The Past Infinitive

The past infinitive is formed by using the correct helping verb ( avoir or être) in its infinitive form and the past participle of the verb showing the action. The past infinitive is used:

To express a previous action regardless of the English translation:

  • Il est parti sans avoir dit “au revoir.” (He left without saying goodbye.)
  • Elle a été renvoyée pour avoir menti. (She was fired for lying [having lied].)

After the preposition après:

  • Après être rentrée, je me reposerai. (After returning [having returned] home, I'll relax.)
  • Je te téléphonerai après avoir mangé. (I'll call you after eating [having eaten].)