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LEARN SPANISH "PRETÉRITO PLUSCUAMPERFECTO" (PAST PERFECT) OF THE SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD



When we translate the tenses corresponding to the Spanish subjunctive mood into English we will do it according to the context. We always have to interpret the sentence and translate accordingly.

 

Before we study the "pretérito pluscuamperfecto" (past perfect) of the subjunctive mood we need to learn some basic concepts about Spanish verbs. Spanish verbs are always either regular or irregular as it happens with English verbs. All Spanish verbs end either in "-ar", "-er" or "-ir". These are the three Spanish conjugations.


Example

 

Hablar (to speak) Correr (to run) Añadir (to add)

 

To form the "pretérito pluscuamperfecto" (past perfect) of the subjunctive mood, we need to use the auxiliary verb "haber" (have) in its "pretérito imperfecto" (past simple) of the subjunctive mood and the past participle of another verb. To form the past participle of the regular verbs in Spanish, we need to take the verb as we find it in the dictionary and remove the last two letters. Then, if the verb ends in "-ar" we will add the ending "-ado" and if the verb ends in "-er" or "-ir" we will add the ending "-ido".

Example

For the verbs ending in -ar:





yo (I) Hubiera o hubiese
tú (You) Hubieras o hubieses
él, ella, usted (he, she, you formal) Hubiera o hubiese
nosotros, nosotras (we) Hubiéramos o hubiésemos
vosotros, vosotras (you all) Hubierais o hubieseis
ellos, ellas, (they) ustedes (you all formal) Hubieran o hubiesen

 

Example: We take the verb "hablar" (to speak). We remove the "-ar". We are left with "habl-" (the stem) and then we add "-ado". In this way we have the past participle of the verb "hablar" (to speak).





To conjugate the "pretérito pluscuamperfecto" (past perfect) of the subjunctive mood of the verb "hablar" (to speak) we will use the "pretérito imperfecto" (past simple) of the subjunctive mood of the verb "haber" (to have) and the past participle of the verb "hablar" (to speak).

 

hablar hablar--
yo (I) hubiera o hubiese hablado (I had spoken)
tú (you) hubieras o hubieses hablado (you had spoken)
él, ella, usted (he, she, you formal) hubiera o hubiese hablado (he, she had spoken)
nosotros, nosotras (we) hubiéramos o hubiésemos hablado (we had spoken)
vosotros, vosotras (you all) hubierais o hubieseis hablado (you all had spoken)
ellos, ellas, (they) ustedes (you all formal) hubieran o hubiesen hablado (they had spoken)

 

For the verbs ending in -er:

 

yo (I) Hubiera o hubiese
tú (You) Hubieras o hubieses
él, ella, usted (he, she, you formal) Hubiera o hubiese
nosotros, nosotras (we) Hubiéramos o hubiésemos
vosotros, vosotras (you all) Hubierais o hubieseis
ellos, ellas, (they) ustedes (you all formal) Hubieran o hubiesen

 

Example: We take the verb "correr" (to run). We remove the "-er": We are left with corr- (the stem) and then we add "-ido". In this way we have the past participle of the verb "correr" (to run).

 

To conjugate the "pretérito pluscuamperfecto" (past perfect) of the subjunctive mood of the verb "correr" (to run) we will use the "pretérito imperfecto" (past simple) tense of the subjunctive mood of the verb "haber" (to have) and the past participle of the verb "correr" (to run).

 

correr correr--
yo (I) hubiera o hubiese corrido (I had run)
tú (you) hubieras o hubieses corrido (you had run)
él, ella, usted (he, she, you formal) hubiera o hubiese corrido (he, she had run)
nosotros, nosotras (we) hubiéramos o hubiésemos corrido (we had run)
vosotros, vosotras (you all) hubierais o hubieseis corrido (you all had run)
ellos, ellas, (they) ustedes (you all formal) hubieran o hubiesen corrido (they had run)





For the verbs ending in -ir:

 

yo (I) Hubiera o hubiese
tú (You) Hubieras o hubieses
él, ella, usted (he, she, you formal) Hubiera o hubiese
nosotros, nosotras (we) Hubiéramos o hubiésemos
vosotros, vosotras (you all) Hubierais o hubieseis
ellos, ellas, (they) ustedes (you all formal) Hubieran o hubiesen

 

Example: We take the verb "añadir" (to add). We remove the "-ir": We are left with añad- (the stem) and then we add "-ido". In this way we have the past participle of the verb "añadir" (to add).

 

To conjugate the "pretérito pluscuamperfecto" (past perfect) of the subjunctive mood of the verb "añadir" (to add) we will use the "pretérito imperfecto" (past simple) tense of the subjunctive mood of the verb "haber" (to have) and the past participle of the verb "añadir" (to add).

 

añadir añadir--
yo (I) hubiera o hubiese añadido (I had added)
tú (you) hubieras o hubieses añadido (you had added)
él, ella, usted (he, she, you formal) hubiera o hubiese añadido (he, she had added)
nosotros, nosotras (we) hubiéramos o hubiésemos añadido (we had added)
vosotros, vosotras (you all) hubierais o hubieseis añadido (you all had added)
ellos, ellas, (they) ustedes (you all formal) hubieran o hubiesen añadido (they had added)

 

 

The differences between the persons "tú" (you), "vosotros" (you all), "usted" (you formal) and "ustedes" (you all formal) are explained in Spanish Personal Pronouns.

 

Some of the irregular verbs will be conjugated exactly in the same form, adding the same sets of endings; the only difference is that they will have some spelling changes in the stem of the verb. ***Remember*** Spanish Irregular verbs can be highly irregular and the general rule is "The rules do not apply".

 

Decir To Say
yo hubiera o hubiese dicho I had said

tú hubieras o hubieses dicho

you had said
el hubiera o hubiese dicho he had said
nosotros hubiéramos o hubiésemos dicho we had said
vosotros hubierais o hubieseis dicho you all had said
ellos hubieran o hubiesen dicho they had said

 

 

 

SOME GENERAL USES

 

We use the "pretérito pluscuamperfecto" (past perfect) of the subjunctive mood to express a regret about actions already completed in the past.

Example

 

Si yo hubiera estudiado más, habría aprobado.

If I had studied more, I would have passed

Hubiéramos salido antes si llegamos a saber que había tanto tráfico.

We would have left earlier if we knew there was so much traffic

Se lo hubiera comprado si lo hubieran tenido en existencias.

She would have bought it if they had had it in stock





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