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Uses of the Pluperfect Subjunctive

 

The present perfect subjunctive form is used to express:

  • A past action before another action that also happened in the past using the past indicative tense in the main clause. 

For example:

Spanish

English

No podíamosimaginar que todo hubieraempezado así.

We couldn’t imagine that everything would have started this way.

 
  • A hypothetical action in the past when the verb in the main clause is in the conditional or conditional perfect tense. 

For example:

Spanish

English

Seríauna lástima que no hubieraestado en la fiesta. 

It would be a shame that he wouldn’t have been at the party.

Habríaregresadoa casa, si tú no me hubierasdicho la verdad.

I would have returned to the house if you wouldn’t have told the truth.

Sitú no me hubierasdicho la verdad, habríaregresado a casa

If you wouldn’t have told me the truth, I would have returned to the house.

 

 

  • An idea that didn’t occur using the idiomatic expression como si (as if or as though)

For example:

Spanish

English

Se veíatan cansada como si hubieratrabajado todo el día

He looked as tired as if he would have worked all day.