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I am doing a spanish project.

5 Answers

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Perfect tenses have some form of "haber" as the helping verb. The subjunctive tenses are 1) present subjunctive 2) imperfect subjunctive 3) the perfect subjunctive also called the present perfect or past subjunctive and 4) the pluperfect also called past perfect subjunctive.

The pluscuamperfecto (pluperfect) of the subjunctive is using the imperfect subjunctive of "haber" as the helping verb and the past participle of the main verb. Let's use the verb "ser" as an example.

yo hubiera sido

tú hubieras sido

él hubiera sido

nosotros hubiéramos sido

skip vosotros

ellos hubieran sido


yo hubiese sido

tu hubieses sido

él hubiese sido

hubiésemos sido

skip vosotros

ellos hubiesen sido

The pretérito perfecto del subjuntivo is the past perfect subjunctive which is the same as the pluscuamperfecto del subjuntivo. Now if you want the past subjunctive ( same of perfect subjunctive) you use the present subjunctive of "haber" with the past participle of the verb. Let's use "ser" again:

yo haya sido

tú hayas sido

él haya sido

nosotros hayamos sido

skip vosotros

ellos hayan sido

But I suspect that whatever book you are using, uses the term "pretérito perfecto del subjuntivo" to mean past subjunctive. Different books use different terms, I have seen preterite also spelled preterit, the present tense also can be indicative, the conditional tense also can be potencial simple, etc. etc.

  • Masterful explanation, margaret -- just a couple of things (same of? is that the word you meant? and potential, not potencial. That is a toughie to spell. - NancyGrace May 29, 2011 flag
  • There is no explanation on how to use the verbs, but all the remarks on the formation of the tenses and the names are very accurate. - lazarus1907 May 29, 2011 flag
  • Nancy Grace - I was doing what most bilingual people do, weave in and out of English and Spanish. So "potencial simple" was written in español because in English it is the "conditional". - margaretcorw May 29, 2011 flag
  • Got it! Thanks. - NancyGrace May 30, 2011 flag
2 Vote

The differences are too subtle for me to reword these articles any.

Subtle??? Present perfect subjunctive is used for things that you think they are likely to become true, while pluperfect subjunctive is used for things that only exist in your mind, so they range from unlikely to impossible. These tenses are used almost like in indicative, where the real vs. imaginary distinction is quite similar with these tenses.

The difference is everything but subtle.

  • If Fredbong had used the word "complex" instead of "subtle", which I am taking the liberty to suppose is what he meant, it would not have created a misunderstanding. Fred, am I right? - NancyGrace May 29, 2011 flag
  • The difference is that past subjunctive says for example - that I may have eaten and the pluperfect subjunctive says that I might have eaten. - margaretcorw May 29, 2011 flag
  • The common English phrasing is "anything but subtle". I couldn't find "everything but subtle"" googling. - 0074b507 May 30, 2011 flag
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pluscuamperfecto de subjuntivo.

el pretérito perfecto de subjuntivo

The differences are too subtle for me to reword these articles any.

You may also wish to watch lesson 4.1 and lesson 4.6

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For Lazarus and his comment that there is no explanation on how to use the verbs. Use some form of haber plus the past participle of the verb being conjugated. The form of haber depends on which tense of the subjunctive you want to use.

Or perhaps you meant, no explanation as to when you use the subjunctive in any tense (present subjunctive, imperfect subjunctive, etc.) So here goes: The sentence is ... Ana habla español. I have omitted español for the sake of brevity. Certain words trigger the use of the subjunctive.

  1. use after a verb that expresses a wish, an insistence, a preference, a suggestion or a request. Quiero que Ana hable. Insisto en que Ana hable. Prefiero que Ana hable. Pido que Ana hable.

  2. use after a verb that expresses doubt, fear, joy, hope, sorrow or other emotion. Dudo que Ana hable, Temo que Ana hable, Me alegro que Ana hable, Espero que Ana hable

  3. After impersonal expressions (no subject just anyone in general) that show necessity, doubt, regret, importance, urgency or possibility. Es necessario que Ana hable. No es cierto que Ana hable. Es una lástima que Ana hable. Es importante que Ana hable. Es preciso que Ana hable. Es urgente que Ana hable.

  4. After some conjunctions of time such as antes de que, cuando, en cuanto, despues de que, hasta que, mientras to name a few. Nos vamos antes de que llueva. Le hablaré a Ana cuando venga. En cuanto Ana me pague la cuenta, iré al cine. Después de que haya estudiado alemán, hablaré con Hans. Comeré pizza hasta que se acabe.

  5. After certain conjunctions that express a condition, negation, purpose, such as a menos que, con tal que, a find de que, sin que, en caso de que. No cantes a menos que sepas cantar bien. Come espaguetis con tal que tengas hambre.

  6. After some adverbs such as quizá and tal vez. Quizá Ana venga hoy. Tal vez compre pan en la tienda.

  7. After aunque only if the action has not yet occurred. Aunque Ana venga contigo, no le hablaré.

  8. In a clause where an indefinite, negative, vague or nonexistent something or someone is expressed. Quiero una soda que sea buena. Se busca alguien que hable ruso. Aquí no hay nadie que pueda hablar chino. .

  9. After por más que or por mucho que. Por más que baile muy bien, no quiero bailar con él. Por mucho que me guste McDonald's, no voy a comer hamburguesas allí.

  10. With the expression ojalá que. Ojalá que compren dulces. Ojalá que bailen flamenco.

And I have probably missed a few. I now regret that I kept only a few of my many reference books I used in the classroom. Hope that was the answer you were looking for Lazarus.

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