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Manuel

Past Subjunctive

Past Subjunctive - Le passé du subjonctif

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How

The past subjunctive is a compound tense, it has two parts: the helping verb and the past participle. It works exactly as the passé composé does. The only difference is that the helping verb (avoir or être) is conjugated in the present subjunctive.

avoir ------- être

que j’aie + participe passé ------- que je sois + participe passé

que tu aies + part. passé ------- que tu sois + part. passé

qu’elle/il/on ait + part. passé ------- qu’elle/il/on soit + part. passé

que nous ayons + part. passé ------- que nous soyons + part. passé

que vous ayez + part. passé ------- que vous soyez + part. passé

qu’ils/elles aient + part. passé ------- qu’ils/elles soient + part. passé

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When

Use the past subjunctive with the same triggering clauses as for the present subjunctive and when expressing to express a past action.

  • The subjunctive (present and past) is used in clauses almost always introduced by QUE. That means there are two clauses: the triggering clause (underlined) and the subjunctive clause:

….................... Il est possible qu’ils soient déjà arrivés.

…......................... They might have already arrived.

…......................... [It is possible that they have already arrived.]

in context

. Je suis content que tu aies dit la vérité.

….. I’m happy that you told the truth.

. Il ne croit pas que vous soyez déjà parties.

….. He doesn’t believe that you already left.

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Related topics:

present subjunctive formation – uses  - imperfect subjunctive – pluperfect subjunctive

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