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

Introduction to the verb initier

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The English translation of the French verb initier is “to initiate” or “to introduce.” It is pronounced as “ee-nee-tee-ay.”

Initier comes from the Latin word “initiare” which means “to begin” or “to initiate.” It entered the French language in the 14th century and is derived from the Old French word “init.” In everyday French, initier is most often used in its infinitive form, but it can also be used in different tenses such as the plus-que-parfait (pluperfect).

Here are three examples of initier in the plus-que-parfait tense:

  1. J’avais initié le projet avant qu’elle ne soit embauchée. (I had initiated the project before she was hired.)

  2. Tu avais initié les enfants aux sports nautiques quand ils étaient jeunes. (You had introduced the children to water sports when they were young.)

  3. Ils avaient initié leur relation avant que leur amitié ne se transforme en amour. (They had started their relationship before their friendship turned into love.)

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

Pronoun Conjugation Short Example English Translation
je j’avais initié J’avais initié le projet. I had initiated the project.
tu tu avais initié Tu avais initié le mouvement. You had initiated the movement.
il il avait initié Il avait initié l’enquête. He had initiated the investigation.
elle elle avait initié Elle avait initié la réunion. She had initiated the meeting.
on on avait initié On avait initié le procédé. One had initiated the process.
nous nous avions initié Nous avions initié le programme. We had initiated the program.
vous vous aviez initié Vous aviez initié les réformes. You had initiated the reforms.
ils ils avaient initié Ils avaient initié le projet. They had initiated the project.
elles elles avaient initié Elles avaient initié les négociations. They had initiated the negotiations.

Other Conjugations for Initier.

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

    Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb initier
   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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