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

Introduction to the verb déceler

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The English translation of the French verb déceler is “to detect” or “to uncover.” It is pronounced “day-suh-leh.”

Déceler comes from the Latin word “decēlāre,” meaning “to declare” or “to make known.” In everyday French, it is most often used in the Plus-que-parfait tense, which is the “pluperfect” tense in English. This tense is used to indicate a past action that was completed before another past action.

Examples:

  1. J’avais décelé une erreur dans son travail avant qu’il ne le soumette à son patron. (I had detected an error in his work before he submitted it to his boss.)

  2. Nous avions décelé des signes de fatigue chez les joueurs avant le match. (We had detected signs of fatigue in the players before the game.)

  3. Ils avaient décelé des traces de sang sur le sol avant de découvrir le corps. (They had uncovered traces of blood on the floor before discovering the body.)

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

Pronoun Conjugation Short Example English Translation
je j’avais décelé J’avais décelé des mensonges. I had detected lies.
tu tu avais décelé Tu avais décelé une erreur. You had detected a mistake.
il il avait décelé Il avait décelé la vérité. He had uncovered the truth.
elle elle avait décelé Elle avait décelé un complot. She had uncovered a plot.
on on avait décelé On avait décelé un secret. One had discovered a secret.
nous nous avions décelé Nous avions décelé un problème. We had detected a problem.
vous vous aviez décelé Vous aviez décelé une solution. You had found a solution.
ils ils avaient décelé Ils avaient décelé une fraude. They had uncovered a fraud.
elles elles avaient décelé Elles avaient décelé un mensonge. They had detected a lie.

Other Conjugations for Déceler.

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

    Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb déceler
   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Déceler – 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.

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