The Pluperfect Subjunctive

Uses:

In Spanish, the Pluperfect Subjunctive is largely used with the same triggers as the Imperfect Subjunctive except for one main difference:

  • the action of the subordinate clause may have happened before another action.

The triggers are:

1. To express desire: desear que, preferir que, querer que:
For example: "deseaba que
hubieras comido más fruta"


2. To express hope: esperar que, ojalá:
For example: “esperaba que 
hubieras llamado a tu mamá.”


3. To express fear: temer que, tener miedo que:
For example: “temía que no
hubieras hecho tu trabajo.”


4. To express emotions: estar contento que, estar triste que, gustar que:
For example: “estaba triste que hubiéramos comido todo el pan
.”
 

5. To express doubt: dudar que, no creer que, no imaginarse que, negar que, no parecer que, no pensar que, no suponer que:
For example: “yo no creía que el gobierno hubiera dicho la verdad.”
 

6. For negative expressions with verbs that indicate speech: no decir que:
For example: “no decía que ellos 
hubieran viajado allí.”


7. To express possibility: es posible que, no es posible que, es imposible que:
For example: “¿es posible que
hayamos gastado demasiado dinero?”
 

8. To express requests and influence: exigir que, insistir en que, pedir que, sugerir que: 
For example: “insisto en que
hayan preparado la comida.”
 

9. After impersonal expressions (usually with es): es aconsejable que, es importante que, es primordial que, etc.:
For example: “es importante que
hayan ido a Salamanca.”
 

10. With specific words and phrases: acaso, a menos que, antes de que, aunque*, como si, en el caso de que, hasta que, mientras que, para que, quizás, sin que, tal vez:
For example: “quizás
hayan hecho sus deberes.”

 

*Notebook: Aunque can be used in the Indicative as well as the Subjunctive.
**Notebook: The subject must change for the Subjunctive to be used. 
***Notebook: The Pluperfect Subjunctive can be used with the Imperfect, Pluperfect, Preterite, Conditional and Conditional Perfect

Formation: Regular verbs

The Perfect Subjunctive is formed by using the Present Subjunctive of the auxiliary verb, haber, and a past participle.

The verb haber indicates who has done the action.

Below is the Present Subjunctive conjugation of haber:

In addtion to haber, the Perfect Subjunctive requires a past participle.

In order to form the past participles of regular verbs like hablarcomer, and vivir, we follow these steps:

1. We remove the infinitive ending to obtain the stem

hablar - ar = habl

comer - er =  com

vivir - ir = viv

2. We add the correct ending to the stem:

  • ar ado

  • er → ido

  • ir → ido

Therefore the past participles of hablarcomer, and vivir are as follows:

  • hablar → hablado

  • comer → comido

  • vivir → vivido

Formation: Irregular past participles

There are a few irregular past participles in Spanish.

Spelling change ído instead of ido:

  • atraer → atraído

  • caer → caído

  • creer → creído

  • leer → leído

  • oír → oído

  • traer → traído

1. Very important verbs: 

decir → dicho
hacer → hecho
ver → visto
volver → vuelto

2. Important verbs:

 

abrir → abierto
escribir → escrito
freír → frito
morir → muerto
poner → puesto
romper → roto

3. Less important verbs:

cubrir → cubierto
prender → preso
resolver → resuelto
satisfacer → satisfecho

Click here to continue to exercises on the Perfect Subjunctive

Published: 18/04/2016