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Usage of Past Historic
The past historic indicates an action completed in
the past, like the passé composé
It is rarely used in spoken French, except
occasionally in formal speeches
It is often used by journalists in accounts of car
crashes etc for dramatic effect
The tu and vous forms of past historic are very rare
This is expected as when direct communication is used, it
would be in the passé compos…read more

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Past Historic vs Passé Composé
The difference between past historic & passé
composé is not meaning, but register
If both are used in the same text, the past historic
will refer to something completed in the past with no
present relevance, whereas the effect of the event in
passé composé would still be felt
The past historic is used in narration in novels,
stories and high end newspapers, whereas the passé
composé is less literary…read more

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Formation of the Past Historic
Past historic is formed using the stem of the verb + a
past historic ending, of which there are 3 types:
A endings. Applied to verbs ending in ­er
· Je cherchai, tu cherchas, il chercha, nous cherchâmes, vous
cherchâtes, ils cherchèrent
I endings. Applied to verbs ending in ­ir/ire/dre/tre
· Je pris, tu pris, il prit, nous prîmes, vous prîtes, ils prirent
· However there are some exceptions to this, notable tenir and venir
U endings. Applied to some irregular verbs, usually those
whose past participle ends in `u'
· Je pus, tu pus, il put, nous pûmes, vous pûtes, ils purent…read more

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Common irregular verbs in past historic
Je fus, tu fus, il fut, nous fûmes, vous fûtes, ils furent
J'eus, tu eus, il eut, nous eûmes, vous eûtes, ils eurent
Venir (& tenir ­ but with a T):
Je vins, tu vins, il vint, nous vînmes, vous vîntes, ils vinrent…read more


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