Setting the scene

We use the IMPERFECT tense when describing what was going on in a scene or to describe what their was. When describing a scene you would typically use the following:

Il y avait - there was / there were

On voyait - we saw

J'entendais - I heard

 + any other verbs you may wish to use.

Remember that as soon as you begin to narrate specific events you will need to use the PERFECT tense. So setting the scene = IMPERFECT specific actions = PERFECT.

Look at the picture below of a lake in the Creuse region of France and use the imperfect tense to do the translation tasks:

Before you start, here are some verbs you will need to put into the imperfect:

And here is some other vocabulary:

avoir alone and for when putting il y a into the imperfect




briller                   (to shine)



pique-niquer         (to picnic)



se sentir  bien       (to feel good)

la planche à voile - windsurfing

quelqu'un            - somebody

l'eau                   - water

le ciel                 - the sky

les oiseaux          - the birds

faire du vent        - to be windy

la bière               - beer

des nuages          - clouds

Left one too hard? Then try the fill in the blanks version on the right:

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