Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clamper

Introduction to the verb clamper

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The English translation of the French verb “clamper” is “to clamp.” The infinitive form of “clamper” is pronounced as [klɑ̃.pe].

The word “clamper” has its origins in the Old French verb “clampir,” meaning “to hold tight.” In everyday French, it is most often used in the imparfait tense to describe ongoing or habitual actions in the past.

Here are three simple examples of “clamper” used in the imparfait tense, along with their English translations:

  1. Chaque soir, je clampais mes documents dans mon sac. (Every evening, I used to clamp my documents in my bag.)
  2. Ils clampaient les tuyaux pour éviter les fuites d’eau. (They would clamp the pipes to prevent water leaks.)
  3. Pendant l’été, nous clampions nos bagages avant de partir en vacances. (During the summer, we used to clamp our luggage before going on vacation.)

In these examples, the imparfait tense is used to indicate repeated or ongoing actions in the past.

Table of the Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of clamper

Pronoun Conjugation Short Example English Translation
je clampais Je clampais les tuyaux. I was clamping the pipes.
tu clampais Tu clampais les câbles. You were clamping the cables.
il clampait Il clampait les pièces. He was clamping the parts.
elle clampait Elle clampait les tubes. She was clamping the tubes.
on clampait On clampait les objets. We were clamping the objects.
nous clampions Nous clampions les surfaces. We were clamping the surfaces.
vous clampiez Vous clampiez les matériaux. You were clamping the materials.
ils clampaient Ils clampaient les outils. They were clamping the tools.
elles clampaient Elles clampaient les poutres. They were clamping the beams.

Other Conjugations for Clamper.

Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb clamper

Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clamper (You’re reading it right now!)

Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clamper

Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clamper

Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clamper

Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clamper

Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clamper

Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clamper

Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clamper

Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clamper

Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clamper

Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clamper

Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clamper

Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clamper

Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clamper

Conditionnel Passé II (Conditional Past II) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clamper

L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clamper

L’impératif Passé (Imperative Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clamper

L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clamper

L’infinitif Passé (Infinitive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clamper

Le Participe Présent (Present Participle) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clamper

Le Participe Passé (Past Participle) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb clamper

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Clamper – 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.) 

Background Information

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.) 

Ongoing Actions

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.) 

Conditional

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). 

Si Clauses

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.) 

Narration

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 clamper. Still in a learning mood? Check out another TOTALLY random French verb imparfait conjugation!

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