How to form and use a perfect infinitive

The perfect or past infinitive refers to something that has happened in the past and it is formed using avoir or être (in their infinitive form) with a past participle.

It is used commonly with après to indicate a past event. For example:

  • après avoir mangé, on est allés en ville - after having eaten, we went into town
  • après être arrivé, il a parlé à tout le monde - after arriving he spoke to everyone
  • elle s’est habillée après s’être lavée - she got dressed, after having a wash
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Note that a feminine ending is needed to match the feminine subject.
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