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Plusquamperfekt in German


Now we will look at the time in German, which was not previously given much attention. It’s Plusquamperfekt. It is one of the forms of the past tense that is used to reconcile the two actions in the past tense. We only use it when we need to emphasize that one event happened before the second.

It forms Plusquamperfekt similar to Perfekt: the auxiliary verb “haben” or “sein” in the second form (“hatte” or “war”) + the verb in the third form (Partizip II).

Example: The second verb (“hatte” or “war” or “sein”) in the third form (Partizip II):

Ich komme (I come) – Präsens – the present;
Ich bin gekommen – Perfekt – the past;
Ich war gekommen – Plusquamperfekt.
Offers in Plusquamperfekt are only used with appendage offers in Perfekt or Präteritum. This is why it exists to show that an event in Plusquamperfekt has happened before.

Let’s look at an example:

Ich bin zu spät zur Party gekommen. Mein Freund war schon zu Hause gegangen. – I came to the party too late. My friend had already gone home by that time.
The difference between these two sentences is only in the verb “sein”. The first sentence is the temporary form of Perfekt (“sein” is used in the first form), and in the second sentence “sein” is already used in the second form. The essence of this tense is that we demonstrate that the second sentence happened before the first one and when I came to the party, my friend was no longer there.

That’s what it would look like if it was in Perfekt:

Ich bin zu spät zur Party gekommen. Mein Freund ist schon zu Hause gegangen. – I came to the party. My friend went home.
We have no idea if he left before I came or if he went to the party with me for a while and left after that, or if two things happened at the same time and we missed the door.

The “nachdem” – “after” and “bevor” – “before” is often used to agree on past events:

Nachdem mein Freund schon zu Hause gegangen war, bin ich zur Party gekommen – after my friend went home, I came to the party.
Bevor ich zur Party gekommen bin, war mein Freund schon zu Hause gegangen – before I came to the party, my friend went home.
Don’t forget that you can also coordinate with Präteritum:

Bevor ich sie anrief, hatte ich die nummer gefunden – before I called her, I found the number.
That’s all you need to know about the “scary” and “heavy” Plusquamperfekt! Have a nice day.)

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