Pluscuamperfecto of call: what is it, how to use

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O past pluscuamperfecto of callsignequivalent to the more-than-perfect past tense of the Portuguese language — is a tense composed of a perfective aspect, that is, expresses actions or facts already concluded and closed. These facts or actions are prior to the moment of speech.

This tense expresses, therefore, priority regarding some past situation, which may or may not be mentioned. In some cases, the pluscuamperfecto of callsign can switch with the perfect past tense composed of indicative it's the indefinite past tense.

In indirect style, the pluscuamperfecto is used to reproduce actions that were expressed in the perfect composed of callsign or not indefinite past tense. Morphologically, its formation takes place with the auxiliary verb knowconjugate in the past tense imperfect of indicative and the main verb in the participle.

Read too: Las conjunctions — the words used to establish the articulation of texts

Summary about past tense pluscuamperfecto of indicative

  • Expresses a past action before another action, equally past.

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  • It is formed with the auxiliary verb knowconjugate in the past tense imperfect of indicative and the main verb in the participle.

  • In Portuguese, it is equivalent to the more-than-perfect past tense of the indicative.

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How to use the forreterit forluscuamperfecto of callsign?

  • Indicate past actions prior to another past:

When llegué, Alicia ya it had come out.

(When I arrived, Alicia already had left / had already left.)

The action of leaving Alicia was before my arrival, indicated by the indefinite past tense, therefore, the pluscuamperfecto to express it.

Let's look at another example:

While studying the contents of the examination, it ya there was resueltothe exercises.

(While we were studying the content of the test, it already had resolved / resolved The exercises.)

In this second example, the initial past action is expressed by the verb studious — at the call imperfect. The act of solving — there was resuelto —the exercises is before the first action.


  • Alternation with the perfect past tense composed of indicative it's the indefinite past tense:

O pluscuamperfecto of callsign can be alternated with the perfect past tense composed of indicative.This tense expresses actions that occurred in the recent past, however, the pluscuamperfecto can alternate with it when there is some doubt about the timing of the action. If it is understood that the action took place “before now”, the pluscuamperfecto; whether the understanding is that the action took place or had never taken place “until now”, the perfect composite. Let's look at the example:

Never habian regaled a book. — never before now (pluscuamperfecto)

Never han feasted a book. — never late. (perfect composed of callsign)

(Never had given me / given mea gift book.)

This alternation can also happen with the indefinite past tense, in Spanish-speaking regions where the perfect composite:

Never habian regaled a book. — never before now (pluscuamperfecto)

Never regalarona book. — never late. (Undefined)

(Never had given me / given me a gift book.)

Video lesson about perfect past tense composed of indicative

  • Indirect-style use:

it is about the reproduction of the words of others or our own, orally or in writing, through an introductory verb (count, decide, ask, affirm...) followed by the conjunction what. If the actions, in the direct style, are expressed in the perfect composed of callsign, the transition to indirect style will take place with the pluscuamperfecto:

Direct Style: At the he's goneSara's la fiesta.
(Not I went to Sara's party.)

Indirect style: Carolina tell me that no had goneSara's la fiesta.
(Carolina told me no had gone / outside to Sara's party.)

In turn, if the action is in the indefinite past tense, the alternation with the pluscuamperfecto is optional.

Direct Style: ayer study with my daddy.
(Yesterday I have beenWith my dad.)

Indirect style: Tell Joaquín que ayer studyand / there was state with my daddy.
(I told Joaquin that yesterday isisee / had been / had beenWith my dad.)

See too:Present tense in spanish understand thisverbal tense and know how to use it

Formation of the pretherite pluscuamperfecto of indicative

O pluscuamperfecto is formed by verb know conjugate in the call imperfect and a main verb in the participle.


HABER verb in indicative imperfect

Main verb in participle


there was








would you please


there was


we had

you (the)


ellos (as)/ustedes


Thus, the only irregularities of this tense come from the participle, which has some irregular verbs. Here is a list of the most common:

decide — dicho

to die — dead

resolve — resuelto

back — turn

do — hecho

poner — puesto

break — broken

see — seen

scribe — writing

to die — dead


O pluscuamperfecto of callsign is equivalent to the past tense more-than-perfect in Portuguese, which has the simple (singed, eaten, asked) and composed (had/had sung/eaten/requested) forms.

Know more: Imperative in Spanish — verb form used to give orders or instructions

Exercises solved on forluscuamperfecto of callsign

question 1

Mark the correct combination of the pluscuamperfecto in the sentences that follow:

a) Maria told me that Juan had scene / would you please scene in her restaurant.

b) When I got to work, Fabián y Daniela ya if it had woken up / if it had woken up.

c) Ya me you would have forgotten / you would have forgotten from the direction when record that in the it was noted / it was noted.

d) When you meet with Enrique, él ya habia bought / habiais bought the entrances of the cinema.

e) Ya it was dawn and we still didn't habíais llegado / habiais llegado.


a) had scene.

b) if he had awakened.

c) had been forgotten / had been noted

d) had purchased

e) we had arrived

question 2

Complete the following sentences with the indirect style using the pluscuamperfecto of callsign:

a) Hoy he trabajado mucho.

Maria told me that ayer _________________ a lot.

b) Es dawn and los muchachos still in the han vuelto.

It was dawn and los muchachos still in ___________.

c) Ya empezó la clase, Mariana, siéntate.

Llegué afternoon to class and the teacher, I tell myself that I will be seated pues la class by ___________.

d) I went to the doctor because he duel me la espalda.

Yo ____________ al the doctor because it hurt me la espalda.

e) Why do you need to do it in the han hecho las tasks?

La profe asked us why in _______________ las tasks.


a) had worked

b) habían vuelto

c) there was empezado

d) had gone

e) we had hecho

By Renata Martins Gornattes
Spanish teacher

Would you like to reference this text in a school or academic work? Look:

GORNATTES, Renata Martins. "Pluscuamperfecto of call"; Brazil School. Available in: Accessed on December 4, 2021.

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