Resources and exercises

The Pluperfect Subjunctive

El Pluscuamperfecto del Subjuntivo

These notes describe the use and form of the Pluperfect Subjunctive in Spanish Grammar. Learn how to form the pluperfect subjunctive with the imperfect subjunctive form of the verb “haber” and the past participle forms. Also these notes will help you to learn the use of the subjunctive in conditional sentences. You can practice with the online interactive exercises and get immediate feedback.

We use the Pluperfect Subjunctive to express doubt, subjectivity, uncertainty, possibility about situations that happened before another one in the past.

The Pluperfect Subjunctive is used for the same reasons we use the Past Perfect Indicative: to indicate an action that happened before another one in the past. We use it to emphasize that one action occurred before another one that we are referring to. But we need to use it in situations where the subjunctive is necessary. The subjunctive is used because we want to express doubt, subjectivity, uncertainty or possibility, rather than a definite fact.

In order to form the pluperfect subjunctive we need to conjugate the auxiliary verb HABER in the imperfect subjunctive form and then follow this verb with the past participle of the verb.

Yohubiera
hubieras
Él, Ella, Ustedhubiera
Nosotros/ashubiéramos
Vosotros/ashubierais
Ellos, Ellas, Ustedeshubieran

Click here to review how to form the past participle of verbs (in the regular and irregular forms).

You can also review the use of the subjunctive here.

Examples of Pluperfect Subjunctive

  • Si hubiéramos comprado las entradas, no tendríamos que hacer esta fila ahora.
    If we had bought the tickets, we wouldn’t have to queue now.
  • Hubiera sido interesante conocer al autor de la película.
    It would have been interesting to meet the author of the movie.
  • Me habría gustado que hubieras venido a mi fiesta de cumpleaños.
    I would have liked it if you had come to my birthday party.
  • ¡Ojalá hubiera viajado a España antes! If only I had traveled to Spain before!

The Pluperfect is also used in the conditional structures referring to impossible situations.

Si + pluscuamperfecto del subjuntivo+ condicional simple (the verb in the conditional form)
Si + pluscuamperfecto del subjuntivo+ condicional compuesto ('haber' in the conditional form + the past participle)

Examples:

  • Si hubiéramos ganado el partido, seríamos los campeones. (condicional simple)
    If we had won the match, we would be the champions.
  • Si hubiéramos ganado el partido, habríamos entregado el premio a una obra de caridad. (condicional compuesto)
    If we had won the match, we would have given the prize to charity.

Interactive Grammar Exercise

Complete the following sentences with the Pluperfect Subjunctive of the verbs given in brackets.

Note: Try to use the correct written accents if you can e.g.: á, é, í, ó, ú, ñ, ü.

If you don't know the correct answer, type '?' to reveal it.

1. Si  quiz answerque estabas enferma, yo te habría ido a visitar. (saber)

2. Si  quiz answera tiempo, no habríamos perdido el vuelo. (llegar)

3. Si no  quiz answeresa decisión, no tendrías tantos problemas ahora. (tomar)

4. Si no me  quiz answerel regalo, lo habría cambiado por otra cosa. (gustar)

5. Me  quiz answeracompañarlos en el paseo. (encantar)

6. ¡Nunca  quiz answerque Jorge era capaz de algo así! (pensar)

7. ¿No  quiz answermejor conducir por el otro camino? (ser)

Covered in this Lesson

Spanish grammar pluperfect subjunctive, el pluscuamperfecto del subjuntivo, how to form the pluperfect subjunctive in Spanish, Spanish subjunctive, the Subjunctive Mood, the Subjunctive in the past, the subjunctive with conditional structures.

 

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