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The Pluperfect Tense


In Spanish, the Pluperfect Tense is used to indicate an action that happened before another action in the past. The words ya and porque often indicate when the Pluperfect can be used.

For example: “no leí el libro porque ya había visto la película”

Formation: Regular verbs

The Pluperfect Tense is formed by using the Imperfect Tense of the auxiliary verb, haber, and a past participle.

The verb haber indicates who has done the action.

Below is the Imperfect Tense conjugation of haber:

In addtion to haber, the Pluperfect Tense requires a past participle.

In order to form the past participles of regular verbs like hablarcomer, and vivir, we follow these steps:

1. We remove the infinitive ending to obtain the stem

hablar - ar = habl

comer - er =  com

vivir - ir = viv

2. We add the correct ending to the stem:

  • ar ado

  • er → ido

  • ir → ido

Therefore the past participles of hablarcomer, and vivir are as follows:

  • hablar → hablado

  • comer → comido

  • vivir → vivido

Formation: Irregular past participles

There are a few irregular past participles in Spanish.

Spelling change ído instead of ido:

  • atraer → atraído

  • caer → caído

  • creer → creído

  • leer → leído

  • oír → oído

  • traer → traído

1. Very important verbs: 

decir → dicho
hacer → hecho
ver → visto
volver → vuelto

2. Important verbs:


abrir → abierto
escribir → escrito
freír → frito
morir → muerto
poner → puesto
romper → roto

3. Less important verbs:

cubrir → cubierto
prender → preso
resolver → resuelto
satisfacer → satisfecho

Click here to continue to exercises on the Pluperfect Tense

Published: 18/04/2016

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