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Does the ending in "ant" indicates a sort of continuous tense?

My memory is deserting me, but I remember when you say something like, " Elle a vu le chat en arrivant à la porte'" -  does the "arrivan" indicates something like a continuous tense:  that is to say " She saw the cat on arriving at the door"

      If I say "Ta femme , elle vous attendant à la gare"  - your wife, she is waiting at the station:

Please correct,  Merci d'avance.

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I always had a problem with the translation of a participe présent but I guess the translation of the first sentence is right.

But the second one, in French, is wrong.

You can say:

Ta femme, elle attend à la gare : Your wife, she is waiting at the station.

Ta femme, elle vous attend à la gare : Your wife, she is waiting for you at the station.


If you want a participe présent you can say: Ta femme, en attendant à la gare, a acheté un livre: Your wife, while she was waiting at the station, has bought a book.


There are several other ways to translate a participe présent. It depends on the context.


Merci, Erwan, I see your point, much obliged for your help. So it is called a Participe Present in french? The ending with "ant" . I thought that was a present continuous tense.

The second example is a clear good example, I like it. Thank you.

The "Participe présent" in french refers to a continuous state or action while describing something or someone. (Maybe there is a more correct definition, but this is how I understand it).

In your example "en arrivant" is the continuous action while "Elle" saw the cat.

Other examples :

"C'est l'homme portant le sac" (It's the man carrying the bag)

"Il était blond, étant d'origine suédoise" (He was blonde, being of swedish origin)

"Il explorait la région, marchant le long des routes" (I was exploring the area, walking along the roads)

You can often translate a "participe présent" with a "-ing" form (the inverse being not true of course).


Hope that helped you!

Very kind of you Lauris, your explanation help. I wish we also have the conversation available on this website. In other words, you could heard people  discussing the problems, that would really improve your french.


There is in fact 3 participe présent :

- The simple present participle : it is used to express the reason why something has happened

Etant malade, je n'ai pas pu aller travailler : Being ill, I could not go to work


- The composed present participle : you used it when an action occured before the main action verb

Ayant fini mes devoirs, je suis allé jouer : Having finished my homeworks, I went to play

It used the present participle of avoir or être + past participle of a verb.


- The gerund : the 2 actions happened at the same time

Ta femme, en attendant à la gare, a acheté un livre: Your wife, while she was waiting at the station, has bought a book.

It's formed with En + verb+ant

This kind of use, as I said in the previous post, has several translations depending on the context.


Sometimes, the present participle is used as an adjective :
le mois suivant : The next month . Suivant is the present participle of suivre but here is an adjective and have then a feminine  form suivante (l'année suivante  : The next year)

Have you all gone through some teacher's training college or something?  Both you and lauris are very good at explaining things.

       Teaching is a noble profession.   ( but there isn't much money though)

In fact, I'm a math teacher in high school. You unmasked me :)

To sum up the informations of my last post, google has been a good friend. It's not always easy to find alone all the different uses of a notion.


And you Lauris, teacher too?

Uh, not at all, still student in IT actually.....

Just a small point that's maybe worth adding to Erwan's explanation: in what's maybe quite a formal style of French, you can in principle have any verb's present participle used without "en". So sentences like this are in principle possible (though maybe more common in literature/contracts/other formal contexts):


  Remettant son manteau, elle sortit de chez elle.

  "Putting her coat back on, she left the house"


  L'accès est ouvert à toute personne pouvant justifier de son identité.

  "Access is open to any person [being] able to prove their identity."


In contracts, examples such as the last one are quite common, where the present participle of pouvoir ("to be able") is used, effectively meaning "able to ...".


But in everyday usage, when the notion of "while" is intended, as in Erwan's example, it is more common with "en". It's also common to use tout en ...., which usually has the notion of "simply by ..." or "while at the same time ..." (search Google for the phrase "tout en permettant" so see some examples).


Hi Neil, is it possible to have live discussion?  I remember I came across one in which a few french people were talking but of course that was some discussion too diffiuclt for me and I didn't even attempt to join after I heard what they were talking about.

     No way to do that sort of discussion? It would do tremendous amount of good, don't you think so? If this set up need some money to be able to get it done then make it a membership and I am more than willingly to pay for the membership.

      Thanks Neil, for the explanation and the examples given. Sometimes simple thing in french can be confusing.

We allegedly now have "Video Chat" added (see tab at top of screen). If anybody gets chance to try it out before I do then please let me know how you get on!

I hardly took any notice of the 'video chat' at the top of the screen.

    How do I know there will be people using the video chat?  Will you be there Neil? Can we get enough people interested in this live video chat?  Time may be a problem not everyone can get together for a chat at a certain time.

    Time is always a problem. (There is a country where people just have no time, it is either New Guinea or New York , depends on your definition of time, in New Guinea they don't even wear a watch )


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