L’Imparfait

The Passé Composé is used to list things that happened in the past.
The Imparfait is used to describe
what was happening or
what used to happen.

Very often the Passé composé event is contained inside the Imparfait e.g. I was waiting for the bus when I saw Paul.
Was waiting J’attendais (notice it’s one word in French)
Saw J’ai vu (notice it’s two words in French)

Imparfait -------- J’attendais Passé composé ------ J’ai vu

1. How to form the Imparfait
2. Take the Nous part of the Present
3. Take off the Nous and the ending
4. Put the remainder in front of the following:

AIS     IONS
AIS     IEZ
AIT     AIENT
E.g. nous regardons
Je regardais         Nous regardions
Tu regardais         Vous regardiez
Il/Elle regardait         Ils/Elles regardaient

This tense is really for describing what things were like when you were on holidays etc. or telling what you used to do when you were younger.

Try the following:

a. I was watching the television ………………………………………
b. I used to visit my aunt. ………………………………………
c. I was doing my homework ………………………………………
d. We were eating ………………………………………
e. There was a swimming pool there. ………………………………………
f. We were swimming ……………………………………….
g. We were afraid (avoir peur) ……………………………………….
h. I used to work during the summer. ……………………………………….
i. When I was ten years old.. ……………………………………….
j. I used to live in Cork. .

P.S. ÊTRE is an exception . I was tired –J’étais fatigué