past continuous

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The pluperfect (from Latin plus quam perfectum (tempus) , more than completed (e time) ' Abbreviation: PQP ), also completed past, pluperfect , third past or Präteritumperfekt called, in which grammar a tense form of the verb, the one process or state that is temporally before a reference point in the past.


Graphical representation

The past perfect is used for the period of time that precedes a reference point in the past, whereby the reference point results from the context of the text or the narrative (“I once took an exam”). In order to go back further into the past, the past perfect tense is used (“I had previously studied for the exam”). The past perfect therefore relates to the simple past like the perfect to the present tense .

  • After preparing for the exam, I wasn't nervous anymore. (First sub-clause precedes the time and is in the past perfect, followed by a statement in the simple past)
  • They were very angry. I guess I did something wrong. (First sentence past tense, second sentence past perfect)

The past perfect occurs among others in the Indo-European languages ​​and the Finno-Ugric languages . It is the least common past tense in German. In some regional dialects (e.g. in Rhenish and Berlin ) it is often used as normal narrative time (instead of perfect or past tense). Most dialects in southern and northern Germany , Austria and Switzerland never or only rarely use this tense. At least in parts of Austria, southern Germany and Switzerland it is replaced in everyday language by the double perfect (“we have already eaten”).

In German

The formation of the past perfect is similar to that of the perfect. It is formed by an auxiliary temporal verb (sein, haben) and the past participle of the main verb. In contrast to the perfect tense, the auxiliary verb is in the simple past (was, had) .

Example "play"

  • Singular
    • I had played
    • you played
    • he / she / it had played
  • Plural
    • we had played
    • you had played
    • they had played

Example "go"

  • Singular
    • I had gone
    • you were gone
    • he / she / it was gone
  • Plural
    • we were gone
    • you were gone
    • they were gone

In verbs of change of place it is formed with war .

In German in the passive voice

The past perfect in the passive voice is formed with a form of war → are .

Example "bite"

  • Singular
    • I was bitten
    • you had been bitten
    • he / she / it was bitten
  • Plural
    • we were bitten
    • you were bitten
    • they had been bitten

Example "insulting"

  • Singular
    • I was verbally abused
    • you had been insulted
    • he / she / it had been verbally abused
  • Plural
    • we had been insulted
    • you were insulted
    • they had been verbally abused

Other languages

Most Indo-European languages ​​have a time step that corresponds to the German past perfect. In many languages, this tense is also formed - as in German - by combining the past tense form of an auxiliary verb with the past participle.

In French , the plus-que-parfait is used to express prematurity in relation to the passé composé . It is formed by the imparfait of être or avoir and the participe passé of the conjugated verb, e.g. B .: J'avais regardé (= I had looked at); Il était arrivé (= He had arrived).

Even the English know a corresponding shape: The Pluperfect Tense (usually Past Perfect called) is the connection of the auxiliary verb have with the past participle formed: Examples: I had seen him (= I had seen him), He had gone to London ( = He went to London).

The Latin is different from the languages listed in that it requires no auxiliary construction of auxiliary and participle in the active to the Vorvergangenheit express. Rather, it has its own verb forms for the past perfect active: viderat means: "He / she / it had seen". These forms are made up of the perfect stem (here vid- ) and the past tense forms of esse (sein). In the passive voice, however, forms of the past participle are combined with forms of esse: laudatus erat means: "He was praised."

The Portuguese has (using the past tense of the modal verb next to a composite perfect progressive ter formed), a simple perfect progressive form, which is directly derived from Latin. Example: (nós) tinhamos cantado and (nós) cantáramos (= we had sung). The simple verb form is considered archaic and therefore occurs almost exclusively in the written language in the Portuguese spoken in Europe. In Brazil too, priority is given to the analytical form.

The past perfect tense in Italian is formed from the simple past ( imperfetto , rarely passato remoto ) and past participle: avevamo cantato (= we had sung).

In Spanish , the past (pretérito pluscuamperfecto de indicativo) is formed with the past tense forms of the verb 'haber' and the past participle, e.g. B. “yo / él / ella había dicho” (I / he / she had said) or “habíamos ido” (we had left). As can be seen from the example, in Spanish - in contrast to German - the verbs of the movement are formed with the past tense of 'haber' (to have) and not with 'sein' (estar / ser).

In ancient Greek it is still clearly recognizable that the past perfect was originally the past tense of the (timeless) perfect . As with the aorist and imperfect, the augment appears in front of the perfect stem as a sign of the past : ἐ-πεπαιδεὐ-κει e-pepaideú-kei means 'he had educated', the medium and passive are also formed analogously.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: past perfect  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Duden - The grammar. 8th edition. Bibliographical Institute, Mannheim 2009.
  2. ^ Hoffmann, Ludger (2016): Deutsche Grammatik. Basics for teacher training, school, German as a second language and German as a foreign language. Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag, p. 251.