Plus-Que-Parfait Tense – Mini French Lesson


Put the verb in parentheses in the plus-que-parfait tense:

The infinitive is the verb voir, and I’d like you to use ne … jamais as negation:

👉 Nous (ne jamais voir) la mer.

Use the plus-que-parfait along with negation.

👉 Nous n’avions jamais vu la mer.

👉 Translation: We had never seen the sea.

Be careful when translating the plus-que-parfait. The sentence doesn’t mean We have not ever seen the sea. That would be the passé composé. The plus-que-parfait refers to something that happened before something else.

When forming the plus-que-parfait, you need a helping verb just like in the passé composé. The helping verb for the verb voir is still avoir, but did you notice what tense the helping verb is in? The helping verb is now in the imperfect tense.

Let’s take this mini lesson one step further…..

👉 Nous n’avions jamais vu la mer.

Replace la mer with a pronoun so that the sentence means:

👉 We had never seen it.

What had we never seen? The sea! That answers the question WHAT, which means you need to use a direct object pronoun.

👉 Nous ne l’avions jamais vue.

The direct object pronoun is feminine and singular (replacing la mer). That means you need to use LA, which becomes L’ before a vowel. When there is a preceding direct object (or pronoun), you must make agreement in number and gender between it and the past participle. This is why there is an E on the past participle in this example.


👉 Lesson: Le Plus-Que-Parfait

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