Le passé antérieur
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Le passé antérieurLe passé antérieur is a very formal tense, used mainly in literature. It corresponds often to the English past perfect.
Le passé antérieur is formed with the verb être or avoir in le passé simple tense + the past participle of the main verb.
finir ils eurent fini to finish they had finished
aller nous fûmes allés to go we had gone
se coucher vous vous fûtes couchés to go to bed you had gone to bed
Le passé antérieur is often used:
• after terms like quand, après que, dès que, lorsque, etc. (when / once, after which, as soon as, etc).
« Lorsque j’eus fait vingt mètres, je m’arrêtai. » Once I had gone twenty meters, I stopped.
(Marcel Pagnol, La Gloire de mon père)
• to indicate a past action that occurred before another when the main verb uses le passé simple.
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