'Passé Anterieur': An Important French Literary Tense, 'Would Have' In French: That's the Past Conditional, Introduction to the French Past Infinitive, French Perfect Participle ~ Passé Composé du Participe Présent, Passé composé: French Compound Past Tense, Why Spanish Isn't Easier to Learn Than French, French Verb Conjugator: How To Conjugate French Verbs. The perfect tense is made up of two parts. The French past perfect, or pluperfect—known in French as le plus-que-parfait—is used to indicate an action in the past that occurred before another action in the past. The plus‐que‐parfait is the compound form of the imparfait (imperfect) and is formed by using the imperfect of the appropriate helping verb, avoir or être (have or be) and the participe passé (past participle) of the verb. We wanted to talk to you because we didn't see you yesterday. The perfect tense is formed with the present tense of avoir or être and a past participle. If you love it, please consider making a one-time or monthly donation. The past perfect is used for the verb that happened first, the one that is further in the past. The perfect tense: How to talk about the past in French To talk about something you did in the past, you're going to need the perfect tense. The past perfect, also called the pluperfect, is a verb tense that distinguishes between two related things that happened in the past, indicating which one occurred before the other. You would have passed the test if you had studied. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window). The pluperfect is also used in si clauses to express a hypothetical situation in the past contrary to what actually happened. The latter use can be either mentioned in the same sentence or implied. There is no equivalent for "then" per se in French conditional sentences. ont allés. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. It’s equivalent to English past simple or, sometimes, present perfect. Test yourself on the French pluperfect with this fill-in-the-blank exercise: La soirée de mes rêves. Most verbs take avoir in the perfect tense. Its English equivalent is “had” and the past participle. Nous voulions te parler parce que nous ne t'avions pas vu hier. The action that occurred second is usually stated with another past tense, such as the passé composé or imperfect. The French past perfect, or pluperfect—known in French as le plus-que-parfait —is used to indicate an action in the past that occurred before another action in the past. I had already done the laundry. In English, such sentences are called "if/then" constructions. When the Perfect Tense Is Used in French The perfect tense is the most common way to talk about the past in French. I had finished all the work before leaving. You can use it to talk about past events, things that occurred multiple times in the past, or a series of actions that happened way back when. The second action may be stated with avant de + infinitive or avant que + subjunctive, or the verb can even be implied with avant + noun, as long as that noun refers to something in the past. J'étais déjà sorti (quand tu as téléphoné). I did the laundry and Ana mowed the lawn. Mes copines _____ à la plage l'été dernier. Si clauses or conditionals produce conditional sentences, with one clause stating a condition or possibility and a second clause naming a result produced by that condition. I’d finally found a perfect rose when it started to rain. ont allées. The French past perfect is a compound conjugation, which means it has two parts: Like all French compound conjugations, the past perfect may be subject to grammatical agreement, as follows: Conjugating the French le plus-que-parfait (the past perfect or pluperfect) requires knowing when to use avoir, être, or a pronominal, as the table demonstrates for the verbs aimer (to love), devenir (to become), and lavar (to wash). A1 | A2 | B1 | B2 | C1 Find your level. Il n'avait pas mangé (avant de faire ses devoirs). All rights reserved. Your support is entirely optional but tremendously appreciated. If you don’t have one, sign up – it’s free! Note: You must be logged into your Progress with Lawless French account to take this test. I went shopping this morning. The past perfect, also called the pluperfect, is a verb tense that distinguishes between two related things that happened in the past, indicating which one occurred before the other.