The past perfect subjunctive in Spanish

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The past perfect subjunctive

The past perfect subjunctive follows the structure haber in the imperfect subjunctive + past participle of the main verb (e.g. acabado, tenido, salido…/finished, had, left…).

Hablar en
Yo hubiera hablado/hubiese hablado
hubieras hablado/hubieses hablado
Él/ella/usted hubiera hablado/hubiese hablado
Nosotros/as hubiéramos hablado/hubiésemos hablado
Vosotros/as hubierais hablado/hubieseis hablado
Ellos/ellas/ustedes hubieran hablado/hubiesen hablado

Me hubiera gustado mucho ir a tu fiesta.

I would have loved to come to your party.

Me hubiese gustado mucho ir a tu fiesta.

I would have loved to come to your party.

It is used mainly to:

  • hypothesise or speculate about a past event

Te hubiese invitado a comer, pero no tenía dinero.

I would have invited you out to eat, but I didn't have any money.

  • Express an unreal condition or one that can't be fulfilled.

Si hubiéramos tenido tiempo, habríamos ido a verte.

If we'd had time, we would have gone to see you.

Note: the verb haber has two forms in the imperfect subjunctive. The form ending-ra is a little more common.

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