The preterite perfect (trapassato remoto) is a compound tense that belongs to the indicative mood.
The trapassato remoto is usually used in literary contexts. In everyday language* it is rarely used, except in very formal contexts.
*In everyday language the trapassato remoto is usually replaced with the passato remoto or the trapassato prossimo.
The trapassato remoto refers to an action that took place in the past before another action introduced by the passato remoto.
Therefore, the trapassato remoto can be usually found in subordinate clauses.
The trapassato remoto can be introduced by the following marker words:
|Non appena||As soon as|
Th trapassato remoto is formed as follows:
Passato remoto of the auxiliary verb essere/avere + participio passato (past participle) of the main verb
Here you can find three examples of regular verbs in the trapassato remoto tense.
Example mangiare (to eat)
|Passato remoto auxiliary verb||Participio passato main verb||Example||Translation|
|Io||ebbi||mangiato||Io ebbi mangiato una mela||I had eaten an apple|
|Tu||avesti||mangiato||Tu avesti mangiato una mela||You had eaten an apple|
|Egli/Ella||ebbe||mangiato||Egli ebbe mangiato una mela||He had eaten an apple|
|Noi||avemmo||mangiato||Noi avemmo mangiato una mela||We had eaten an apple|
|Voi||aveste||mangiato||Voi aveste mangiato una mela||You had eaten an apple|
|Essi/Esse||ebbero||mangiato||Essi ebbero mangiato una mela||They had eaten an apple|
Example credere (to believe)
|Passato remoto auxiliary verb||Participio passato main verb||Example||Translation|
|Io||ebbi||creduto||Io ebbi creduto alle sue bugie||I had believed to his lies|
|Tu||avesti||creduto||Tu avesti creduto alle sue bugie||You had believed to his lies|
|Egli/Ella||ebbe||creduto||Egli ebbe creduto alle sue bugie||He had believed to his lies|
|Noi||avemmo||creduto||Noi avemmo creduto alle sue bugie||We had believed to his lies|
|Voi||aveste||creduto||Voi aveste creduto alle sue bugie||You had believed to his lies|
|Essi/Esse||ebbero||creduto||Essi ebbero creduto alle sue bugie||They had believed to his lies|
Example dormire (to sleep)
|Passato remoto auxiliary verb||Participio passato main verb||Example||Translation|
|Io||ebbi||dormito||Io ebbi dormito tutto il giorno||I had slept all day|
|Tu||avesti||dormito||Tu avesti dormito tutto il giorno||You had slept all day|
|Egli/Ella||ebbe||dormito||Egli ebbe dormito tutto il giorno||He had slept all day|
|Noi||avemmo||dormito||Noi avemmo dormito tutto il giorno||We had slept all day|
|Voi||aveste||dormito||Voi aveste dormito tutto il giorno||You had slept all day|
|Essi/Esse||ebbero||dormito||Essi ebbero dormito tutto il giorno||They had slept all day|
Verbs that form the participio passato irregularly, have to be studied by heart.
Here are some examples:
|Vedere (to see)||Morire (to die)||Vivere (to live)||Scrivere (to write)||Leggere (to read)|
|Io||ebbi visto||fui morto/a*||ebbi vissuto||ebbi scritto||ebbi letto|
|Tu||avesti visto||fosti morto/a*||avesti vissuto||avesti scritto||avesti letto|
|Egli/Ella||ebbe visto||fu morto/a*||ebbe vissuto||ebbe scritto||ebbe letto|
|Noi||avemmo visto||fummo morti/e*||avemmo vissuto||avemmo scritto||avemmo letto|
|Voi||aveste visto||foste morti/e*||aveste vissuto||aveste scritto||aveste letto|
|Essi/Esse||ebbero visto||furono morti/e*||ebbero vissuto||ebbero scritto||ebbero letto|
*Remember that when you use the auxiliary verb essere, the participio passato must agree with the subject in gender and number!
The auxiliary verbs form the trapassato prossimo as follows:
|Essere (to be)||Avere (to have)|
|Io||fui stato/a||ebbi avuto|
|Tu||fosti stato/a||avesti avuto|
|Egli/Ella||fu stato/a||ebbe avuto|
|Noi||fummo stati/e||avemmo avuto|
|Voi||foste stati/e||aveste avuto|
|Essi/Esse||furono stati/e||ebbero avuto|
Now don't forget to try our exercises to improve your knowledge!
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