Introduction to the verb coiffer
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The English translation of the French verb coiffer is “to style/hair.” The infinitive form of coiffer is pronounced “kwah-fee-ay.”
The word coiffer comes from the Latin word “cappare,” meaning “to cover.” In everyday French, it is most often used as a transitive verb, meaning it requires a direct object to complete its meaning. In the Passé Antérieur tense, it is used to describe an action that was completed before another action in the past.
Here are three simple examples of coiffer in the Passé Antérieur tense:
- J’ai coiffé mes cheveux avant de sortir. (I had styled my hair before going out.)
- Elle l’avait coiffé pour son mariage. (She had styled her hair for her wedding.)
- Nous avions coiffé le modèle avant le défilé. (We had styled the model before the fashion show.)
Table of the Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of coiffer
|I had styled
|Tu eus coiffé
|You had styled
|Il eut coiffé
|He had styled
|Elle eut coiffé
|She had styled
|On eut coiffé
|One had styled
|Nous eûmes coiffé
|We had styled
|Vous eûtes coiffé
|You had styled
|Ils eurent coiffé
|They had styled
|Elles eurent coiffé
|They had styled
Other Conjugations for Coiffer.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer (this article)
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb coiffer
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Coiffer – 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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