When to use the imperfect. It describes states and actions that were ongoing or repeated in the past. When to use the imperfect tense and how to form it. Je -ais Tu -ais Il/Elle -ait Nous -ions Vous -iez Ils/Elles -aient Add A to B, and voilà! In French, it is not always easy to decide when one should use the Passé Composé and when to employ the Imparfait. French imperfect tense endings. Unlike the present tense, the imperfect endings will be the same for all three verb endings, -er, -ir, and –re. Imperfect or Perfect Tense. L’imparfait (the imperfect) is a French past tense. To listen to the pronunciation of a given tense of finir, click on the loudspeaker icon at the bottom of the table.See the notes on the conjugation of finir at the end of this page. what was happening or what people were doing. The easy part: All you need to do is memorize the endings and we’re there. For more information on the Imperfect tense, see The imperfect tense. finir: Conjugation. How to Conjugate French Verbs: IMPERFECT TENSE. For the imperfect tense in French, remove the last 2 letters from the verb (either “ar”, “ir”, or “re”) and then add the appropriate ending. The imperfect is used to tell stories and report on past actions, mostly in written contexts. The imperfect tense in French. The imperfect tense is a past tense that describes: what happened repeatedly or what people did repeatedly in the past. Use the imperfect tense for regular events and in most descriptions. Three steps to the imperfect. The finir conjugation tables below show how to form the French verb finir according to tense and person. To form the imperfect tense, take the nous form of the present tense, remove the -ons and add the following endings: Here is an example from chapter 6 that combines the Passé Composé and the Imparfait. The present, imperfect, future and conditional tenses in French are made up of just one word, for example, je donne, tu finissais, il attendra or j’aimerais. The imperfect can correspond to the English simple past tense, but also to structures such as used to and would. Forming the imperfect tense. 2 Forming the perfect tense. how things were in the past.