le Passé Simple

Le Passé Simple in French:

This lesson will help you identify the Passé Simple tense!
The goal of this lesson is not to teach you this tense as the passé simple is rarely used in speaking French, we prefer to use the passé composé instead.

Here is the video: Video

How to form the Passé Simple:

1- Verbs with -er endings: Aller (to go)

J’allai
Tu allas
Il, elle, on alla
Nous allâmes
Vous allâtes
Ils, elles allèrent

2- Verbs in -ir/-re

Finir: je finis, tu finis, il finit, nous finîmes, vous finîtes, ils finirent (the first 3 forms are the same at present tense)

Courir: je courus, tu courus, il courut, nous courûmes, vous courûtes, ils coururent

Use a conjugator online: Conjugator

3- Verbs “venir” and “tenir”

Je vins, tu vins, il vint, nous vînmes, vous vîntes, ils vinrent

Je tins, tu tins, il tint, nous tînmes, vous tîntes, ils tinrent

4- Verbs with irregular stems: être

Je fus, tu fus, il fut, nous fûmes, vous fûtes, ils furent

This verb can be learnt as we use it in an expression that it is not rare to hear in French:

Ce fut un honneur: it was an honor

Of course, you can use the passé composé instead and say: “ça a été un honneur”

And that’s all you need to know about this tense!

Pascal Dherve

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Pascal Dherve

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