Introduction to the verb reculer
The English translation of the French verb reculer is “to back up” or “to move back.” The infinitive form is pronounced “ruh-koo-leh.”
Reculer comes from the Latin word “reculare,” meaning “to draw back.” It is most often used in every day French in the Plus-que-parfait tense, which is used to talk about past actions that were completed before another past action.
Example 1: J’avais reculé ma voiture avant que le camion ne passe. (I had backed up my car before the truck passed by.)
Example 2: Tu avais reculé ta chaise pour laisser de la place aux autres. (You had moved your chair back to make room for others.)
Example 3: Ils avaient reculé devant le danger. (They had backed away from the danger.)
In all of these examples, the action of reculer (backing up) took place before another past action. The Plus-que-parfait tense is often used when telling stories or describing events that occurred in the past.
Table of the Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of reculer
|J’avais reculé le siège.
|I had moved back the seat.
|tu avais reculé
|Tu avais reculé la voiture.
|You had backed up the car.
|il avait reculé
|Il avait reculé le camion.
|He had moved back the truck.
|elle avait reculé
|Elle avait reculé la chaise.
|She had pushed back the chair.
|on avait reculé
|On avait reculé le meuble.
|One had moved back the furniture.
|nous avions reculé
|Nous avions reculé la table.
|We had pushed back the table.
|vous aviez reculé
|Vous aviez reculé le canapé.
|You had moved back the sofa.
|ils avaient reculé
|Ils avaient reculé le lit.
|They had pushed back the bed.
|elles avaient reculé
|Elles avaient reculé le fauteuil.
|They had moved back the armchair.
Other Conjugations for Reculer.
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Reculer – About the French Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense
Common everyday usage patterns
Sequencing of past events
Hypothetical or reported speech
Interactions with other tenses
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