HomeQ&AThe imperfect subjunctive and seven compound tenses?

The imperfect subjunctive and seven compound tenses?


En mi relativamente tiempo corto aquí en Spanishdict, he aprendido muchas cosas pero dos cosas continúan confundir mi mente:

In my relatively short time here on Spanishdict, I have learnt a lot of things but two things continue to confuse my mind: The imperfect and the seven compound tenses.

If you don't know what I mean by the seven compound tenses, please regard this example below:

1.) en cuanto hubo empesado a moverse el avion, cerré los ojos = as soon as the plane had began to move I closed my eyes.

I understand the basics, but I easily get confused. Can anyone make these tenses any easier than they appear to be?

updated DIC 1, 2009
posted by Seb79

4 Answers


I think you may have confused us with your question. Your title mentions the imperfect subjunctive while your description mentions the imperfect (which usually refers to the indicative mood) and I still don't understand what you mean by the seven compound tenses (in indicative & subjunctive mood(s)?). Why is your example sentence using the preterite perfect supposed to clarify what you mean by seven compound tenses?

Are these the seven compound tenses that you are referring to (English tense titles)

Indicative mood

  • present perfect

  • pluperfect

  • preterite perfect

  • future perfect

  • conditional perfect

Subjunctive mood

  • present perfect

  • past perfect (ra) - past perfect (se)

or did you want to include some of the less used tenses?

updated DIC 1, 2009
edited by 0074b507
posted by 0074b507

Well, it would be helpful to know some more context. For example, take a regular verb and conjugate it in each tense. Or be more specific with the question, which would also help smile

updated DIC 1, 2009
posted by Debiera

I use this site a lot. It is from a teacher's spanish class that is no longer taught by that teacher. However, he left all the material up, and it is good material too.

Here is a sample of what is on that site in one of the subjunctive topics:

Verbs of influence or willing. Verbs such as querer (to want), preferir (to prefer), desear (to desire), insistir en (to insist), mandar (to command), prohibir (to prohibit), requerir (to require), exigir (to demand, require), recomendar (to recommend), pedir (to request/ask for), decir (to tell, say [when not used as a verb of reporting]), alentar (to encourage), etc. require that the subjunctive be used in any subordinate clauses they govern.

  • Queremos que lo cantes. We want you to sing it.
    • ¿Insistes en que lo hagamos? Do you insist that we do it? (Or: Do you insist on our doing it?)
    • Deseo que te quedes. I want you to stay.
    • Ella prefiere que lleguemos a las seis. She prefers us to arrive at 6:00.
    • Recomiendo que salgas. I recommend that you leave.
    • ¿Manda él que yo lo escriba? Is he ordering me to write it?
    • Se prohíbe que entremos. It is forbidden for us to enter.
    • Piden que cenemos allí. They're asking us to dine there.
    • No permitimos que lo compres. We don't permit you to buy it.
    • La ley exige que paguemos impuestos. The law requires us to pay taxes.

And the teacher explains the noun clauses quite clearly so you know what you are looking for.

updated DIC 1, 2009
edited by Lasairfiona
posted by Lasairfiona
Interesting fact, no wonder it rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - sunshinzmommie, DIC 1, 2009

Ok- no ideas?

updated DIC 1, 2009
posted by Seb79
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