Perfect Subjunctive in Spanish Grammar

Introduction

The perfect subjunctive (pretérito perfecto de subjuntivo) is used to express doubt, wishes and opinions about actions that have already been completed, or will be completed at a later time.

Learn about the conjugation and usage of the perfect subjunctive mood in Spanish grammar with Lingolia’s grammar rules and exercises. See indicative tenses for information about perfect indicative and tense comparison for the difference between the indicative and subjunctive mood in Spanish grammar.

Example

Esperamos que la operación haya sido todo un éxito.

Podrás ver a tu hermano cuando haya salido del quirófano.

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Usage

We use the Spanish subjunctive mood after certain expression of wishes, hope, doubt, personal opinions or feelings. The perfect subjunctive is always used in dependent clauses and describes:

  • completed actions
    Example:
    Esperamos que la operación haya sido todo un éxito.We hope that the operation was successful.

    the operation just took place

  • actions that will be completed by a certain point in the future
    Example:
    Podrás ver a tu hermano cuando haya salido del quirófano.You can see your brother when he comes out of the operating room.

    the brother is still in the operating room

Verbs and expressions with the subjunctive

The following lists include the verbs and expressions after which we have to use the subjunctive.

Dependent Clauses

We can use the perfect subjunctive (pretérito perfecto subjuntivo) in dependent clauses when the verb in the main clause is in one of the following tenses, and the action in the dependent clause is completed but still related to the present/future.

tense main clause dependent clause
presente Me alegro de…I’m glad… que haya venidothat he came.
pretérito perfecto Me he alegrado de…I was glad…
futuro simple Me alegraré de…I’ll be glad…
futuro compuesto Me habré alegrado de…I will have been glad…
futuro próximo Siempre voy a alegrarme de…I’m always going to be glad…
imperativo ¡Alégrate de…!Be glad that he came.

Verb Conjugation in Spanish Perfect Subjunctive

To conjugate verbs in the perfect subjunctive, we need the present subjunctive forms of the verb haber + past participle.

person haber past participle
yo haya

hablado

aprendido

vivido

hayas
él/ella/usted haya
nosotros/-as hayamos
vosotros/-as hayáis
ellos/ellas/ustedes hayan

Past Participle

We form the past participle by removing the infinitive ending and adding the corresponding participle ending: -ado for -ar verbs or -ido for er/ir-verbs.

Example:
hablar – hablado
aprender – aprendido
vivir – vivido

Irregular past participles

Some verbs have irregular participle forms. The most important irregular participle forms are listed in the table below:

verb perfect participle translation
abrir abierto open
decir dicho say
escribir escrito write
hacer hecho do/make
imprimir impreso print
morir muerto die
poner puesto set/place
ver visto see
volver vuelto return