to go to the movies every Saturday.