Em asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 8 years ago

"Il est etait" or "Il etait"?

Which one is correct if I'm meaning to say "he was"? Any help would be appreciated, thanks! :)

6 Answers

  • Rodica
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Best Answer

    Être - to be

    il est - present


    il était - imperfect

    il a été - passé composé

    For a correct translation you have to give the context.

  • Lou
    Lv 4
    8 years ago

    Three possible translations for "he was" : il était, il a été or il fut.

    Expressing a prolonged state: il était

    → he was sweet as a child, il était gentil quand il était petit

    Expressing a transitive state, a sudden change in being: il a été (more informal), il fut (more formal)

    → he was startled by the sound of the door, il a été surpris par le bruit de la porte, il fut surpris par le bruit de la porte.

    Il est était doesn't exist, though.

    Source(s): native French speaker
  • 8 years ago

    There is more than one past time form. "Il etait" is used for something that was true for a period of time (for example "the door was open"); don't confuse this time form with the passé composé, which is constructed with two parts (present+participle; look up the grammar) and is used in situations that are more like a point in time rather than a period of time (for example "he shut the door"). "Etait" is not the participle form. It might be helpful to look at the grammar explained with its functions as a time flow.

    There seems to be a thumbs-down-troll in this section...again.

  • 8 years ago

    il était - he was

    était = imparfait, to show something that has duration: he was handsome = il était beau (since he WAS handsome for a period of time, not just for 5 minutes)

    there's no such thing as "il est était"

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  • 8 years ago

    "il est était" is wrong; it's like if you said in English " he is was". The correct answer is "il était".

    il était parti = he was gone

    il était fatigué = he was tired

    il était malade = he was sick

    Source(s): native and fluent French speaker
  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    It's " il a été "

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