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Spanish Lesson Ninety: Perfecto de Subjuntivo/Pluscuamperfecto de Subjuntivo

Updated on June 16, 2014

Hey Friends!

Welcome back to the good ol' Spanish lessons you know and love. I know the last few weeks I have included articles that don't necessarily focus on the Spanish language, but other things that can affect a person's ability to learn a new language. I hope those have been enriching for you and I also hope that you're ready to dive back into Spanish grammar. This is the LAST lesson of Spanish grammar that will be written by me. The remaining lessons are listed at the end of this lesson.

Today we're going to discuss the Perfecto de Subjuntivo and Pluscuamperfecto de Subjuntivo and they are the final (and hardest) compound tenses to learn in Spanish. I remember having some difficulty with them in high school, but looking back, it's much easier than I remember. Just remind yourself of the differences between Indicative and Subjuntive. Check out Indicative vs. Subjunctive if you're still unsure.

Today's Goals

  • To Be Able to discern Indicative from Subjunctive
  • To Be Able to utilize the Perfecto de Subjuntivo/Pluscuamperfecto de Subjuntivo
  • To Be Able to conjugate the verb haber in the Perfecto de Subjuntivo/Pluscuamperfecto de Subjuntivo

Has Learning Spanish Been Fulfilling?

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The Final Compound Tenses

Hey Friends,

Yes... these are the FINAL tenses to learn in Spanish. It only took ninety lessons to get here, so congratulate yourself for all the hard work! From here on out, it's pretty much smooth sailing as I compile some last minute themes as well as a comprehensive review of everything we've learned throughout these lessons.

If you've been reading for the past two years, thank you so much! These lessons have gained tens of thousands of views over the last two years and are considered to be staples of my online writing career. I appreciate all of your support and I hope you enjoy this lesson! Bring on the Perfecto de Subjuntivo and Pluscuamperfecto de Subjuntivo!

English Word
Spanish Equiv
To Ravage/To Devestate
To Increase
Playing Card/Letter/Menu
La Carta
To Rent/To Rent Out/To Hire
El Molino
To Caress.To Pet
To Hurry/To Rush
La Acera*
To Knock Down/To Demolish

Today's Vocabulary

Today's vocabulary will consist of some words I've received from my Spanish word of the day. I hope you've had time to sign up for them as well. There's nothing like waking up in the morning with a new Spanish word in your vocabulary. I hope that you're enjoying the vocabulary because in a few lessons, I'll try my best to get a master list set for all the words I've featured in my weekly lessons.

Take a look at these words. The ones with asterisks(*) are the ones that I have never seen before. If you'll look, there are quite a few new words added to my repertoire. If you're interested in getting the emails daily, check out SpanishDict. Just look for "Word of The Day" and get signed up. It really won't hurt a thing to give it a try. Also, try to use the word in a sentence throughout your day. It might help you remember better.

Come on, give it a shot!

Haber in Perfecto de Subjuntivo


Haber in Pluscuamperfecto de Subjuntivo


Perfecto de Subjuntivo

  • Actions that happened in the past and continue or repeat into the present
  • Actions that have happened in recent past
  • Actions that will have been completed

Pluscuamperfecto de Subjuntivo

  • Express subjectivity in the past
  • Express a wish (after ojalá que) that something had happened differently in the past
  • Express "What if?" in the past

Using The Perfecto/Pluscuamperfecto de Subjuntivo

Hey Friends,

So if you haven't figured it out already, the Perfecto/Pluscuamperfecto de Subjuntivo mirror that of the Present Subjunctive and the Imperfect Subjunctive. One discusses actions in the present while the other focuses on actions in the past. The only difference is the usage of haber in addition to a past participle. So, think along those lines when you're thinking of these two sentences.

What makes these two tenses so complex is the utter confusion that usually comes with identifying with the Subjunctive. If you've remembered how to discern Subjunctive from Indicative, you'll be fine. Also, don't forget that the Subjunctive of Haber is irregular in the Present Subjunctive (take a look at the chart). While in the Imperfect Subjuntive, the verb is found by finding the Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes form of the verb, dropping the ending and adding -ra,-ras,-ra,-ran, or -ramos. Also take those steps for the Pluscuamperfecto de Subjuntivo.

Other than those normal Subjunctive behaviors, forming a sentence with these two tenses is pretty easy. Just KNOW YOUR SUBJUNCTIVE and also ensure that you know why you're using either of these compound tenses. Check out the notes I've written to your right. Let's look at some examples:

Perfecto de Subjunctivo

María duda que yo le haya hablando al profesor. María doubts that I have spoken to the professor. The Subjunctive always deals with doubt, a change in subject, and a clause separation by the use of the word "que". Take note of this sentence's structure.

Siento que tú no hayas venido a verme. I'm sorry that you have not come to see me. Since we're using a past participle, assume "has" or "have" separates the verb haber and the participle that follows. "No" is placed before the verb haber to make the sentence negative.

Me alegro de que Elena haya ganado el premio. I am happy that Elena has won the prize. The Subjunctive is always used when Impersonal Expressions are used.

Pluscuamperfecto de Subjuntivo

Sentí mucho que no hubiera venido María. I was very sorry that María had no come. With this tense, the first verb (before the change of subject) will be in the Imperfect or Preterit to refer to a past action that has occurred. Make sure you know whether to use the Preterit or Imperfect.

Me alegraba de que hubiera venido María. I was glad that María had come. Note the continuation of the use of Impersonal Expressions. Look previous lessons for more detail.

No creía que María hubiera llegado. I did not believe that María had arrived. Always assumed that "had" comes between the verb haber and the past participle.

And that, my friends, are the last two tenses in the Spanish language. Also, don't forget about the Present Progressive, Imperative, and Past Participles that are formed by a verb change. They are not tenses, but they deserve attention just as much as the Seven Simple and Seven Compound Tenses in the Spanish language. So, thanks for reading this week's lesson. If you have questions or concerns, put them in the comment box below!

Hasta seguinte semana!

Upcoming Lessons

Lesson Ninety-One: Winter (Activities) (6/23)

Lesson Ninety-Two: Spring (Activities) (6/30)

Lesson Ninety-Three: Summer (Activities) (7/7)

Lesson Ninety-Four: Fall (Activities) (7/14)

Lesson Ninety-Five: Compound Tense Review (7/21)

Lesson Ninetey-Six: Vocabulary Review #1 (7/28)

Lesson Ninety-Seven: Vocabulary Review #2 (8/4)

Lesson Ninety-Eight: Vocabulary Review #3 (8/11)

Lesson Ninety-Nine: The Benefits of Being Bilingual (8/18)

Lesson One Hundred: Farewell Spanish Learners! (8/25)

© 2014 A.E. Williams


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