Which tense to use and when

All basic tenses with a description of when to use with a simple example to show the usage.

It's pretty basic, but I still get confused as to what the names actually mean (imperfect/pluperfect etc.), hopefully this will help you as much as it helps me! :)

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  • Created by: Georgia
  • Created on: 09-05-12 17:13
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French Tenses ­ What to use and when.
PRESENT
To say what often or usually happens, or is happening now.
e.g. Je parle avec mes amis. / Je parle avec mes amis le mecredi.
PERFECT (PASSÉ COMPOSSÉ)
To say what has happened, or happened once.
e.g. J'ai parlé avec mes amis.
IMPERFECT
To say what happened often or was happening. (I was _imperfect_ when perfect )
e.g. Je parlais avec mes amis tous les jours. / Je parlais avec mes amis, quand il a interrompu.
PLUPERFECT
To say what had happened.
e.g. J'avais parlé avec mes amis.
FUTURE
To say what will happen.
e.g. Je parlerai avec mes amis.
FUTURE PERFECT
To say what will have happened.
e.g. J'aurai parlé avec mes amis.
CONDITIONAL
To say what would happen.
e.g. Je parlerais avec mes amis.
CONDITIONAL PERFECT
To say what would have happened.
e.g. J'aurais parlé avec mes amis.

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