Trapassato Prossimo Tense/Past Perfect

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USAGE 1. it's relative to another past action 2. It refers to in any past tense, though the most commonly employed past tenses are passato prossimo, imperfetto, and passato remoto. 3. with the so-called presente storico ("historical present"). 4. very informal spoken Italian, when conditional tense is actually correct.

USAGE 1. it's relative to another past action 2. It refers to in any past tense, though the most commonly employed past tenses are passato prossimo, imperfetto, and passato remoto.

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3. with the so-called presente storico ("historical present"). 4. very informal spoken Italian, when conditional tense is actually correct.

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Quando sono arrivati i miei amici, avevo già mangiato.

When my friends arrived, I had already eaten.

Ieri io e la mia ragazza abbiamo visto un film che avevo visto.

Yesterday, my girlfriend and I watched a movie I'd watched.

Ho comprato la gonna che avevo visto la settimana scorsa.

I bought the skirt I had seen last week."

Ieri alle 5 del pomeriggio ero già tornato a casa. (literally)

Yesterday at five o'clock p.m., I was already back home.

Io aspettavo una lettera che era già stata consegnata. (imperfetto)

I was waiting for a letter that had been already delivered.

Loro vollero verificare se le informazioni che avevano ricevuto erano corrette. (passato remoto)

"They wanted to verify whether the information they had received was correct or not.

Hai voluto prendere la penna che avevi provato.

"You wanted to buy the pen you had tried out."

I senatori criticano Antonio per ciò che aveva fatto.

"The senators criticize Antonio for what he did.

Cicerone sa che viene giudicato per ciò che aveva pubblicato.

"Cicero knows he's being judged for what he published."

Napoleone aspetta che lo arrestino per i crimini che aveva commesso.

Napoleon is waiting to be arrested for the crimes he committed.

4. informal Se avessi prenotato prima, a quest'ora eravamo già entrati.

"If you booked in advance, we'd already be inside by now."

4. informal Avete deciso di prendere la macchina, se avessimo preso l'aereo, eravamo arrivati.

You decided to take the car; had we taken the plane, we would have arrived."

4. informal Se Luca avesse ascoltato il mio consiglio, aveva finito il suo compito.

"Had Luca listened to my advice, he would have been done with his assignment."

5. to express a higher level of politeness, mainly (but not exclusively) when using the verb venire ("to come"), as an alternative possibility to the employment of the passato prossimo tense.

In this case, the speaker(s) formulate the sentence as if it were a past occurrence in order to achieve a higher level of courtesy and formality.

Buongiorno, sono venuto (passato)per chiederle un favore. Buongiorno, ERO venuto (trapassato) per chiederle un favore.

"Good morning, I came to ask you a favor.

Ciao, sono venuto (passato) per vedere se avevi bisogno di qualcosa.
Ciao, ero venuto (trapassato) per vedere se avevi bisogno di qualcosa.

Hi, I came to see if you needed something."

Ciao, siamo venuti (passato)per aiutarvi.
Ciao, eravamo venuti (trapassato) per aiutarvi.

Hi, we came to help you."

io ero arrivato/a
tu eri arrivato/a
lui/lei era arrivato/a

"I had arrived" "you had arrived" he/she/it had arrived"

noi eravamo arrivati/e
voi eravate arrivati/e
loro erano arrivati/e

"we had arrived" "you had arrived" "they had arrived"

Io avevo visto
tu avevi visto
lui/lei aveva visto

I had seen" "you had seen" "he/she/it had seen"

noi avevamo visto
voi avevate visto
loro avevano visto

we had seen" "you had seen" they had seen"

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