Introduction to the verb cesser
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The English translation of the French verb cesser is “to cease” or “to stop.” It is pronounced as “seh-seh” in its infinitive form.
The word “cesser” comes from the Latin verb “cessare,” which means “to delay” or “to stop.” It was first used in the French language in the 12th century.
In everyday French, the Passé Antérieur tense is used to describe an action that was completed in the past before another action or event. Cesser is often used in this tense to indicate that an action has stopped or ceased before a specific event or time in the past.
Here are 3 simple examples of cesser in the Passé Antérieur tense with the respective English translations:
- J’eus cessé de travailler quand il est arrivé. (I had stopped working when he arrived.)
- Nous eûmes cessé de pleurer après avoir reçu les bonnes nouvelles. (We had stopped crying after receiving the good news.)
- Ils eurent cessé de se parler avant que la dispute n’éclate. (They had stopped talking before the argument erupted.)
Table of the Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of cesser
|I had stopped
|Tu eusses cessé
|You had stopped
|Il eût cessé
|He had stopped
|Elle eût cessé
|She had stopped
|On eût cessé
|One had stopped
|Nous eûmes cessé
|We had stopped
|Vous eûtes cessé
|You had stopped
|Ils eurent cessé
|They had stopped
|Elles eurent cessé
|They had stopped
Other Conjugations for Cesser.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser (this article)
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb cesser
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Cesser – About the French Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense
The French Passé Antérieur tense, often referred to as the “past anterior” in English, is a literary and formal past tense that is not commonly used in everyday spoken French. It is primarily found in written language, particularly in literature, historical texts, and formal writing. This tense is used to express actions that occurred before another action in the past, serving a similar purpose to the past perfect tense (passé composé) in English.
Formation of the Passé Antérieur
The Passé Antérieur is formed by using the third person singular of the passé simple (simple past) tense of the auxiliary verb “avoir” or “être,” followed by the past participle of the main verb.
The choice between “avoir” and “être” as the auxiliary verb depends on the main verb and its transitivity or intransitivity. Here is the basic structure:
1. For verbs that use “avoir” as the auxiliary verb:
– J’eus (I had) + past participle (of the main verb)
2. For verbs that use “être” as the auxiliary verb:
– Je fus (I was) + past participle (of the main verb)
Common Usage Patterns
As mentioned earlier, the Passé Antérieur is primarily used in formal and literary contexts. It is rarely used in everyday spoken French, where the passé composé and imparfait are more commonly used to express past actions. Some common patterns of usage include:
The Passé Antérieur is frequently used in literature to describe past events in a succinct and formal manner.
It is used in historical narratives to recount past actions and events.
In formal and academic writing, the Passé Antérieur can be employed to convey events in the past with a sense of formality and precision.
Interactions with Other Tenses
The Passé Antérieur often interacts with other tenses, especially when narrating past events in a chronological order:
Passé Composé (Present Perfect)
The Passé Antérieur can be used to indicate an action that occurred before another action expressed in the passé composé. For example: “Il eut terminé son travail avant que je ne sois arrivé.” (He had finished his work before I arrived).
The Passé Antérieur may be used in conjunction with the imparfait to convey a sequence of past actions. For instance: “Elle arriva après que nous eûmes commencé.” (She arrived after we had started).
Futur Antérieur (Future Perfect)
In the context of storytelling or narration, the Passé Antérieur can be used to describe events that happened before a future action expressed in the futur antérieur. For example: “Il partira après qu’il aura fini.” (He will leave after he has finished).
Passé Antérieur is a formal past tense used in written language and literary contexts to describe actions that occurred before another action in the past. It is not commonly used in everyday spoken French where you should instead use the passé composé and imparfait for discussing past events.
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