1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Italian Past Perfect Tense

Trapassato Prossimo in Italian

By

In English the past perfect tense (trapassato prossimo) is formed with the auxiliary "had" + the past participle of the main verb. In Italian, the trapassato prossimo, a compound tense, is formed with the imperfetto of the auxiliary verb avere or essere and the past participle of the acting verb.

The students were tired because they had studied until late. He didn't go to the theater because he had already seen the film. The past perfect tense (trapassato prossimo) is used when two actions happened at different times in the past.

Here are a few examples of the trapassato prossimo:

Già erano partiti quando sono arrivato. (They had already left when I arrived.)
Avevo chiuso le finestre quando è cominciato a piovere. (I had shut the windows when it started to rain.)
La macchina sbandava perché aveva piovuto. (The car was sliding because it had rained.)

CONJUGATING ITALIAN VERBS IN THE PAST PERFECT WITH AVERE AND ESSERE

PARLARECREDEREANDAREUSCIRE
ioavevo parlatoavevo credutoero andato(-a)ero uscito(-a)
tuavevi parlatoavevi credutoeri andato(-a)eri uscito(-a)
lui, lei, Leiaveva parlatoaveva credutoera andato(-a)era uscito(-a)
noiavevamo parlatoavevamo credutoeravamo andati(-e)eravamo usciti(-e)
voiavevate parlatoavevate credutoeravate andati(-e)eravate usciti(-e)
loro, Loroavevano parlatoavevano credutoerano andati(-e)erano usciti(-e)
  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. Italian Language
  4. Grammar
  5. Verbs
  6. Italian Past Perfect Tense - Trapassato Prossimo

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.