Italian Past Anterior Tense (Trapassato Remoto)
The past anterior tense, also called the preterite perfect tense, is used to talk about:
- an action which took place before an action in the past definite tense (passato remoto)
To make the past anterior tense we use:
The past definite form of the auxiliary verb essere or avere
The past participle of the main verb
Dopo che ebbi cucinato, pulii la cucina.
(After cooking, I cleaned the kitchen.)
Finché non ebbi finito di studiare non uscii a giocare.
(I didn’t go out to to play until I had finished studying.)
Dopo che la casa fu costruita ci andarono ad abitare.
(After the house had been built we went to live there.)
Solo dopo che gli fu fatto notare l’errore trovò il coraggio di scusarsi.
(Only after he had been made aware of his mistake did he find the courage to apologise.)
Non appena fui giunto a casa cominciò a piovere.
(As soon as we reached the house it started to rain.)
The past anterior forms of the verbs mangiare, credere e partire:
|Mangiare (to eat)|
|Credere (to believe)|
When the past perfect is used with the auxiliary verb essere, the past participle of the main verb must agree with the gender and number of the subject.
|Partire (to go away)|
The past anterior forms of the verbs essere and avere.
|Essere (to be)|
|Avere (to have)|
Note that in spoken Italian the past anterior tense is not very common.
Italian Exercises The past perfect tense – Group nouns