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Manuel

Pluperfect Subjunctive

HOW

The pluperfect 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 imperfect subjunctive.

avoir

que j’eusse + participe passé

que tu eusses + part. passé

qu’elle/il/on eût + part. passé

que nous eussions + part. passé

que vous eussiez + part. passé

qu’ils/elles eussent + part. passé

être

que je fusse + participe passé

que tu fusses + part. passé

qu’elle/il/on fût + part. passé

que nous fussions + part. passé

que vous fussiez + part. passé

qu’ils/elles fussent + part. passé

WHEN

Use the pluperfect subjunctive in writing[1] only, with the same triggering clauses as for the present subjunctive, and when expressing an action in the past.

in context

WRITTEN:             Il ne croit pas que tu aies été sincère.

He doesn’t believe you were sincere.

WRITTEN:             Il ne croyait pas que tu eusses été sincère.

He didn’t believe you were sincere.

SPOKEN:             Il ne croit pas que tu aies été sincère.

He doesn’t believe you were sincere.

SPOKEN:             Il ne croyait pas que tu aies été sincère.

He didn’t believe you were sincere.

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Related topics:

present subjunctive formationuses - imperfect subjunctive – past subjunctiveIF clauses

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[1] in spoken French, use the past subjunctive instead of the pluperfect subjunctive

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