Introduction to the verb caracoler
Get the Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) tense conjugation of caracoler. 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 caracoler is “to prance” or “to trot.” It is pronounced as “kah-rah-koh-lay” in its infinitive form.
The language origin of caracoler can be traced back to the Italian word “caracolare,” meaning to gallop or run. It entered the French language in the 16th century and was used to describe the movements of horses.
In everyday French, caracoler is most often used in the Passé Antérieur tense, which is a literary past tense used to describe actions that were completed before another past action. It is similar to the English past perfect tense.
Here are three simple examples of caracoler in the Passé Antérieur tense with their respective English translations:
Les chevaux avaient caracolé dans le champ avant que nous arrivions. (The horses had pranced in the field before we arrived.)
Le cheval avait caracolé sur la plage toute la journée. (The horse had trotted on the beach all day.)
Les danseurs avaient caracolé sur la piste de danse toute la nuit. (The dancers had pranced on the dance floor all night.)
Table of the Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of caracoler
||I had pranced
||Tu eus caracolé
||You had pranced
||Il eut caracolé
||He had pranced
||Elle eut caracolé
||She had pranced
||On eut caracolé
||One had pranced
||Nous eûmes caracolé
||We had pranced
||Vous eûtes caracolé
||You had pranced
||Ils eurent caracolé
||They had pranced
||Elles eurent caracolé
||They had pranced
Other Conjugations for Caracoler.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb caracoler
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caracoler
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caracoler
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caracoler
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caracoler
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caracoler
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caracoler
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caracoler (this article)
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caracoler
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caracoler
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caracoler
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caracoler
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caracoler
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caracoler
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caracoler
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caracoler
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb caracoler
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Caracoler – 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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