GCSE Latin: Indicative Active Pluperfect

Pluperfect Tense

The pluperfect tense is translated into English by using the auxillary verb had, for example:

portaveram I had carried

The pluperfect tense refers to an action completed before a point in the past, for example:

I had eaten the cake before the guests arrived.

The Latin pluperfect uses the imperfect of sum for its personal endings:

singular 1st -eram
2nd -eras
3rd -erat
plural 1st -eramus
2nd -eratis
3rd -erant

This tense also uses a verb’s perfect stem. As with the perfect tense, knowledge of conjugations is of only limited help with this.


Pluperfect Tense (Indicative Active)
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
singular 1st portav-eram monu-eram rex-eram audiv-eram cep-eram
2nd portav-eras monu-eras rex-eras audiv-eras cep-eras
3rd portav-erat monu-erat rex-erat audiv-erat cep-erat
plural 1st portav-eramus monu-eramus rex-eramus audiv-eramus cep-eramus
2nd portav-eratis monu-eratis rex-eratis audiv-eratis cep-eratis
3rd portav-erant monu-erant rex-erant audiv-erant cep-erant


Conjugations and the perfect stem
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
The 1st Conjugation is the most predictable for perfect stems: all end in -av- (e.g. porto/portavi), except do/dedi and sto/steti. Perfect stems in the 2nd Conjugation end in -u- roughly half the time (e.g. timeo/timui, terreo/terrui) but otherwise vary (e.g. sedeo/sedi, rideo/risi). The 3rd Conjugation is the most unpredictable. An “s” sound is common (e.g. misi, scripsi, discessi, dixi), but practically all need to be learned as though additional vocabulary. The 4th Conjugation is either like audio/audivi or venio/veni (as in veni, vidi, vici), along with sentio/sensi Perfect stems in the 5th Conjugation are various, but a change of vowel to an -e- is common (e.g. facio/feci, capio/cepi, iacio/ieci)