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Spanish Grammar A1 ⮟
Ser and Estar in Spanish for Beginners
Está and Hay in Spanish to Express Location
The Present Indicative in Spanish
The verb querer in Spanish: how to use it
The Verb Gustar in Spanish
Demonstratives in Spanish and Adverbs of Place
Possessive Adjectives in Spanish
The Present Continuous in Spanish: Estar + Gerund
The Gerund in Spanish: Form and Basic Uses
Expressions of Quantity in Spanish: Muy and Mucho
Spanish Grammar A2 ⮟
Present Perfect Indicative in Spanish
The Past Simple in Spanish
The Preterite Imperfect Indicative in Spanish
Indicative past tenses in Spanish
How to Express Future in Spanish
How to use por and para in Spanish
Possessive Pronouns in Spanish
Comparative Adjectives in Spanish
Ya in Spanish: Meaning and Usage
Subject Personal Pronouns in Spanish
Expressing Obligation in Spanish
Spanish Grammar B1 ⮟
The Pluperfect Indicative in Spanish
The Future Simple in Spanish
The Conditional Simple in Spanish
The imperative mood in Spanish
The present subjunctive in Spanish
Verbal Periphrasis in Spanish
General Rules of Accentuation in Spanish
Expressing Wishes with the Subjunctive in Spanish
The Use of Cuando with Indicative and Subjunctive
Position of Object Pronouns in Spanish
Spanish Grammar B2 ⮟
Advanced Uses of Conditional Simple
The Future Perfect in Spanish
The Conditional Perfect in Spanish
Present Perfect Subjunctive in Spanish
How do I use the past imperfect subjunctive?
The Pluperfect Subjunctive in Spanish
How to express probability in Spanish
Conditional Clauses in Spanish
Verbs of Change in Spanish
Reported Speech in Spanish
Spanish Grammar C1 ⮟
The passive Voice in Spanish
Adverbial Clauses of Manner in Spanish
Adverbial Clauses of Cause in Spanish
Clauses of Purpose in Spanish
Conditional Conjunctions in Spanish
Uses of the Pronoun SE with Syntactic Function
Uses of the Pronoun Se as a Verb Mark
The Indeterminate Feminine in Spanish

The Pluperfect indicative in Spanish

The pluperfect indicative in Spanish is a verb tense that expresses an action that occurred in the past before another action also in the past.

When we use the category “perfect” to qualify a verb tense, we indicate that the verbal action is complete or finished. Thus, the term “pluperfect”, which comes from Latin, means “more than complete”.

Let’s see how the pluperfect indicative in Spanish is formed.

The Pluperfect indicative in Spanish: how is it formed?

Besides being a perfect tense, it is also compound, so it needs an auxiliary verb to be formed. In this case, we use the imperfect preterite of the verb haber and the participle of the main verb.

Conjugation chart of the pluperfect indicative in Spanish

Irregular participles in Spanish

The only difficulty in conjugating the pluperfect indicative in Spanish is the past participle. There are numerous verbs that have irregularities.

The participle is a non-personal form of verbs that is formed by eliminating the infinitive endings and adding -ado, for verbs ending in -ar, and -ido, for those ending in -er or -ir.

Despite this, we must learn the irregular forms of many verbs. Here are some of them:

Participios irregulares en español

The Pluperfect Indicative in Spanish: uses

As we said at the beginning of this article, the pluperfect expresses an action in the past prior to another action that also took place in the past. Consequently, to use this verb tense, we need another verb, or another time reference.



Previous action with a point of reference

The pluperfect is usually used in connection with the preterite indefinite. This expresses an action that occurred at a specific time in the past and the pluperfect indicates another action that occurred earlier.

Cuando llegué al centro de examen, el examen DELE ya había comenzado.

Unfortunately, this candidate was late for the exam, because it started before his arrival.

However, the use of another verb is not mandatory. We can simply use a time expression as a point of reference:

Al final de la mañana, había terminado todo mi trabajo.

It is even possible that the point of reference is not explicit in the sentence, if it is known to the interlocutors:

—¿Sabes que el español es el segundo idioma por número de hablantes nativos?

—Sí, algo había oído.

Expressing first experiences

The pluperfect is usually used to talk about first experiences in our life. For this, we usually use a negative sentence:

Nunca había visto una ciudad tan bonita como esta.

If you want to take a look at the rest of the past indicative tenses, don’t forget to visit this free grammar resource. This way, you will be able to better understand how to use the pluperfect indicative of the indicative in contrast to the other tenses.

And if you want to practice it with us, don’t hesitate to reserve a lesson with us. You will learn grammar from a communicative and conversational point of view. If you want to try it first, reserve a trial lesson with no obligation. This way, your Spanish will be “more than perfect”.

Infographic of the pluperfect indicative in Spanish