Kezia Abigail
Community Tutor
What is the difference between "j'ai été" and "j'étais" ? Bonjour! What is the difference between "j'ai été" and "j'etais" ? Since they both mean "I was".
Oct 28, 2019 1:12 PM
Answers · 8
Let's compare these two sentences : - J'ai été professeur à l'université. (1) ==> It uses the "passé composé" tense. - J'étais professeur à l'université. (2) ==> It uses the "imparfait" tense. In the sentence (1), it means you were a professor and you insist on the fact it has already finished. Now you have another occupation. So it is just a fact in the past. This is one of the use of the "passé composé" tense. However, in the sentence (2), you highlight it was something that is lasting in the past. You could have been a teacher for 3 years for instance. This justifies the use of the "imparfait" tense. I hope it is useful. Florent Italki profile : https://www.italki.com/teacher/5360476
October 28, 2019
Deux temps différents. J'ai été au souk veut dire : "Je suis allé au souk". Passé composé, action passée maintenant achevée. J'étais au souk. Je me trouvais dans ce lieu, je n'étais pas ailleurs. Imparfait, action passée qui durait, sans que l'on parle de son achèvement, de sa fin.
November 3, 2019
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Kezia Abigail
Language Skills
English, Indonesian, Javanese, Spanish
Learning Language
English, Spanish