Italian Essentials: Congiuntivo Passato (Past Perfect Subjunctive)

Subjunctive week continues! We've already figured out exactly what the subjunctive mood is, and how it is used. And we've looked at using the subjunctive in Italian with il congiuntivo presente and il congiuntivo imperfetto. Today, we're going to find out about il congiuntivo passato.

Il congiuntivo passato

The congiuntivo passato, or past perfect subjunctive, is really just the subjunctive form of the passato prossimo. As always, you use either avere or essere with the past participle of the verb. The only new detail is that the verb avere or essere will have been conjugated according to the congiuntivo presente, or present subjunctive:

 avereessere
ioabbiasia
tuabbiasia
lui/leiabbiasia
noiabbiamosiamo
voiabbiatesiate
loroabbianosiano

So just apply what you learned about the congiuntivo presente to what you already know about the passato prossimo and you're all set.

Examples

parlare
Mi dispiace che abbia parlato così.
partire
Lucia pensa che Maria sia partita ieri per le vacanze.
innaffiare
Gli zucchini sono morti benché li abbia innaffiati tutti i giorni.
andare
Non credo che siano andati in Italia.

Tomorrow, we’ll complete the quartet of subjunctive verb forms with the congiuntivo trapassato.


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