Robert M. Terry (Ph.D., Duke University) is Associate Professor of French at the University of Richmond, Virginia.
Concepts of Pastness: The Passé composé and the Imperfect1
Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
© 1981 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Foreign Language Annals
Volume 14, Issue 2, pages 105–110, April 1981
How to Cite
Terry, R. M. (1981), Concepts of Pastness: The Passé composé and the Imperfect. Foreign Language Annals, 14: 105–110. doi: 10.1111/j.1944-9720.1981.tb01619.x
- Issue published online: 31 DEC 2008
- Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
ABSTRACT From the teacher's point of view, teaching the uses of the passé composé and imperfect tenses has been a frustrating experience. We have been relying on target-language equivalents of English past tenses rather than stressing the concepts and implications of pastness inherent in these two French verb tenses. In this article, translation is not used and English equivalents are purposefully avoided. Meaning is stressed and time elements are conceptualized. Examples of effective teaching and testing devices, gathered from several sources, are offered.