French Sentence Structure – Le Plus-Que-Parfait

Elle s’était déjà couchée.She had already gone to bed.

Comparing French and English Sentence Structure

It can be interesting to look at French sentences and their English translations while comparing the two. Once you have identified corresponding words, you will realize how many similarities there are French and English. You’ll also notice some big differences, and those are worth examining more closely.




Elle = She

Elle is a third person singular subject pronoun that means she.

Lesson:  French subject pronouns


s’était couchée = had gone to bed

The verb se coucher is a reflexive verb that means to go to bed. In this sentence, the tense being used is the plus-que-parfait. Use this tense when you want to say that something had happened. When using this tense, follow all of the passé composé rules, but change the helping verb to the imparfait tense. Remember that all reflexive verbs use être as a helping verb, and the past participle couchée agrees with the singular and feminine subject pronoun elle. The reflexive pronoun se is placed before the helping verb.

Lesson: Le plus-que-parfait

Lesson: Reflexive verbs

Free Conjugation Chart: Être – Aller – Avoir – Faire: Plus-que-parfait conjugation chart with audio


déjà = already

Déjà is a short, common adverb. Notice that in compound structures such as the plus-que-parfait, the adverb is placed after the first conjugated verb, which is the helping verb était.

Lesson: French adverbs



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