Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb dévider

Introduction to the verb dévider

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The English translation of the French verb “dévider” is “to unwind” or “to unroll.” The infinitive form “dévider” is pronounced as “day-vee-day.”

The word “dévider” originates from the Old French word “desvider,” which comes from the prefix “des-” (meaning “reversal” or “undoing”) and the verb “vider” (meaning “to empty” or “to clear”). In everyday French, “dévider” is commonly used in the imparfait tense as a descriptive past tense.

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

  1. Chaque soir, je dévidais la pelote de laine. (Every evening, I would unwind the ball of yarn.)
  2. Quand j’étais enfant, nous dévidions souvent les vieilles cassettes VHS. (When I was a child, we would often unwind the old VHS tapes.)
  3. Elle dévidait doucement la bobine en regardant la télévision. (She was slowly unrolling the reel while watching TV.)

Note: The imparfait tense is used to describe ongoing or repeated actions in the past.

Table of the Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of dévider

Pronoun Conjugation Short Example English Translation
je dévidais Je dévidais la laine. I was unwinding the yarn.
tu dévidais Tu dévidais le fil. You were unwinding the thread.
il dévidait Il dévidait la bobine. He was unwinding the spool.
elle dévidait Elle dévidait la ficelle. She was unwinding the string.
on dévidait On dévidait le câble. We were unwinding the cable.
nous dévidions Nous dévidions la corde. We were unwinding the rope.
vous dévidiez Vous dévidiez la bande. You were unwinding the tape.
ils dévidaient Ils dévidaient le ruban. They were unwinding the ribbon.
elles dévidaient Elles dévidaient le tissu. They were unwinding the fabric.

Other Conjugations for Dévider.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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