French imperfect tense

Explanation of imperfect tense in french

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The imperfect tense
When to use it: To describe what was happening or what used to happen at an imprecise time
in the past.
How to form it:
1) The starting point is to know the nous form of present tense verbs. e.g:
nous regardons, nous finissons , nous mangeons.
2) Remove the -ons from the nous form, so that you are left with a stem:
regard..., finiss..., lis..., mange....
3) Add the following endings to all imperfect verbs. e.g. je regardais:
Je ais
tu ais
Il/elle/on ait
nous ions
vous iez
Ils/elles aient
Exceptions : The verb etre ( to be) ­ the stem is already given (et).
E.g etais, etait
Here are two expressions using imperfect verbs that are really useful:
c`était - it was
il y avait - there was / there were


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