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

Introduction to the verb questionner

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The English translation of questionner is “to question” or “to ask”. It is pronounced as “keh-stee-oh-neh”.

The word questionner comes from the Latin word “quaerere”, which means “to seek, to ask”. It entered the French language in the 12th century and has been used in everyday French since then.

In the Plus-que-parfait tense, questionner is used to express an action that was completed before another past action. Here are three examples of its usage in this tense with their English translations:

  1. J’avais questionnĂ© mes parents sur leur mariage avant qu’ils ne divorcent. (I had questioned my parents about their marriage before they got divorced.)

  2. Tu avais questionné le professeur sur le sujet avant de faire ton exposé. (You had asked the teacher about the topic before doing your presentation.)

  3. Elle avait questionnĂ© ses voisins Ă  propos du bruit avant d’appeler la police. (She had questioned her neighbors about the noise before calling the police.)

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

Pronoun Conjugation Short Example English Translation
je j’avais questionnĂ© J’avais questionnĂ© le professeur. I had questioned the teacher.
tu tu avais questionné Tu avais questionné le directeur. You had questioned the director.
il il avait questionné Il avait questionné le témoin. He had questioned the witness.
elle elle avait questionnĂ© Elle avait questionnĂ© l’expert. She had questioned the expert.
on on avait questionné On avait questionné le suspect. One had questioned the suspect.
nous nous avions questionné Nous avions questionné le voisin. We had questioned the neighbor.
vous vous aviez questionné Vous aviez questionné le candidat. You had questioned the candidate.
ils ils avaient questionnĂ© Ils avaient questionnĂ© l’avocat. They had questioned the lawyer.
elles elles avaient questionné Elles avaient questionné la victime. They had questioned the victim.

Other Conjugations for Questionner.

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

    Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb questionner
   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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