Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb culminer

Introduction to the verb culminer

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The English translation of the French verb culminer is “to culminate” or “to reach its peak.” The infinitive form of culminer is pronounced “kool-mee-nay.”

Culminer comes from the Latin word “culmen,” meaning “top” or “peak.” It first appeared in the French language in the 16th century.

In everyday French, culminer is most often used in the Plus-que-parfait tense, which expresses an action that occurred before another past action. It is formed by using the imperfect tense of the auxiliary verb “avoir” or “être” and the past participle of culminer.

Here are three examples of culminer in the Plus-que-parfait tense, with their English translations:

  1. Ils avaient culminé dans leur carrière avant de prendre leur retraite. (They had reached their peak in their careers before retiring.)
  2. Le projet avait culminé en un grand succès, mais il a finalement échoué. (The project had culminated in a great success, but it ultimately failed.)
  3. Nous étions arrivés au sommet de la montagne et avions culminé à plus de 3000 mètres d’altitude. (We had reached the top of the mountain and had culminated at over 3000 meters of altitude.)

Table of the Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of culminer

Pronoun Conjugation Short Example English Translation
je j’avais culminé J’avais culminé au sommet de la montagne. I had reached the top of the mountain.
tu tu avais culminé Tu avais culminé dans ta carrière. You had reached the peak of your career.
il il avait culminé Il avait culminé dans sa vie professionnelle. He had reached the peak of his professional life.
elle elle avait culminé Elle avait culminé dans son sport préféré. She had reached the peak of her favorite sport.
on on avait culminé On avait culminé dans notre projet commun. One had reached the peak of our joint project.
nous nous avions culminé Nous avions culminé dans nos études. We had reached the peak of our studies.
vous vous aviez culminé Vous aviez culminé dans votre domaine. You had reached the peak of your field.
ils ils avaient culminé Ils avaient culminé dans leur longue carrière. They had reached the peak of their long career.
elles elles avaient culminé Elles avaient culminé dans leur passion commune. They had reached the peak of their shared passion.

Other Conjugations for Culminer.

   
    Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb culminer
   

    Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb culminer
   

    Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb culminer
   

    Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb culminer
   

    Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb culminer
   

    Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb culminer
   

    Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb culminer     (this article)

    Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb culminer

    Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb culminer

    Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb culminer

    Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb culminer
   

    Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb culminer

    Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb culminer
   

    Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb culminer
   

    Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb culminer

    L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb culminer

    L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb culminer

    Struggling with French verbs or the language in general? Why not use our free French Grammar Checker – no registration required!
   

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Culminer – 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.
NOTE: To take a deep dive into all the French tenses then see my article on Mastering French Tense Conjugation.

Tense Formation

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).

Background information

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.

Summary

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.

I hope you enjoyed this article on the verb culminer. Still in a learning mood? Check out another TOTALLY random French verb conjugation!

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