Be your own hammerbeam angels of the air (just_the_ash) wrote in linguaphiles,
Be your own hammerbeam angels of the air

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Telling off a plagiarist in French

Dear Linguaphiles,

I'm having some trouble finding just the right French verb tenses for this situation.

See, there's an exchange student from Basse-Normandie in one of my composition sections this semester. The tragedy is that he was doing mostly fine, except he now gets a big fat zero on one of his essays, because one paragraph of it is his own writing, and the rest is copypasta from SparkNotes. (Like I wasn't going to notice an abrupt shift in writing style? Argh.)

I think I've got most of it handled, except for what tenses to use for a key sentence. Do I stay in the present tense and snarl: "Do you think I am stupid?" (I could also use a quick refresher on the nuances of stupide vs. bête.)

Or do I go with: "Did you think I was stupid?" If the latter, does it become past-conditional for "did" and subjunctive for "was," or what?

The English Teacher Everyone Loves, Except That Kid From Caen
Tags: french

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