The Plusquamperfekt (Past Perfect Tense) in German
In German, as in English, the Plusquamperfekt describes actions or events that precede another point in the past, which has been expressed in the Perfekt or Präteritum tense. So it is a useful tense as it allows you to distinguish between events that date further back in the past relative to other past events. Unlike English, the past perfect is constructed with two auxiliary verbs.
e.g. Sie hatten ein antikes Kunstwerk bewundert, als sie im Museum waren.
Er hatte schon viele Jahre in Großbritannien gelebt, bevor er Schottland besuchte.
(He had lived in the UK for many years before he visited Scotland)
Sie hatte schon viele deutsche Freunde und war oft nach Deutschland gereist, bevor sie Deutsch lernte.
(She had many German friends and had often travelled to Germany before she studied German)
Wir waren schon oft im Park laufen gegangen, bis wir erkannten, wie schön der Park eigentlich war.
(We had often gone for a run in the park until we realised how beautiful the park actually was)
Als sie Tennis gespielt hatte, war sie verletzt worden (here, we use the passive in German)
(When she played tennis, she had been injured)
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