Plus-que-parfait. Past perfect in French language

"Wow!" - probably, you thought so, having read the name of the given tense. Let's try to understand it together! Believe me, it's very fast and it does not hurt at all. The literal translation of this name into Russian is "more than perfect". "How is it?" - an attentive reader of our useful materials will object. So, in the previous article we considered Imparfait - which answers the question: "What has been doing?" - that is, the action that has been in process, but not completed yet. Passé composé is responsible for all the completed cases. So, the prerogative of the pre-past tense is actions that were committed even earlier than Passé composé. We hope, now everything has fallen into place.

Plus-que-parfait denotes an action that occurred before the beginning of another action in the past. Clearly it looks like this:

Now we need to find out how it is formed and how it is translated. For its formation, we use this scheme:

And when translating, we sometimes add "already". In Russian, there is no pre-past tense! But speaking about English analogy, we have Past Perfect to depict the same actions.

Here are a few forms:

Here are some examples:

Jean a dit qu'il avait (déjà) vu le reportage sur la conférence à Genève. - Jean said that he had already seen the report about the conference in Geneva.

Les orateurs disaient que les Français avaient résolu le problème du racisme et des minorités ethniques. - Speakers said that the French had already solved the problem of racism and ethnic minorities.

Quand Joe Dassin vint à Moscou, il avait conquis la gloire universelle. - When Joe Dassin arrived in Moscow, he had already won worldwide fame.

Je ne me suis couché qu'à l'aube; j'avais passé la plupart de la nuit à achever une traduction urgente. - I went to bed only at dawn: most of the night I had spent for the end of the urgent translation.

To create a negative form, an auxiliary verb (avoir or être in Imparfait) must be surrounded by a ne ... pas construction:

And of course, a couple of examples:

Paul n'avait pas (encore) fini son poème quand son éditeur a téléphoné. - Paul had not finished his poem yet when the publisher called him

Si je n'avais pas fait d'etude je ne serais pas un doctor. - If I had not done the research, I would not become a doctor."

Ils n'avaient pas compris qu'il est interdit de fumer dans les lieux publics. - They had not understood that it was forbidden to smoke in public places.

Je je n'avais pas su cet information je pourrais te faire confiance. - If I had not known this information, I could trust you.

To create a questionnaire form, it is necessary to follow the familiar word order:

Quand vous avez trouvé du travail, vous aviez déjà terminé vos études? - When did you find a job, had you already finished your studies?

Est-ce que vous étiez arrivés quand il a gagné le prix? - Did you come when he had won the prize?

Avait-il parlé anglais quand il commençait de vivre à Londres? - Had he already been speaking English when he started living in London?

Hooray! One more past tense is over!

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