Pluperfect Subjunctive

Posted on 26th December 2012 in Conjugation

The Pluperfect Subjunctive

By Russell Sabo

The pluperfect subjunctive mood (el pluscuamperfecto de subjuntivo) is also known as the Past Perfect Subjunctive. It uses the conjugated form of Haber in the imperfect form (Hubiera or Hubiese). This mood will be used in many of the same instances as the pluperfect (past perfect) indicative, with the difference being that the subjunctive form will be used after a conjunction, expression or verb that requires the subjunctive. For example: Era fácil que ellas hubieran comido. – It was likely that they had eaten.

How to Form the Pluperfect Subjunctive

Click here to learn more about the Pluperfect Subjuntive Mood – Learning Spanish Like Crazy Level 2 Nivel 2

  1. The pluperfect (past perfect) subjunctive is a compound tense, meaning that it will use the imperfect subjunctive form of Haber (hubiera).
  2. Use the needed form of hubiera + the verb with the past participle.
    • (yo) Hablar – Hubie receives “ra” becoming “Hubiera hablado”. que yo hubiera hablado…
    • (tú) Hablar – Hubie receives “ras” becoming “Hubieras hablado”. que tú hubieras hablado…
    • (Usted, él, ella) Hablar – Hubie receives “ra” becoming “Hubiera hablado”. que Usted hubiera hablado. que él hubiera hablado. que ella hubiera hablado…
    • (nosotros/as) Hablar – Hubie receives “-‘ramos” becoming “Hubiéramos hablado”. que nosotros/as hubiéramos hablado…
    • (vosotros/as) Hablar – Hubie receives “rais” becoming “Hubierais hablado”. que vosotros/as hubierais hablado…
    • (Ustedes, ellos, ellas) Hablar – Hubie receives “ran” becoming “Hubieran hablado”. que Ustedes hubieran hablado. que ellos hubieran hablado. que ellas hubieran hablado…
  3. For verbs that normally end with ER and IR, add the same endings as the AR verbs to the imperfect subjunctive form of Haber, but use the normal past participle with the verb itself.
    • (yo) Comer – Hubie receives “ra” becoming “Hubiera comido”. que yo hubiera comido…
    • (tú) Comer – Hubie receives “ras” becoming “Hubieras comido”. que tú hubieras comido…
    • (Usted, él, ella) Comer – Hubie receives “ra” becoming “Hubiera comido”. que Usted hubiera comido. que él hubiera comido. que ella hubiera comido…
    • (nosotros/as) Comer – Hubie receives “‘ramos” becoming “Hubiéramos comido”. que nosotros/as hubiéramos comido…
    • (vosotros/as) Comer – Hubie receives “rais” becoming “Hubierais comido”. que vosotros/as hubierais comido…
    • (Ustedes, ellos, ellas) Comer – Hubie receives “ran” becoming “Hubieran comido”. que Ustedes hubieran comido. que ellos hubieran comido. que ellas hubieran comido…
    • (yo) Vivir – Hubie receives “ra” becoming “Hubiera vivido”. que yo hubiera vivido…
    • (tú) Vivir – Hubie receives “ras” becoming “Hubieras vivido”. que tú hubieras vivido…
    • (Usted, él, ella) Vivir – Hubie receives “ra” becoming “Hubiera vivido”. que Usted hubiera vivido. que él hubiera vivido. que ella hubiera vivido…
    • (nosotros/as) Vivir – Hubie receives “-‘ramos” becoming “Hubiéramos vivido”. que nosotros/as hubiéramos vivido…
    • (vosotros/as) Vivir – Hubie receives “rais” becoming “Hubierais vivido”. que vosotros/as hubierais vivido…
    • (Ustedes, ellos, ellas) Vivir – Hubie receives “ran” becoming “Hubieran vivido”. que Ustedes hubieran vivido. que ellos hubieran vivido. que ellas hubieran vivido…
  4. Here are the conjugated verbs once again with their meanings.
    • Hubie+ra=que yo hubiera hablado (that I had spoken, that I might have spoken), que yo hubiera comido (that I had eaten, that I might have eaten), que yo hubiera vivido (that I had lived, that I might have lived)
    • Hubie+ras=que tú hubieras hablado (that you had spoken, that you might have spoken), que tú hubieras comido (that you had eaten, that you might have eaten), que tú hubieras vivido (that you had lived, that you might have lived)
    • Hubie+ra=que Usted hubiera hablado (that you (formal) had spoken, that you (formal) might have spoken), que Usted hubiera comido (that you (formal) had eaten, that you (formal) might have eaten), que Usted hubiera vivido (that you (formal) had lived, that you (formal) might have lived)
    • Hubie+ra=que él hubiera hablado (that he had spoken, that he might have spoken), que él hubiera comido (that he had eaten, that he might have eaten), que él hubiera vivido (that he had lived, that he might have lived)
    • Hubie+ra=que ella hubiera hablado (that she had spoken, that she might have spoken), que ella hubiera comido (that she had eaten, that she might have eaten), que ella hubiera vivido (that she had lived, that she might have lived)
    • Hubie+’ramos=que nosotros hubiéramos hablado (that we had spoken, that we might have spoken), que nosotros hubiéramos comido (that we had eaten, that we might have eaten), que nosotros hubiéramos vivido (that we had lived, that we might have lived)
    • Hubie+rais=que vosotros hubierais hablado (that you all (informal) had spoken, that you all (informal) might have spoken), que vosotros hubierais comido (that you all (informal) had eaten, that you all (informal) might have eaten), que vosotros hubierais vivido (that you all (informal) had lived, that you all (informal) might have lived)
    • Hubie+ran=que Ustedes hubieran hablado (that you all (formal) had spoken, that you all (formal) might have spoken), que Ustedes hubieran comido (that you all (formal) had eaten, that you all (formal) might have eaten), que Ustedes hubieran vivido (that you all (formal) had lived, that you all (formal) might have lived)
    • Hubie+ran=que ellos hubieran hablado (that they (males or a mixed group) had spoken, that they (males or a mixed group) might have spoken), que ellos hubieran comido (that they (males or a mixed group) had eaten, that they (males or a mixed group) might have eaten), que ellos hubieran vivido (that they (males or a mixed group) had lived, that they (males or a mixed group) might have lived)
    • Hubie+ran=que ellas hubieran hablado (that they (all females) had spoken, that they (all females) might have spoken), que ellas hubieran comido (that they (all females) had eaten, that they (all females) might have eaten), que ellas hubieran vivido (that they (all females) had lived, that they (all females) might have lived)

Alternate Form (-SE Ending)

As is with the imperfect subjunctive, there is the alternate form of the pluperfect subjunctive that uses the -se ending also. So the word “hubiera” can also take the form of “hubiese.” This is because “Haber” is conjugated using the imperfect subjunctive form. It isn’t used very often and I’m including it here so that you can recognize it when you see it.

  1. The pluperfect (past perfect) subjunctive is a compound tense, meaning that it will use the imperfect subjunctive form of Haber (hubiese).
  2. Use the needed form of hubiese + the verb with the past participle.
    • (yo) Hablar – Hubie receives “se” becoming “Hubiese hablado”. que yo hubiese hablado…
    • (tú) Hablar – Hubie receives “ses” becoming “Hubieses hablado”. que tú hubieses hablado…
    • (Usted, él, ella) Hablar – Hubie receives “se” becoming “Hubiese hablado”. que Usted hubiese hablado. que él hubiese hablado. que ella hubiese hablado…
    • (nosotros/as) Hablar – Hubie receives “-‘semos” becoming “Hubiésemos hablado”. que nosotros/as hubiésemos hablado…
    • (vosotros/as) Hablar – Hubie receives “seis” becoming “Hubieseis hablado”. que vosotros/as hubieseis hablado…
    • (Ustedes, ellos, ellas) Hablar – Hubie receives “sen” becoming “Hubiesen hablado”. que Ustedes hubiesen hablado. que ellos hubiesen hablado. que ellas hubiesen hablado…
  3. For verbs that normally end with ER and IR, add the same endings as the AR verbs to the imperfect subjunctive form of Haber, but use the normal past participle with the verb itself.
    • (yo) Comer – Hubie receives “se” becoming “Hubiese comido”. que yo hubiese comido…
    • (tú) Comer – Hubie receives “ses” becoming “Hubieses comido”. que tú hubieses comido…
    • (Usted, él, ella) Comer – Hubie receives “se” becoming “Hubiese comido”. que Usted hubiese comido. que él hubiese comido. que ella hubiese comido…
    • (nosotros/as) Comer – Hubie receives “‘semos” becoming “Hubiésemos comido”. que nosotros/as hubiésemos comido…
    • (vosotros/as) Comer – Hubie receives “seis” becoming “Hubieseis comido”. que vosotros/as hubieseis comido…
    • (Ustedes, ellos, ellas) Comer – Hubie receives “sen” becoming “Hubiesen comido”. que Ustedes hubiesen comido. que ellos hubiesen comido. que ellas hubiesen comido…
    • (yo) Vivir – Hubie receives “se” becoming “Hubiese vivido”. que yo hubiese vivido…
    • (tú) Vivir – Hubie receives “ses” becoming “Hubieses vivido”. que tú hubieses vivido…
    • (Usted, él, ella) Vivir – Hubie receives “se” becoming “Hubiese vivido”. que Usted hubiese vivido. que él hubiese vivido. que ella hubiese vivido…
    • (nosotros/as) Vivir – Hubie receives “-‘semos” becoming “Hubiésemos vivido”. que nosotros/as hubiésemos vivido…
    • (vosotros/as) Vivir – Hubie receives “seis” becoming “Hubieseis vivido”. que vosotros/as hubieseis vivido…
    • (Ustedes, ellos, ellas) Vivir – Hubie receives “sen” becoming “Hubiesen vivido”. que Ustedes hubiesen vivido. que ellos hubiesen vivido. que ellas hubiesen vivido…

Pluperfect Subjunctive and Reflexive Verbs

The reflexive pronoun will appear in front of the conjugated, imperfect subjunctive form of Haber

  • despertarse – to wake up
  • que me hubiera despertado
  • que te hubieras despertado
  • que se hubiera despertado
  • que nos hubiéramos despertado
  • que os hubierais despertado
  • que se hubieran despertado

When to Use the Pluperfect Subjunctive

The pluperfect subjunctive (past perfect subjunctive) is used in many of the same situations that the pluperfect indicative is used, except it will be used in situations that call for the subjunctive. With it, you can describe past actions that happened before other past actions.

  • Era posible que ella hubiera manejado la moto. – It was possible that she had driven the motorcycle.
  • Esperabas que él hubiera tomado el veneno. – You hoped that he had taken the poison.

Using “If” Clauses

If an “If” clause runs contrary-to-fact, is hypothetical, or counterfactual, AND the main clause is in the conditional perfect tense, then you will use the pluperfect subjunctive form.

  • Si yo hubiera ganado la lotería, yo habría comprado una casa grande. – If I had won the lottery, I would have bought a big house.

“Hay” and the Pluperfect Subjunctive

Hubiera habido is the pluperfect form of the word “Hay,” and it means “there had been.” It is used in situations that call for the subjunctive when you need to say “there had been.”

  • Yo esperaba que no hubiera habido un accidente. – I hoped that there hadn’t been an accident.
  • Dudábamos que hubieran habido muchos accidentes en la tormente de nieve. – We doubted that there had been many accidents in the blizzard.

 

Sign Up for the Spanish Word of the Day!
Sign Up for the Spanish Word of the Day!

Sign up here for your Spanish Word of the Day! You will receive our daily e-mail which includes:

  • Spanish Word of the Day
  • In-Depth Grammar Tips
  • Learning Strategies
  • Product Information and Short Reviews
  • Some of My Personal Experiences and How They Relate to You
  • Mistakes to Avoid

Shadow left
Shadow left

 

Click here to learn more about the Pluperfect Subjuntive Mood – Learning Spanish Like Crazy Level 2 Nivel 2
Google+

Social Share Toolbar

Comments

comments