What are the main characteristics of the French language?
An extreme, almost pathological concern about the time passing.
While English have sophisticated way to express the continuation of the present (continuous forms), French language has multiple tenses to express what happened in the past : passé composé, passé simple, passé antérieur … There is even the plus-que-parfait (literal meaning : more-than-perfect) which is used to express actions that are anterior to the past time of the sentence.
There is a degree of precision to include the role of time in stories and history that is really fascinating.
This text was originally published in quora.