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

Getting on and off Transport in French

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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 to practice with flashcards on how to form the plus-que-parfait
  • how and why you should use the courses of Language Atlas to learn French

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

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

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter.

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!

How to Practice With Flashcards for This Lesson

Using flashcards is an absolute necessity when it comes to learning a language!

It is the best way to memorize what you learn, you can personalize your progression because it adapts to your actions, and all flashcards have audio to improve your hearing and pronunciation.

Please read our article on how to learn a new language for more information.

There are two ways to practice with Flashcards for this lesson.

  1. Anki
  2. The Flashcards in our Courses

After you have downloaded Anki for free, you can get our French B2 Anki Deck.

This Anki Deck contains 1,964 flashcards with which you can practice absolutely everything for French B2!

All the flashcards have text, images, explanations, and audio.

You can also use our courses that have flashcards integrated alongside lessons with audio, quizzes and much more!

However, I am sure you are wondering, what are your courses, and why should I take them?

The Courses of Language Atlas

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So I thought, “why not make something myself?“.

Using my experience and by doing research I created Language Atlas, a platform where people can learn French and Spanish in the most effective and efficient way.

I created free lessons and quizzes so that there would always be a easy and accessible way for people to learn or brush up on their language skills.

However, I also created courses that are much more comprehensive and in-depth.

The courses of Language Atlas have:

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You can register for free and try the French A0/A1 and Spanish A0/A1 Courses for free!

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