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

Introduction to the verb fonctionner

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The English translation of the French verb fonctionner is “to function.” It is pronounced “fawnk-see-oh-nay” in the infinitive form.

The word “fonctionner” comes from the Latin word “functionare,” which means “to execute.” In everyday French, fonctionner is most often used in the Plus-que-parfait tense, which is the past perfect tense in English. This tense is used to talk about an action that was completed before another past action.

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

  1. J’avais fonctionnĂ© pendant des heures avant de me rendre compte que j’avais oubliĂ© de brancher l’ordinateur. (I had been working for hours before realizing that I had forgotten to plug in the computer.)

  2. Tu avais fonctionné dans cette entreprise depuis 5 ans avant de démissionner. (You had been working in this company for 5 years before resigning.)

  3. Ils avaient fonctionné ensemble sur ce projet avant de se disputer. (They had been working together on this project before they had a fight.)

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

Pronoun Conjugation Short Example English Translation
je j’avais fonctionnĂ© J’avais fonctionnĂ© pendant des heures. I had functioned for hours.
tu tu avais fonctionné Tu avais fonctionné toute la journée. You had functioned all day.
il il avait fonctionné Il avait fonctionné à merveille. He had functioned perfectly.
elle elle avait fonctionné Elle avait fonctionné sans problÚme. She had functioned without any issue.
on on avait fonctionné On avait fonctionné en équipe. One had functioned as a team.
nous nous avions fonctionné Nous avions fonctionné ensemble. We had functioned together.
vous vous aviez fonctionné Vous aviez fonctionné avec brio. You had functioned brilliantly.
ils ils avaient fonctionné Ils avaient fonctionné sur ce projet. They had functioned on this project.
elles elles avaient fonctionné Elles avaient fonctionné avec diligence. They had functioned diligently.

Other Conjugations for Fonctionner.

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

    Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb fonctionner
   

    PassĂ© Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb fonctionner
   

    PassĂ© ComposĂ© (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb fonctionner
   

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

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

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

    PassĂ© AntĂ©rieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb fonctionner

    Futur AntĂ©rieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb fonctionner

    Subjonctif PrĂ©sent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb fonctionner

    Subjonctif PassĂ© (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb fonctionner
   

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

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

    Conditionnel PrĂ©sent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb fonctionner
   

    Conditionnel PassĂ© (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb fonctionner

    L’impĂ©ratif PrĂ©sent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb fonctionner

    L’infinitif PrĂ©sent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb fonctionner

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Fonctionner – 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 “ĂȘtre” (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 mangĂ© (I had eaten)
   – Tu avais parlĂ© (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 jouĂ© (They had played)
2. With “ĂȘtre” as the auxiliary verb (usually for intransitive verbs or verbs indicating a state):
   – J’Ă©tais parti(e) (I had left)
   – Tu Ă©tais arrivĂ©(e) (You had arrived)
   – Il/elle/on Ă©tait tombĂ©(e) (He/She/One had fallen)
   – Nous Ă©tions restĂ©(e)s (We had stayed)
   – Vous Ă©tiez nĂ©(e)(s) (You had been born)
   – Ils/elles Ă©taient montĂ©(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 mangĂ© avant qu’il ne soit arrivĂ©” (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 arrivĂ©, ils avaient dĂ©jĂ  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 passĂ© composĂ© (simple past) to establish the sequence of past events. The passĂ© composĂ© 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 diffĂ©remment” (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 fonctionner. Still in a learning mood? Check out another TOTALLY random French verb conjugation!

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