Introduction to the verb calfater
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The English translation of the French verb calfater is “to caulk.” The infinitive form, calfater, is pronounced as “kal-fa-tey.”
Calfater comes from the Old French word “cauf,” meaning “hot,” and the Latin word “calere,” meaning “to be hot.” It is derived from the Latin phrase “calidus facere,” which means “to make hot.” This verb was used in the past to refer to the process of caulking ships, which involved heating and applying tar or pitch to seal the gaps between wooden boards.
In everyday French, calfater is most commonly used in the Plus-que-parfait tense, also known as the “pluperfect” tense in English. This tense is used to talk about an action that had already been completed before another action in the past. For example:
J’avais calfater le bateau avant qu’il ne commence à prendre l’eau.
(I had caulked the boat before it started taking on water.)
Nous avions calfater toutes les fenêtres avant la tempête.
(We had caulked all the windows before the storm.)
Les marins avaient calfater les coutures pour empêcher les fuites.
(The sailors had caulked the seams to prevent leaks.)
Note: In these examples, the verb “to have” (avoir) is conjugated in the Plus-que-parfait tense, while the verb calfater remains in its infinitive form.
In summary, calfater is a verb that originated from Old French and Latin and is used to refer to the act of caulking. In everyday French, it is most commonly used in the Plus-que-parfait tense to indicate an action that had been completed before another action in the past.
Table of the Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of calfater
||J’avais calfaté le bateau.
||I had caulked the boat.
||tu avais calfaté
||Tu avais calfaté la fissure.
||You had caulked the crack.
||il avait calfaté
||Il avait calfaté la coque.
||He had caulked the hull.
||elle avait calfaté
||Elle avait calfaté la fenêtre.
||She had caulked the window.
||on avait calfaté
||On avait calfaté le pont.
||One had caulked the deck.
||nous avions calfaté
||Nous avions calfaté le bois.
||We had caulked the wood.
||vous aviez calfaté
||Vous aviez calfaté le mur.
||You had caulked the wall.
||ils avaient calfaté
||Ils avaient calfaté le toit.
||They had caulked the roof.
||elles avaient calfaté
||Elles avaient calfaté la fissure.
||They had caulked the crack.
Other Conjugations for Calfater.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb calfater
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calfater
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calfater
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calfater
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calfater
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calfater
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calfater (this article)
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calfater
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calfater
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calfater
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calfater
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calfater
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calfater
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calfater
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calfater
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calfater
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb calfater
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Calfater – About the French Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense
The French “plus-que-parfait” tense is a past tense used to express actions or events that occurred before another past action or event. It is often translated to English as the “pluperfect” tense. The name “plus-que-parfait” literally means “more than perfect,” indicating that it is a tense used to describe actions that were completed before a specific point in the past.
To form the plus-que-parfait tense, you typically use the auxiliary verb “avoir” (to have) or “être” (to be) in the imperfect tense, followed by the past participle of the main verb. Here are the conjugations for both auxiliary verbs:
1. With “avoir” as the auxiliary verb:
– J’avais mangé (I had eaten)
– Tu avais parlé (You had spoken)
– Il/elle/on avait fini (He/She/One had finished)
– Nous avions lu (We had read)
– Vous aviez choisi (You had chosen)
– Ils/elles avaient joué (They had played)
2. With “être” as the auxiliary verb (usually for intransitive verbs or verbs indicating a state):
– J’étais parti(e) (I had left)
– Tu étais arrivé(e) (You had arrived)
– Il/elle/on était tombé(e) (He/She/One had fallen)
– Nous étions resté(e)s (We had stayed)
– Vous étiez né(e)(s) (You had been born)
– Ils/elles étaient monté(e)s (They had gone up)
Common everyday usage patterns
Sequencing of past events
The plus-que-parfait is used to express a past action that happened before another past action. For example, “J’avais mangé avant qu’il ne soit arrivé” (I had eaten before he arrived).
It is also used to provide background information or set the stage for a main past event. For instance, “Quand je suis arrivé, ils avaient déjà fini de manger” (When I arrived, they had already finished eating).
Hypothetical or reported speech
In indirect speech, the plus-que-parfait is used to report what someone had said or thought in the past. For example, “Il avait dit qu’il viendrait demain” (He had said that he would come tomorrow).
Interactions with other tenses
– The plus-que-parfait is often used in conjunction with the passé composé (simple past) to establish the sequence of past events. The passé composé describes the more recent action, while the plus-que-parfait describes the action that occurred earlier.
– It can also be used with the conditional mood to express a hypothetical past event, like “Si j’avais su, j’aurais agi différemment” (If I had known, I would have acted differently).
– When used in reported speech, it can be combined with the conditional mood or the imperfect subjunctive to reflect the original mood and tense of the reported statement.
The French plus-que-parfait tense is an essential part of the language for expressing past actions that occurred before other past actions, providing background information, and reporting past statements or thoughts. It is an integral component of constructing complex and accurate narratives in French.
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