When do we use the imperfect tense?

The French imperfect tense is a past tense that indicates an ongoing state of being, or a repeated or incomplete action

The imperfect tense is used to describe things in the past:

  • quand j'étais en Australie, il faisait beau tout le temps - when I was in Australia, the weather was nice all the time
  • comment était ton voyage ? - how was your trip?
  • qu'est-ce que tu faisais pour aider à la maison ? - what did you do to help at home?
  • il y avait beaucoup de monde dans le restaurant - there were lots of people in the restaurant

The imperfect tense is also used to talk about things that used to happen regularly in the past:

  • quand j'étais petite, je jouais tous les jours - when I was little, I used to play every day
  • avant, je faisais du sport tous les matins - I used to do sport every morning