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

Introduction to the verb douter

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The English translation of the French verb douter is “to doubt.” The infinitive form is pronounced as “doo-tay.”

The word “douter” comes from the Latin word “dubtare,” which means “to doubt.” It entered the French language around the 12th century.

In everyday French, the verb douter is commonly used in the Plus-que-parfait tense, which corresponds to the past perfect tense in English. This tense is used to express an action that was completed in the past before another past action.

Here are three examples of how douter is used in the Plus-que-parfait tense:

  1. J’avais douté de ses intentions. (I had doubted his intentions.)
  2. Tu avais douté qu’il viendrait. (You had doubted that he would come.)
  3. Ils avaient douté de leur succès. (They had doubted their success.)

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

Pronoun Conjugation Short Example English Translation
je j’avais douté J’avais douté de sa sincérité. I had doubted his sincerity.
tu tu avais douté Tu avais douté de ses intentions. You had doubted his intentions.
il il avait douté Il avait douté de sa parole. He had doubted his word.
elle elle avait douté Elle avait douté de son talent. She had doubted her talent.
on on avait douté On avait douté de sa décision. One had doubted his decision.
nous nous avions douté Nous avions douté de son choix. We had doubted his choice.
vous vous aviez douté Vous aviez douté de son jugement. You had doubted his judgement.
ils ils avaient douté Ils avaient douté de leur avenir. They had doubted their future.
elles elles avaient douté Elles avaient douté de leur succès. They had doubted their success.

Other Conjugations for Douter.

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

    Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb douter
   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Douter – 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 douter. Still in a learning mood? Check out another TOTALLY random French verb conjugation!

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