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Je crains de vous aimer trop, I am afraid of loving you too

much. Loin d'être content,

Far from being pleased. Il finira par être attrapé, He will finish by being caught. Pour avoir réussi,

For having succeeded. Sans prendre congé,

Without taking leave. Je croyais l'avoir entendu, I thought to have heard him,

· 216. The present of the infinitive mood of the passive voice in English is frequently to be changed in French into the same mood and tense of the active voice; as, It is to be wished,

Il est à souhaiter.
That man is to be pitied, Cet homme est à plaindre.
That house is to be let,

Cette maison est à louer. 217. Note. The English participle past used in sentences like the following, The tyrant makes himself feared, The kind master makes himself beloved, is rendered in French by the infinitive mood : le tyran se fait craindre, le bon maître se fait aimer.

Active, or Present.

(ing.) J'ai vu mes sæurs allant à la I have seen my sisters going promenade,

out to walk. Nous verrons nos amis en We shall see our friends as we passant,

pass. Une femme obligeant tout le A woman obliging every one. monde,

Passive, or Past.

(ed.) La vertu est souvent opprimée, Virtue is often oppressed. Elle a reçu la lettre que vous She has received the letter that avez écrite,

you have written. Elle a écrit la lettre que vous She has written the letter that avez reçue,

you have received. Ayant écrit à son amie, Having written to her friend,

Future. Devant écrire ce matin, Having (or about) to write

this morning. * See the definition of the participle given hereafter, and also the rules on the participle in the Syntax.

Present tense.

am ——ing, or do

218. The present of the indicative denotes the action at the time itself in which it is done; as,

Je parle,

I speak.

219. NOTE. In English there are three forms of the indicative present and the imperfect, whilst in French there is but one: thus, JE DIS is equally used for I say, I am saying, I do say; and JE DISAIS, for I said, I was saying, I did say. (See note, page 113.)

220. NOTE. The present of the indicative is sometimes used instead of the future when speaking of actions which are to be done at a time proxi

mate or near; as,

We set off tomorrow.

Nous partons demain,

221. Idiomatic Present tense.

Je suis à parler,



(I -ed, was -.) 222. The imperfect is used to denote an action not concluded, or going on while another took place; as, Je pensais à vous quand vous êtes entré,

Je lisais quand il entra,

NOTE. The imperfect is called by many modern grammarians the simultaneous past, as it expresses an action simultaneous with some other.

Il étudiait beaucoup quand il était jeune,

I am speaking

Henri IV était un grand roi, et il aimait son peuple,

ing, or used to

223. It is used also to express an action habitual at a specified period; as,

I was thinking of you when you came in.

I was reading when he came in.

He studied (or used to study) much when he was young. Henry IV. was a great hing, and he loved his people.

224. After the conjunction si, if, the imperfect is used to denote a condition or supposition; as,

If I were to set off now.

Si je partais maintenant, S'il arrivait demain, Were he to arrive tomorrow. After the conjunction si, if, it may be said that the imperfect is used instead of the conditional.-BONIFACE. (555.)

225. The imperfect is also used to express the actions, inclinations, or qualifications;-the character, condition, or situ

ation of persons and things, at some particular time which is past, whether it be specified or not; as, Lorsque j'étais en pleine

When I was on the open sea, mer, et que je n'avais d'autre having no other aspect but the spectacle que le ciel et l'eau, je sky and the water, I sometimes m'amusuis quelquefois à des- amused myself in sketching the siner les beaux nuages, sem- majestic clouds, like groups of blables à des groupes de mon- mountains, which floated after tagnes, qui voguaient à la suite each other in the azure of les uns des autres, sur l'azur heaven. des cieux.-B. DE S. PIERRE. Je ne savais pas cela.

I did not know that.
Past definite, or Preterperfect.

(1 —ed.) 226. The past definite always represents the act as ilone or completed at a time specified, and entirely elapsed; as, Il leur écrivit hier au soir, He wrote to them last night. Je fis un voyage à Paris l'an- I made a journey to Paris last née dernière,

year. J'allai hier au spectacle, I went yesterday to the play Il le vit à Naples en 1789, He saw him at Naples in 1789.

The expression of time may be understood; as, Je sais qu'il leur écrivit, I know that he wrote to them.

The past definite, being principally used in narrating events which occurred at a time specified and entirely elapsed, may be called the historical

Past indefinite,




(I have ed.) 227. The past indefinite is invariably used when we express a thing as having taken place without specifying when, or which has happened at a time not entirely past, as this day, this week, this month, this year, etc.; as, Il a beaucoup voyagé,

He has travelled much. J'ai eu la fièvre cette année, ce I have had the fever this year,

printemps, ce mois-ci, cette this spring, this month, this semaine, aujourd'hui,

week, today. Je lui ai écrit ce matin, I wrote to him this morning.

228. It is frequently used to express what is about to take place; as, J'ai fini dans un moment,

I shall have finished in an

instant. 229. The definite and indefinite past tenses are often used indifferently in familiar conversation, especially in speaking of the common events of life, though the time may be specified and have entirely elapsed; as, je soupai or j'ai soupé hier au soir avec lui, I supped with him last night.

230. Note. The student must be careful to remember that if the time specified is not entirely elapsed, the past indefinite is to be used (227.); as, Je l'ai vu ce matin, I saw him this morning, and not je le vis, etc. Je lui ai parlé aujourd'hui, I spoke to him today, and not je lui parlai, etc.

The use of the past definite in the above and all similar examples would be ungrammatical.

Past anterior,


(I had ed.) 231. The past anterior is generally required after dès

que, aussitót que, (as soon as,) and quand (when), and is used in speaking of a thing which happened immediately before an event that is past; as, Quand j'eus reconnu mon er- When I was sensible of my

reur, je fus honteux des error, I was ashamed of my mauvais procédés que j'a- previous ill conduct towards vais eus pour lui,

him. 232. When the action anterior to another occurred at a time which may still be going on, for instance, this day, this week, etc., as in the past indefinite, we use the following for the past anterior: Quand j'ai eu ce matin appris When I had this morning

la nouvelle de votre nomi. learnt the news of your apnation, j'ai couru en faire pointment, I ran to tell our part à nos amis. (See note*, friends. page 114.)



(I had ed.) 233. The pluperfect tense is also generally required after dès que, aussitôt que, quand, etc., and is used in mentioning a thing habitual or repeated, but which happened at a period prior to an event that is past; as, Nous entrions dans sa chambre We used to go into his room

dès qu'il avait fini de s'ha- as soon as he had dressed biller,

himself J'avais déjeuné quand vous I had breakfasted when you vîntes me demander,

came to ask for me. The difference between the past anterior and the pluperfect is clearly marked in the following examples : Hier, quand nous eûmes pris Yesterday, when we had taken

le thé, nous allâmes au parc, tea, we went to the park. L'été passé, quand nous avions Last summer, when we had

pris le thé, nous allions or- taken tea, we generally went dinairement au parc,

to the park. 234. After the conjunction si, if, the pluperfect is used instead of the conditional past (224.); as, Şi vous aviez parlé plus tôt, If you had spoken sooner you

vous auriez obtenu cette would have obtained that place,


Idiomatic past tenses.

Past just elapsed.
Je viens de parler,

I have just spoken.
Je ne fais que de parler, I have only just spoken.

Past definite anterior.
Je venais d'écrire,

I had just written.
Je ne fesais que d'écrire, I had only just written.

Future absolute.

(-shall or will --) Nous irons à Vienne l'été pro- We shall go to Vienna next chain,

summer. 235. When shall and will imply determination, they are rendered by vouloir ; as, Je veux le faire,

I will do it.
Je veux que tu le fasses, Thou shalt do it.

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