Plus-que-parfait 🧐

How to form the French plus-que-parfait?

The plus-que-parfait, as the passé composé, is a compound tense.

It means that you need two verbs to conjugate it.

You will first need an auxiliary verb, either AVOIR or ÊTRE, that you conjugate in imparfait tense.

See AVOIR or ÊTRE conjugations in the attached infographic.

Then you will need the past participle of the verb you want to conjugate in plus-que-parfait.

For example: J’avais parlé (I had spoken) / J’étais allé (I had gone)

 

Note that the plus-que-parfait is very similar to the passé composé, but instead of conjugating the auxiliary verb in present tense, you conjugate it in imparfait.

 

To know whether you should use the auxiliary verb ÊTRE or AVOIR, you have to follow the same rules as for the passé composé. Read them here.

 

How to form the Past Participle?

In English, most past participles end with -ED (arrived).

In French, they mostly end with , -I, -U:

  • For all regular -ER verbs, remove the -ER from the infinitive and replace it with –> parler –> parlé
  • For all regular -IR verbs, remove the -IR from the infinitive and replace it with -I –> finir –> fini
  • For all regular -RE verbs, remove the -RE from the infinitive and replace it with -U –> vendre –> vendu

 

Then you have all the irregular verbs that don’t follow any pattern and that you have to learn by heart 😉

Here are some very useful verbs to know:

  • être –> été
  • avoir –> eu
  • faire –> fait
  • pouvoir –> pu
  • vouloir –> voulu

How to form the French plus-que-parfait

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