The Pluperfect Indicative
(El pluscuamperfecto del indicativo)
El año pasado, nadie había
oído de los Romero.
¡Ahora es casi imposible
conseguir entradas!
The Formation of the Pluperfect
Like the present perfect tense, the pluperfect is a
compound tense. It is formed with the imperfect
tense of haber + past participle.
había
habíamos
habías habíais
había habían
+
Past participle—
masculine singular
form only
The Formation of the Pluperfect
Notice the following chart:
Imperfect tense Past
of haber
participle
Past tense of to
have
yo
había
I had
tú
habías
you had
él, ella, Ud.
nosotros/as
había
habíamos
vosotros/as
habíais
ellos, ellas, Uds.
habían
tomado
comido
vivido
he, she, you had
we had
you (pl. fam.) had
they, you (pl.) had
Past
participle
taken
eaten
lived
A breakdown of the terminology
The word pluscuamperfecto itself is a compound
word. If we divide it into its three components . . .
pluscuamperfecto
A breakdown of the terminology
The word pluscuamperfecto itself is a compound
word. If we divide it into its three components . . .
plus cuamperfecto
A breakdown of the terminology
The word pluscuamperfecto itself is a compound
word. If we divide it into its three components . . .
plus cuam perfecto
more
than
past
. . . we find that the term defines how this verb
tense describes an action or event—back past
another past action or event, or “more than past.”
A time line showing verb tense relationships
the pluperfect
(previous to past)
the preterit
(past)
Yo no había estudiado lo
suficiente.
Yo saqué una C en el Ahora yo soy un muy
examen de mitad de
buen estudiante.
semestre.
 toward the past
The pluperfect is
always related to
another past tense.
the present
(now)
toward the future 
the present
perfect
(from the past up ‘til now)
Yo he estudiado mucho más
desde el examen de mitad de
semestre.
The pluperfect is never used in total isolation. It must
always be accompanied by another explicit or implied
past event or action.
Again, the pluperfect is used to refer to an action or event
that had occurred before another past action or event.
Compare the following sentences with the time line.
“more than past”
past
Present
Past
Future
dirigir
cantar
estar
venir
entrar
decir
“more than past”
past
El director había dirigido otras dos orquestas antes de venir a Boston.
The director had conducted two other orchestras before coming
to Boston.
past
“more than past”
Cuando entramos, la diva ya había cantado el aria.
When we entered, the diva had already sung the aria.
past
“more than past”
Nos dijo que el compositor había estado enfermo.
He told us that the composer had been sick.
Remember that in compound tenses nothing may be
inserted between the auxiliary haber and the past
participle; haber must agree in number with the
subject, and the past participle has only one form.
El público lo había visto antes.
The public had seen him before.
Los músicos habían tocado maravillosamente.
The musicians had played marvelously.
FIN
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Pluscuamperfecto - Auburn City Schools