Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb embâter

Introduction to the verb embâter

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The English translation of the French verb “embâter” is “to annoy” or “to bother.” The pronunciation of the infinitive form “embâter” in French is [ɑ̃.ba.te].

The word “embâter” originates from the prefix “em-” (indicating a sense of intensification) and the verb “bâter” (meaning “to saddle” or “to gird”). Combined, “embâter” carries the meaning of causing annoyance or inconvenience to someone.

In everyday French, “embâter” is most often used in the imparfait tense to describe ongoing or repeated actions in the past. Here are three examples of its usage in the imparfait tense, along with their English translations:

  1. Quand j’étais enfant, mon frère m’embêtait tout le temps.
    English: When I was a child, my brother would constantly annoy me.

  2. Les moustiques nous embêtaient chaque nuit pendant nos vacances.
    English: The mosquitoes used to bother us every night during our vacation.

  3. Elle s’ennuyait souvent à l’école, alors elle embêtait ses camarades de classe.
    English: She would often get bored at school, so she would bother her classmates.

Table of the Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of embâter

Pronoun Conjugation Short Example English Translation
je embâtais J’embâtais les chevaux. I was hitching the horses.
tu embâtais Tu embâtais les valises. You were packing the suitcases.
il embâtait Il embâtait le chameau. He was loading the camel.
elle embâtait Elle embâtait le vélo. She was attaching the bike.
on embâtait On embâtait les animaux. We were harnessing the animals.
nous embâtions Nous embâtions les charrettes. We were hitching the carts.
vous embâtiez Vous embâtiez les voitures. You were attaching the cars.
ils embâtaient Ils embâtaient les remorques. They were hitching the trailers.
elles embâtaient Elles embâtaient les camions. They were loading the trucks.

Other Conjugations for Embâter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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