Preterito Pluscuamperfecto

The Preterito Pluscuamperfecto is a Spanish tense used to reference events which were in the past at the time of another event, also in the past.

NowWhen the speaker is speaking
The time being referred to…Imperfecto / Pretérito Indefinido
Previous eventPretérito Pluscuamperfecto

Conjugating the Preterito Pluscuamperfecto

The pretérito pluscuampefecto is conjugated in a similar manner to the pretérito perfecto, using the auxiliary verb haber together with the past participle of the verbs in question. In this case, haber is conjugated in the pretérito imperfecto.

Haber +Past Participle
habíasido
habíasvisto
habíavuelto
habíamossabido
habíaisconocido
habíanvivido

Ya había leído el libro antes de ver la película.
I had already read the book before I saw the film.

Cuando nos lo dijo ya habíamos comprado los regalos.
When he told us, we had already bought the presents.

Irregular verbs in the Pretérito Perfecto

There are no verbs which are irregular in the preterito pluscuamperfecto, however the tense does inherit any irregularities from the participio pasado:

  • había visto
  • habías vuelto
  • habíamos puesto

Test Yourself!

Another double trouble, with haber and the particples. Can you remember the pattern and the participle irregulars.

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