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

Introduction to the verb catéchiser

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The English translation of the French verb catéchiser is “to catechize.” It is pronounced “kah-teh-shee-zay” in its infinitive form.

The word catéchiser comes from the Greek word “katecheo” meaning “to teach orally.” It entered the French language in the 13th century and was originally used in a religious context to refer to teaching the principles of the Christian faith.

In everyday French, the verb catéchiser is most often used in the Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait tense, which is the past subjunctive tense. This tense is used to express a hypothetical or uncertain action or situation that took place before another past action. It is formed by using the imperfect subjunctive of the auxiliary verb “avoir” or “être” followed by the past participle of the main verb.

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

  1. Il était important que le prêtre l’ait catéchisé avant sa confirmation. (It was important that the priest had catechized him before his confirmation.)
  2. Elle avait peur que ses enfants ne soient pas catéchisés correctement. (She was afraid that her children had not been catechized properly.)
  3. Nous étions surpris qu’il ait catéchisé des non-croyants. (We were surprised that he had catechized non-believers.)

Table of the Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of catéchiser

Pronoun Conjugation Example Usage English Translation
je eusse catéchisé J’aurais aimé que je eusse catéchisé. I wish I had catechized.
tu eusses catéchisé J’aurais aimé que tu eusses catéchisé. I wish you had catechized.
il eût catéchisé J’aurais aimé qu’il eût catéchisé. I wish he had catechized.
elle eût catéchisé J’aurais aimé qu’elle eût catéchisé. I wish she had catechized.
on eût catéchisé J’aurais aimé qu’on eût catéchisé. I wish one had catechized.
nous eussions catéchisé J’aurais aimé que nous eussions catéchisé. I wish we had catechized.
vous eussiez catéchisé J’aurais aimé que vous eussiez catéchisé. I wish you had catechized.
ils eussent catéchisé J’aurais aimé qu’ils eussent catéchisé. I wish they had catechized.
elles eussent catéchisé J’aurais aimé qu’elles eussent catéchisé. I wish they had catechized.

Other Conjugations for Catéchiser.

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

    Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb catéchiser
   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb catéchiser
    (this article)

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Catéchiser – About the French Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense

The French Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait, also known as the Pluperfect Subjunctive, is a verb tense used to express actions or states that occurred before another action in the past, and it’s used in situations where the indicative mood is in the past subjunctive or conditional mood.
NOTE: To take a deep dive into all the French tenses then see my article on Mastering French Tense Conjugation.

Formation

To form the Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait, you start with the imperfect subjunctive form of the auxiliary verb “avoir” or “être,” followed by the past participle of the main verb. 
For “avoir” verbs: Take the imperfect subjunctive form of “avoir” (e.g., j’eusse, tu eusses, il/elle eût, nous eussions, vous eussiez, ils/elles eussent). Add the past participle of the main verb. 
For “être” verbs: Take the imperfect subjunctive form of “être” (e.g., je fusse, tu fusses, il/elle fût, nous fussions, vous fussiez, ils/elles fussent). Add the past participle of the main verb.

Common Everyday Usage Patterns

Hypothetical Situations

The Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait is often used to express hypothetical or unreal actions that occurred before another past action.
For example: J’aurais aimé que tu aies fini ton travail avant que je sois arrivé. (I would have liked for you to have finished your work before I arrived.) 

Reported Speech

In reported speech, you may use the Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait to convey what someone said or thought in the past. 
For example: Il m’a dit qu’il avait peur que je n’aie pas compris. (He told me that he was afraid that I hadn’t understood.) 

Doubt, Wishes, and Emotions

This tense can also be used to express doubt, wishes, and emotions about past actions. 
For example: Je doutais qu’il eût dit la vérité. (I doubted that he had told the truth.) 
J’aurais souhaité que tu fusses venu. (I would have wished for you to have come.)

Interactions with Other Tenses

Present Subjunctive

The Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait can be used to describe past actions when the main verb is in the present subjunctive. 
For example: “Il faut que j’aie fini mon travail avant que tu partes.” (I must have finished my work before you leave.) 

Imperfect Subjunctive

It’s common to use the Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait with the imperfect subjunctive in complex sentences. 
For example: “Il m’avait dit qu’il fût rentré avant la fin de la journée.” (He had told me that he had returned before the end of the day.) 

Conditional

When the main verb is in the conditional mood, the Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait can be used to express past unreal conditions. 
For example: “Si j’avais su, j’aurais voulu que tu aies réussi.” (If I had known, I would have wanted you to have succeeded.)

Summary

The Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait is a complex tense used to convey nuanced meanings in French. While its usage may seem intricate, it becomes more intuitive with practice and exposure to the language. It’s important to understand the context in which it’s used, as it often conveys subtleties of time, conditionality, and emotion in French sentences.

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