Introduction to the verb aberrer
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The English translation of the French verb aberrer is “to stray” or “to deviate.” It is pronounced as “ah-beh-ray.”
The word aberrer comes from the Latin word aberrare, meaning “to wander away.” In everyday French, it is commonly used in the imparfait tense to describe an action that was ongoing or repeated in the past.
Three examples of its usage in the imparfait tense with their English translations are:
- J’aberrais souvent dans les rues de Paris. (I used to stray often in the streets of Paris.)
- Tu aberrais de ta route et tu finissais toujours par te perdre. (You would deviate from your route and always end up getting lost.)
- Les enfants aberraient de leur chemin habituel pour explorer la forêt. (The children would stray from their usual path to explore the forest.)
Table of the Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of aberrer
|J’aberrais de la norme.
|I was deviating from the norm.
|Tu aberrais souvent.
|You used to deviate often.
|Il aberrait devant le miroir.
|He was aberrating in front of the mirror.
|Elle aberrait de ses habitudes.
|She was deviating from her habits.
|On aberrait parfois.
|We were sometimes deviating.
|Nous aberrions du sujet.
|We were deviating from the subject.
|Vous aberriez ensemble.
|You were deviating together.
|Ils aberraient de leurs devoirs.
|They were deviating from their duties.
|Elles aberraient de leur éducation.
|They were deviating from their education.
Other Conjugations for Aberrer.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb aberrer
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb aberrer (this article)
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb aberrer
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb aberrer
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb aberrer
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb aberrer
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb aberrer
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb aberrer
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb aberrer
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb aberrer
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb aberrer
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb aberrer
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb aberrer
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb aberrer
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb aberrer
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb aberrer
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb aberrer
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Aberrer – About the French Imparfait Tense
The French imparfait tense, often called the imperfect tense
in English, is used to describe actions or states in the past.
It’s primarily used to provide background information, set the scene, or describe habitual or ongoing actions in the past.
NOTE: To take a deep dive into all the French tenses then see our article on Mastering French Tense Conjugation.
Formation of the Imparfait Tense
To form the imparfait tense in French, you typically take the present tense nous form of the verb, drop the -ons ending, and add specific endings based on the verb group (regular -er, -ir, -re verbs) or use irregular forms for certain verbs.
For regular -er verbs:
Take the infinitive form (e.g., parler, finir, rendre) Remove the -er ending Add the imparfait endings: -ais, -ais, -ait, -ions, -iez, -aient
For regular -ir verbs
Take the infinitive form (e.g., choisir, grandir, finir) Remove the -ir ending Add the imparfait endings: -issais, -issais, -issait, -issions, -issiez, -issaient
For regular -re verbs
Take the infinitive form (e.g., vendre, attendre, entendre) Remove the -re ending Add the imparfait endings: -ais, -ais, -ait, -ions, -iez, -aient
Common Everyday Usage Patterns
Description of Past Habits
The imparfait is often used to describe habitual actions or situations in the past. For example: “Quand j’étais enfant, je jouais au football tous les jours.” (When I was a child, I used to play football every day.)
It’s used to provide background information or set the stage for a main event in the past. For instance: “Il faisait beau ce jour-là.” (The weather was nice that day.)
Mental and Emotional States
It’s employed to express emotions, thoughts, or physical sensations in the past. For example: “J’étais content quand il est arrivé.” (I was happy when he arrived.)
The imparfait describes actions that were in progress or happening when something else occurred in the past. For instance: “Je lisais un livre quand le téléphone a sonné.” (I was reading a book when the phone rang.)
Points to Note About the Imparfait Tense
Passé Composé vs. Imparfait
The imparfait and passé composé (a compound past tense) are often used together to express the completion of an action in the past (passé composé) and provide context or background (imparfait). For example: “Il regardait la télévision quand son ami est arrivé.” (He was watching TV when his friend arrived.)
The imparfait is used as the base for forming the conditional mood in French. For instance, “Je mangerais” (I would eat) is formed from “je mangeais” (I was eating).
In hypothetical or “if” clauses (si clauses), the imparfait is often used to express a condition in the past. For example: “Si j’avais de l’argent, j’achèterais une nouvelle voiture.” (If I had money, I would buy a new car.)
In storytelling or writing, the imparfait is frequently used to set the scene and describe ongoing actions while the passé composé is used for specific events or actions that interrupted the ongoing ones.
Understanding the French imperfect tense is crucial for effective communication in French. Without it, your conversations will always live in the present!
I hope you enjoyed this article on the verb aberrer. Still in a learning mood? Check out another TOTALLY random French verb imparfait conjugation!