Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contrebalancer

Introduction to the verb contrebalancer

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The English translation of the French verb “contrebalancer” is “to counterbalance.” The infinitive form “contrebalancer” is pronounced as “kohn-truh-bal-ahn-seh”.

The word “contrebalancer” originated from the combination of the prefix “contre-” meaning “against” or “counter-” and the verb “balancer” meaning “to balance.” It is most often used in everyday French to describe the action of balancing or offsetting the effect or influence of something.

Examples of “contrebalancer” in the imparfait tense:

  1. Je contrebalançais mes dĂ©penses en Ă©conomisant sur d’autres aspects de ma vie. (I used to counterbalance my expenses by saving in other areas of my life.)
  2. Elle contrebalançait sa timidité en se montrant extravertie dans certaines situations. (She used to counterbalance her shyness by being outgoing in certain situations.)
  3. Nous contrebalancions notre manque de temps en étant plus organisés. (We used to counterbalance our lack of time by being more organized.)

English translations:

  1. I would counterbalance my expenses by saving in other areas of my life.
  2. She would counterbalance her shyness by being outgoing in certain situations.
  3. We used to counterbalance our lack of time by being more organized.

Table of the Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of contrebalancer

Pronoun Conjugation Short Example English Translation
je contrebalançais Je contrebalançais mes actions. I was counterbalancing my actions.
tu contrebalançais Tu contrebalançais ses arguments. You were counterbalancing his arguments.
il contrebalançait Il contrebalançait les forces en présence. He was counterbalancing the forces at play.
elle contrebalançait Elle contrebalançait les opinions divergentes. She was counterbalancing the divergent opinions.
on contrebalançait On contrebalançait les effets négatifs. We were counterbalancing the negative effects.
nous contrebalancions Nous contrebalancions les inégalités. We were counterbalancing the inequalities.
vous contrebalanciez Vous contrebalanciez les risques. You were counterbalancing the risks.
ils contrebalançaient Ils contrebalançaient les influences externes. They were counterbalancing the external influences.
elles contrebalançaient Elles contrebalançaient les forces du marché. They were counterbalancing the market forces.

Other Conjugations for Contrebalancer.

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

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

PassĂ© Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contrebalancer

PassĂ© ComposĂ© (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contrebalancer

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

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

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

PassĂ© AntĂ©rieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contrebalancer

Futur AntĂ©rieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contrebalancer

Subjonctif PrĂ©sent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contrebalancer

Subjonctif PassĂ© (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contrebalancer

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

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

Conditionnel PrĂ©sent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contrebalancer

Conditionnel PassĂ© (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contrebalancer

Conditionnel PassĂ© II (Conditional Past II) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contrebalancer

L’impĂ©ratif PrĂ©sent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contrebalancer

L’impĂ©ratif PassĂ© (Imperative Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contrebalancer

L’infinitif PrĂ©sent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contrebalancer

L’infinitif PassĂ© (Infinitive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contrebalancer

Le Participe PrĂ©sent (Present Participle) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contrebalancer

Le Participe PassĂ© (Past Participle) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb contrebalancer

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Contrebalancer – 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’Ă©tais 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-lĂ .” (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’Ă©tais content quand il est arrivĂ©.” (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 tĂ©lĂ©phone a sonnĂ©.” (I was reading a book when the phone rang.)

Points to Note About the Imparfait Tense

Passé Composé vs. Imparfait

The imparfait and passĂ© composĂ© (a compound past tense) are often used together to express the completion of an action in the past (passĂ© composĂ©) and provide context or background (imparfait). For example: “Il regardait la tĂ©lĂ©vision quand son ami est arrivĂ©.” (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 contrebalancer. Still in a learning mood? Check out another TOTALLY random French verb imparfait conjugation!

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