Spanish Past Perfect (Pluperfect)

The Spanish Past Perfect, also known as Pluperfect (or, in Spanish, “Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto”) is a tense used to talk about an action which HAD already HAPPENED by the time another action occurred in the past.



The Past Perfect is constructed with 2 words:

That means, the resulting model is:

yohabía... + Past Participle of the main verb


Examples of verbs fully conjugated in Past Perfect:


yohabía bailado
habías bailado
élhabía bailado
nosotroshabíamos bailado
vosotroshabíais bailado
elloshabían bailado


yohabía comido
habías comido
élhabía comido
nosotroshabíamos comido
vosotroshabíais comido
elloshabían comido


As we said, the Past Perfect is used to talk about an action that HAD already HAPPENED by the time another action occurred in the past.

Here are some examples:

Cuando Ana llegó, sus amigos se habían ido. = When Ana arrived, her friends had left.

Antonio ya había estudiado la lección y se la explicó a sus compañeros. = Antonio had already studied the lesson and he explained it to his classmates.

Luisa vio el regalo que sus padres le habían comprado. = Luisa saw the present that her parents had bought her.

¡Pensé que ya te habían contado la historia! = I thought they had already told you the story!

Llegó la hora y aún no habíamos preparado nada = The time came and we had not prepared anything yet.


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