Introduction to the verb capter
Get the Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) tense conjugation of capter. Includes a FREE downloadable reference sheet (no email required). Alternatively if you have a lot of text to check then use our free French Grammar Checker – no registration required!
The English translation of the French verb capter is “to capture” or “to pick up” in the sense of catching or receiving a signal or information. It is pronounced as “kahp-teh” in its infinitive form.
Capter comes from the Latin word captare, meaning “to catch” or “to try to catch”. In everyday French, it is most often used in the Passé Antérieur tense to talk about something that was completed before another past action or event.
Here are three simple examples of its usage in this tense, with their respective English translations:
J’ai capté le signal de la télé avant que la tempête n’ait coupé l’électricité. (I picked up the TV signal before the storm cut off the electricity.)
L’espion avait capté des informations confidentielles avant d’être arrêté. (The spy had captured confidential information before being arrested.)
Quand j’ai capté son regard, j’ai su qu’il mentait. (When I caught his gaze, I knew he was lying.)
Table of the Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of capter
||I had captured
||Tu eusses capté
||You had captured
||Il eût capté
||He had captured
||Elle eût capté
||She had captured
||On eût capté
||One had captured
||Nous eûmes capté
||We had captured
||Vous eûtes capté
||You had captured
||Ils eurent capté
||They had captured
||Elles eurent capté
||They had captured
Other Conjugations for Capter.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb capter
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb capter
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb capter
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb capter
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb capter
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb capter
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb capter
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb capter (this article)
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb capter
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb capter
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb capter
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb capter
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb capter
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb capter
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb capter
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb capter
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb capter
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Capter – About the French Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense
The French Passé Antérieur tense, often referred to as the “past anterior” in English, is a literary and formal past tense that is not commonly used in everyday spoken French. It is primarily found in written language, particularly in literature, historical texts, and formal writing. This tense is used to express actions that occurred before another action in the past, serving a similar purpose to the past perfect tense (passé composé) in English.
Formation of the Passé Antérieur
The Passé Antérieur is formed by using the third person singular of the passé simple (simple past) tense of the auxiliary verb “avoir” or “être,” followed by the past participle of the main verb.
The choice between “avoir” and “être” as the auxiliary verb depends on the main verb and its transitivity or intransitivity. Here is the basic structure:
1. For verbs that use “avoir” as the auxiliary verb:
– J’eus (I had) + past participle (of the main verb)
2. For verbs that use “être” as the auxiliary verb:
– Je fus (I was) + past participle (of the main verb)
Common Usage Patterns
As mentioned earlier, the Passé Antérieur is primarily used in formal and literary contexts. It is rarely used in everyday spoken French, where the passé composé and imparfait are more commonly used to express past actions. Some common patterns of usage include:
The Passé Antérieur is frequently used in literature to describe past events in a succinct and formal manner.
It is used in historical narratives to recount past actions and events.
In formal and academic writing, the Passé Antérieur can be employed to convey events in the past with a sense of formality and precision.
Interactions with Other Tenses
The Passé Antérieur often interacts with other tenses, especially when narrating past events in a chronological order:
Passé Composé (Present Perfect)
The Passé Antérieur can be used to indicate an action that occurred before another action expressed in the passé composé. For example: “Il eut terminé son travail avant que je ne sois arrivé.” (He had finished his work before I arrived).
The Passé Antérieur may be used in conjunction with the imparfait to convey a sequence of past actions. For instance: “Elle arriva après que nous eûmes commencé.” (She arrived after we had started).
Futur Antérieur (Future Perfect)
In the context of storytelling or narration, the Passé Antérieur can be used to describe events that happened before a future action expressed in the futur antérieur. For example: “Il partira après qu’il aura fini.” (He will leave after he has finished).
Passé Antérieur is a formal past tense used in written language and literary contexts to describe actions that occurred before another action in the past. It is not commonly used in everyday spoken French where you should instead use the passé composé and imparfait for discussing past events.
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