Été or était? in French

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Été or était?

The terms été and était are pronounced the same. Let’s look at how they differ.

  • Étais, était and étaient (all homonyms) are forms of the verb être in the imperfect tense. être, imparfait
Quand j’ai rencontré Victor, c’était l’hiver. When I met Victor, it was wintertime.
Il y a vingt ans, j’étais jeune et jolie. Twenty years ago, I was young and pretty.
Muriel et Marcel étaient amis depuis longtemps. Muriel and Marcel have been friends for ever.
Été is the past participle of the verb être. We use it with the auxiliary verb avoir.
Ce repas a été fabuleux ! This meal was fabulous! être, passé composé
Ça a été ? How did it go?
Les enfants avaient été malades toute la nuit. The children had been ill all night. être, plus-que-parfait
Note: L’été also means the ‘summer’, the season between le printemps (spring) and l’automne (fall/autumn).
L’été, il fait chaud !‘ It’s hot in summer!

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