The past precedent indicative tense describes a completed occurrence in the past that precedes another past occurrence (hence called “precedent” aspect) and is based on the known state of affairs (→ indicative mood). Persian past precedent is similar to English pluperfect. The pluperfect tense is more commonly called “past perfect” but English does not have a true past perfect tense i.e. a past occurence that precedes another past occurrence and has present relevance. Persian has such a tense and it is called: past precedent perfect.


The past precedent tense is formed according to the following pattern in the indicative mood. As opposed to languages like French and German, the auxiliary verb is always بودن (to be).

The conjugation of the auxiliary verb بودن in perfective past is:

1S بودم
1P بودیم
2S بودی
2P بودید
3S بود
3P بودند


Simple verbs

1S رفته بودم
rafte budam
I had gone
2S رفته بودی
rafte budi
You had gone
3S رفته بود
rafte bud
He/She had gone
1P رفته بودیم
rafte budim
We had gone
2P رفته بودید
rafte budid
You had gone
3P رفته بودند
rafte budand
They had gone

Compound verbs

1S کار کرده بودم
kâr karde budam
I had worked
2S کار کرده بودی
kâr karde budi
You had worked
3S کار کرده بود
kâr karde bud
He/She had worked
1P کار کرده بودیم
kâr karde budim
We had worked
2P کار کرده بودید
kâr karde budid
You had worked
3P کار کرده بودند
kâr karde budand
They had worked

Negative conjugation

The negative form of the past precedent tense is constructed by adding ن (“na-”) before the past participle.

1S نرفته بودم
narafte budam
I had not gone
2S نرفته بودی
narafte budi
You had not gone
3S نرفته بود
narafte bud
He/She had not gone
1P نرفته بودیم
narafte budim
We had not gone
2P نرفته بودید
narafte budid
You had not gone
3P نرفته بودند
narafte budand
They had not gone
1S کار نکرده بودم
kâr nakarde budam
I had not worked
2S کار نکرده بودی
kâr nakarde budi
You had not worked
3S کار نکرده بود
kâr nakarde bud
He/She had not worked
1P کار نکرده بودیم
kâr nakarde budim
We had not worked
2P کار نکرده بودید
kâr nakarde budid
You had not worked
3P کار نکرده بودند
kâr nakarde budand
They had not worked


پولی نداشتم چون کیفم را گم کرده بودم
Pul-i nadâštam čon kif-am râ gom karde budam
I did not have any money because I had lost my wallet
وقتی که به ایستگاه رسیدم، قطار تازه رفته بود
Vaǧt-i ke be istgâh residam, ǧatâr tâze rafte bud
The train had just left when I arrived at the station
مادرم تازه رختها را پهن کرده بود که باران گرفت
Mâdar-am tâze raxthâ râ pahn karde bud ke bârân gereft
My mother had just put the washing out when it started to rain
او را قبلا دیده بودم اما یادم نمی‌آمد کجا
U râ ǧablan dide budam ammâ yâd-am nemiâmad kojâ
I had seen her before, but I couldn’t remember where