Pluperfect in Spanish

Miguel de Unamuno ( 1864 – 1936):
Es muy triste no sentirse amado, pero es mucho más triste no ser capaz de amar
It is sad not to be loved, but it is much sadder not to be able to love

The name of this tense in Spanish is: "Pretérito pluscuamperfecto".

Construction of the Pluperfect

The construction is:

[SUBJECT] + [' haber' in Imperfect tense (había)] + [PARTICIPLE]

(Yo) había terminado de comer cuando él llegó
I had finished eating when he came

Auxiliary 'haber' in Imperfect tense

We remember the conjugation of the auxiliary ' haber' in the imperfect tense:

yo había --
habías --
él había/
there was/were
nosotros habíamos --
vosotros habíais --
ellos habían --

Uses of Pluperfect

Like in English with the past perfect, the Pluperfect is used to show that an action was already completed in the past.

Por fin, había publicado mi libro y estaba muy feliz
I finally had published my book and I was very happy

Showing interrogation

To build the interrogation, change only the position of the subject:

tú habías estudiado
you had studied
¿habías estudiado (tú)?
had you studied?


To form the negation, add the adverb "no" before the verb:

yo había querido
I had wanted
yo no había querido
I hadn't wanted