45 Days of French – Day 44

Hour 24 of Alpha Teach Yourself French in 24 Hours (ATYF) brings us the passé simple, a tense equivalent to the passé composé, but only used in writing. The chapter also deals with writing formal and informal notes/invitations, and then a ton of vocabulary for the arts.

The Passé Simple
Its always fun to see this sort of thing – variations between written speech and spoken speech. ATYF stresses that more emphasis should be placed on recognizing the forms than forming them, since it is more likely that they will be encountered in print than actually written by the learner. The use of the passé simple is apparently fairly wide in writing, from newspapers to legalese.

And the book also notes that though there are forms for all persons and numbers, the passé simple is most commonly seen in the third person (either singular or plural).

Formation of the Passé Simple
These endings are quite different from any of the other tense endings, so should be easy to pick out. To form, remove the infinitive endings and replace with the appropriate ending:

-er -ir -re
1PS -ai -is -is
2PS -as -is -is
3PS -a -it -it
1PP -âmes -îmes or -ûmes -îmes
2PP -âtes -îtes or -ûtes -îtes
3PP -èrent -irent or -urent -irent

Verbs with an Irregular Passé Simple
Below are the third person singular forms of irregular passé simple:

Infinitive 3PS Passé Simple
acquerir acquit
avoir eut
battre battit
boire but
conduire conduisit
courir courut
croire crut
devoir dut
dire dit
écrire écrivit
être fut
faire fit
falloir fallut
lire lut
mettre mit
mourir mourut
naître naquit
paraître parut
peindre peignit
plaire plut
pleuvoir plut
pouvoir put
prendre prit
recevoir reçut
rompre rompit
s’asseoir s’assit
savoir sut
suffire suffit
suivre suivit
vivre vécut
voir vit
vouloir voulut

Finishing Up
After some discussion about formatting invitations and the like, ATYF finishes up the lesson (and the book!) with some vocabulary for arts and literature, things like un poème “a poem”, un roman policier “a detective novel”, and sous-titré “subtitled”. That should give some scope; there is painting, drama, journalism, movie vocabulary and book genres,  just to name a few core areas withing the broader “arts and literature”.

That brings us to the end of ATYF! And, the end of the night for me. Bonsoir!

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About George

I'm interested in theology, languages, translation and various sorts of fermentation.
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One Response to 45 Days of French – Day 44

  1. Pingback: 45 Days of French | σφόδρα – exceedingly

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