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French Grammar Points

Bhupinder Bisht
09/12/2016 0 0

 

Depuis, pour, pendant, dans, en, ça fait… which one do I use?

DEPUIS = indicates the origin of an action/a situation that is still continuing at the moment or that was still going on at the time something else happened. If the action is still current, you can simply conjugate the verb in the sentence in the present tense. 
ExampleJe suis ici depuis 2001 = I’ve been here since 2001
ExampleElle était prête depuis 3 heures quand je suis allée la chercher = She had been ready for 3 hours when I went to fetch/pick her up.

PENDANT = indicates the duration of an action/situation. It is mostly used when speaking in the past tense about an action that is over, but can also be used in the present when expressing a generality.

ExampleJe suis restée en Angleterre pendant 5 jours = I stayed in England for 5 days.
ExampleJe fais du jogging tous les matins pendant 30 minutes = I jog every morning for 30 minutes.

POUR = is used to project how long a specific action/situation will last in the future. You can conjugate the verb in the present if you’re speaking about schedules/timetables.

ExampleJe reste en Angleterre pour 5 jours = I am staying in England for 5 days. 
Note: The French will also use pendant in this case; either one is acceptable.

DANS = indicates the start of a specific action/situation which will take place in the futureAgain, you may conjugate the sentence in the present when you’re speaking about timetables.

ExampleJe vais en Angleterre dans 5 jours = I am going to England in 5 days.

EN = indicates the amount of time it takes to complete an action.

ExampleJe fais mes devoirs en 1 heure = I do my homework in 1 hour.

IL Y A = an idiomatic expression meaning ‘ago’.

Example: Je suis venue en France il y a 5 ans = I came to France 5 years ago.

À = It is used to express the clock time at which an event occurs.

ExampleJ’ai rendez-vous à 10h = I have an appointment at 10 o’clock.

Note: We also use ça fait . . . que a lot to indicate ‘I’ve been.. or it’s been..’ !!

ExampleÇa fait 5 ans que je suis en France = I’ve been in France for 5 years.

Bon Courage!

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