How to form the Plus-Que-Parfait [+5 Examples]

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In this French grammar lesson you will learn about how to form the plus-que-parfait.

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • how to form the plus-que-parfait in French
  • how the plus-que-parfait is used in sentences in French
  • how you can quiz yourself on how to form the plus-que-parfait
  • how Anki files can be downloaded on the topic of how to form the plus-que-parfait

Please refer to the French B2 Curriculum to get a better overview of French grammar, if you are curious about how this fits in the overall structure of French B2.

By the end of the lesson you will know all about how to form the plus-que-parfait!

Table of Contents

How to form the Futur Antérieur

avoir/être imparfait
j’avais / étaisparticip passé
tuavais / étaisparticip passé
il/elle/onavait / étaitparticip passé
nousavions / étionsparticip passé
vousaviez / étiezparticip passé
ils/ellesavaient / étaientparticip passé

The 3 Step Method To Forming the Plus-Que-Parfait

In order to form the plus-que-parfait one must:

  1. Determine whether to use avoir or être
  2. Conjugate avoir/être in the imparfait
  3. Add the particip passé

The verb parler means “to speak” in English.

We will take this verb and conjugate it in the “je” form using the three step method.

  1. avoir will be used

The lesson on agreement counts here as well.

If it is a verb that you can find in the mnemonic Dr Mrs Vandertramp, or a reflexive verb, then you will use être.

If you cannot find it, or if it is not a reflexive verb, then you will use avoir.

In this case, we cannot find it, and it is not a reflexive verb.

Thus we will use avoir.

  1. avais

Avoir in the plus-que-parfait is avais.

  1. parlé

The particip passé of parler is parlé.

So when you wish to say “I had spoken” in French you get:

J’avais parlé

Example Sentences on How to form the Plus-Que-Parfait

The final section of this lesson on how to form the plus-que-parfait is about seeing the plus-que-parfait in action.

This is valuable because you can improve your understanding on how to form the plus-que-parfait through examples.


Le chien a aboyé comme s’il comprenait ce que j’avais dit.

The dog barked as if it understood what I’d said.


Nous avions beaucoup réfléchi à ce que nous avions fait.

We had thought a lot about what we had done.


Il était allé à Barcelone.

He had gone to Barcelona.


J’ai le certificat que vous aviez demandé.

I have the certificate you had asked for.


Ils avaient rendu les examens à l’enseignant.

They had returned the exams to the teacher.

Quiz Yourself on How to Form the Plus-Que-Parfait

It’s not enough to just read this lesson.

You should test your knowledge to see if you really understood everything, and to be able to repeat the material.

It is also for this reason that it is recommended to download the Anki Decks and do them.

At the end of every lesson you can do a small test.

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter. It is up to you to give the correct answer.

You will either need to fill in the blanks, choose the correct multiple choice option, or both.

Once you are done the correct answer will be shown.

You can redo the quiz as many times as you want.

Anki File for How to Form the Plus-Que-Parfait

It is important to do the Anki excercises for this lesson, so that you can remember what you just studied.

By downloading the Anki File for French B2, you can practice every French B2 lesson that is on Language Atlas.

At this moment the Anki File for this lesson doesn’t exist yet. However, in due time this will be available on Language Atlas.

If you don’t know why you should use Anki, or don’t know how to use Anki or merge Anki files please click here.

Anki can be downloaded from here.

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