1. Plusquamperfekt - Usage
  2. Plusquamperfekt - Conjugation

The Plusquamperfekt (past perfect) is used to express actions that happened before a certain event in the past.

Here are the main things you need to know about this tense.

Plusquamperfekt - Usage

Rule 1: We use the past perfect in German to look back at something that happened before a past event. This tense is used together with the simple past.



Ich habe meiner Freundin ein Buch gegeben. Ich hatte es vor langer Zeit gekauft.

I gave my girlfriend a book. I had bought it long ago.

Plusquamperfekt - Conjugation

Rule 2: To conjugate a verb in the past perfect, we need the simple past forms of "sein" or "haben" and the past participle.

Here's an example with the verb bleiben (to stay):

ich war geblieben
du warst geblieben
er, sie, es war geblieben
wir waren geblieben
ihr wart geblieben
Sie waren geblieben

And let's look at it in a sentence:



Sie standen gestern spät auf. Sie waren vorgestern lange im Restaurant geblieben.

They got up late last night. They had stayed late in the restaurant the day before yesterday.