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

Introduction to the verb dompter

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The English translation of the French verb dompter is “to tame” or “to conquer”. It is pronounced as “dohm-tay” in its infinitive form.

The origin of the word “dompter” can be traced back to the Latin word “domitare”, meaning “to tame”. It entered the French language in the 12th century and has been used in various forms and contexts ever since.

In everyday French, the verb dompter is most often used in the Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait tense, which is the past subjunctive tense of the “plus-que-parfait” indicative tense. This tense is used to express an action that would have taken place before another action in the past.

Here are three simple examples of its usage in this tense, with their respective English translations:

  1. J’étais contente que tu aies dompté ce cheval sauvage. (I was happy that you had tamed this wild horse.)

  2. Il était fier que son équipe eût dompté tous ses adversaires. (He was proud that his team had conquered all their opponents.)

  3. Elle était surprise que j’eusse pu dompter ma peur des araignées. (She was surprised that I had been able to overcome my fear of spiders.)

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

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

Other Conjugations for Dompter.

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

    Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb dompter
   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dompter – 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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