Pluperfect Tense

When do we use it?

When is it used?

The pluperfect tense is used to describe something that had already happened, before something else occurred or before a fixed point in time.

_Elle était déjà partie quand je suis arrivé. _(She had already left when I arrived)

When is the pluperfect used?
to talk about something that happened before something else occurred


How is it formed?

The pluperfect tense is formed by using the imperfect tense of avoir _ and _être and the past participle. The same rules about which verbs take avoir and which verbs take être and about agreement of the past participle apply to both the perfect and pluperfect tenses.

Verbs that go with etre and their past participles are;

Verb Meaning Past participle

__M__ourir: to die: mort

__R__etourner: to return: retourné

__S__ortir: to go out: sorti

__V__enir: to come: venu

__A__rriver: to arrive: arrivé

__N__aître : to be born: né

__D__escendre: to go down: descendu

__E__ntrer: to enter: entré

__T__omber: to fall: tombé

__R__ester: to stay: resté

__A__ller: to go out: allé

__M__onter: to go up: monté

__P__artir: to leave: parti

Examples of verb paradigms in the pluperfect tense are;

Dire Arriver

_J’avais dit _ (I had said) _J’étais arrivé(e) _(I had arrived)

Tu avais dit Tu étais arrivé(e)

_ Il/Elle/On avait dit Il/Elle/on était arrivé(e)_

_ Nous avions dit Nous étions arrivé(e)(s)_

Vous aviez dit Vous étiez arrivé(e)(s)

Ils/Elles avaient dit Ils/Elles étaient arrivé(e)s

How is the pluperfect formed?
imperfect tense of avoir/être + past participle
Translate: I had left when she arrived
j'étais parti quand elle est arrivée