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INTERMEDIATE. LESSON #41. LA SALLE

- Moi, j’avais pensé à la salle des fêtes de Sèvres, si elle est encore libre.
- Oui mais c’est tellement impersonnel une salle des fêtes.
- Et ? Tu avais imaginé te marier dans un château, peut-être ?
- Oui, comme toutes les petites filles mais on peut penser à un juste milieu.
- Je suis tout ouïe.
- A Reims, ils louent des caves spécialement aménagées pour les réceptions. On pourrait y faire un petit tour histoire de se faire une idée.
- Je n’y avais pas pensé.
TRANSLATION
- As for me, I had thought the Sèvres village hall would be fine, if it’s still available.
- Of course but a village hall is so impersonal.
- And ? You maybe had pictured your marriage in a castle ?
- Yes I did, as every little girl, but we can think about a happy medium.
- I’m all ears.
- In Reims, Champagne houses rent cellars, especially converted for receptions. We could go there, just to make our opinion.
- I hadn’t thought about that.
Histoire de… is a locution that expresses the purpose, the aim. It’s always followed by a verb at the infinitive form.
histoire de voir, histoire de se faire une idée,
histoire de bien comprendre.
Salle (fém.) des fêtes : village hall.
Libre : available, free.
Impersonnel : impersonal.
Imaginer : to imagine, to picture.
Ouïe (fém.) : hearing.
Cave (fém.) : cellar.
In this lesson, we have a few verbs at the plus-que-parfait tense. Did you notice them ?
Here they are :
j’avais pensé, tu avais imaginé, je n’y avais pas pensé.

We use this tense when we want to express something that occurred just before another past event. That’s why we often use it in combination with the imparfait, the passé simple or the passé composé tenses.

J’avais pensé à cela quand j’ai commencé à préparer le mariage.
(= I had thought about that when I began preparing the marriage.)

J’avais imaginé me marier dans un château quand j’étais petite.
(= I had pictured my marriage in a castle when I was a little girl.)


We also use the plus-que-parfait in si clauses to express a fact that didn’t occur in the past. We use it in combination with the past conditional.
Si tu étais venue, j’aurais été content.
Translate in English :
1. Ils lui avaient déjà demandé avant.
2. Elle avait déjà mangé quand ils sont arrivés.
3. Si j’avais su, je ne le lui aurais pas dit cela.

Translate in French :
1. If we had said such a thing, we’d have been very mean.
2. I woudn’t have come if I were you.
3. Why haven’t you told her ?

Answers

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