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

Introduction to the verb préfigurer

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The English translation of the French verb préfigurer is “to foreshadow.” It is pronounced “pray-fee-goo-ray” in its infinitive form.

Préfigurer comes from the Latin word “praefigere,” which means to mark beforehand or prefigure. It entered the French language in the 14th century and is derived from the prefix “pré” (before) and the verb “figurer” (to figure).

In everyday French, préfigurer is most often used in the Plus-que-parfait tense, which is the past perfect tense in English. This tense is used to describe an action or event that occurred before another past action or event.

Here are three examples of préfigurer used in the Plus-que-parfait tense:

  1. Quand j’ai vu les nuages noirs, j’ai su que l’orage préfigurait une journée pluvieuse. (When I saw the dark clouds, I knew that the storm foreshadowed a rainy day.)

  2. Les résultats de l’élection avaient préfiguré les changements à venir dans le pays. (The election results had foreshadowed the changes to come in the country.)

  3. Enfant, je regardais les étoiles et je pensais que chaque constellation préfigurait un destin différent. (As a child, I would look at the stars and think that each constellation foreshadowed a different fate.)

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

Pronoun Conjugation Short Example English Translation
je j’avais préfiguré J’avais préfiguré la fin de l’histoire. I had foreshadowed the end of the story.
tu tu avais préfiguré Tu avais préfiguré la prochaine étape. You had foreshadowed the next step.
il il avait préfiguré Il avait préfiguré le futur. He had foreshadowed the future.
elle elle avait préfiguré Elle avait préfiguré la réussite. She had foreshadowed success.
on on avait préfiguré On avait préfiguré l’avenir. One had foreshadowed the future.
nous nous avions préfiguré Nous avions préfiguré notre destin. We had foreshadowed our fate.
vous vous aviez préfiguré Vous aviez préfiguré le dénouement. You had foreshadowed the outcome.
ils ils avaient préfiguré Ils avaient préfiguré les événements à venir. They had foreshadowed future events.
elles elles avaient préfiguré Elles avaient préfiguré les changements à venir. They had foreshadowed upcoming changes.

Other Conjugations for Préfigurer.

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

    Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb préfigurer
   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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