Why is the pluperfect (Mai mult ca perfect) not included in the course?
Is the pluperfect, like the simple perfect, not often used in speech in Romanian? Should I expect to use it/hear it in everyday life in Romania?
I found some sources online saying that it is "mainly a literary tense" and that the compound perfect is often used where English, Spanish, and other languages would use the pluperfect; is that true?
For those who don't know what I'm talking about, the pluperfect tense is used to express actions that occurred prior to other actions, and use the auxiliary verb "had" in English, i.e. "I had eaten before he arrived."
An example of this in Romanian would be, from a mânca:
mâncasem - I had eaten, mâncaseși - you had eaten, mâncase - he/she/it had eaten, mâncaserăm - we had eaten, mâncaserăţi - you had eaten, mâncaseră - they had eaten.
I remember reading that the simple perfect is hardly ever used in spoken Romanian outside of certain small regions, but I haven't heard that about the pluperfect. I suspect that it is the same situation, though. I'm sure someone here can clear that up for me.
My guess is that the course authors simply couldn't cover all of the Romanian grammar, otherwise the course would've easily had 100+ skills. So they covered only a subset of the grammar, and the mai mult ca perfect tense didn't make the cut, unfortunately.
In the "FREE Romanian Resources" sticky, there are links to some Romanian grammar books in PDF format. Take a look at the one by Cojocaru (section 126.96.36.199) and the FSI course (page 44) for some brief info on mai mult ca perfect. Note that the FSI course was made in 1989 and uses the older spelling style in which â is written as î.
Now, it's true that many people tend to use the perfect compus tense instead of mai mult ca perfect in speech, but there are also many who do use the latter. I myself use it when I tell someone a story that contains a rather intricate chain of events, because it helps A LOT in avoiding any confusion. The mai mult ca perfect can also be found in many news articles. All in all, I'd say you shouldn't be surprised by people using it.
Thanks for your input! Good to know.
I actually think that this course does a very good job covering ALMOST all fundamental grammar aspects of Romanian; that's why I found it a bit surprising that something as fundamental as an entire verb form was left out. I'm pretty sure that it would only take a few (like 4 or 5) additional lessons to cover all of the main areas of Romanian grammar. That's just my perspective.