Conjugate verbs in Le Subjonctif Passé (past subjunctive)

Le Subjonctif Passé follows the same structure as other compound tenses:

1- Auxiliary (avoir or être) in Le Subjonctif Présent

2- Past participle of the conjugated verb

Here are some examples with avoir:

Je suis satisfait bien que je n'aie pas fini à temps.
I'm satisfied even though I didn't finish on time.

C'est l'émission la plus drôle que nous ayons jamais regardée!
It's the funniest show we have ever watched!

 

Je suis contente qu'elle ait eu son examen.
I'm happy she got her exam.

Nous voulons que vous ayez rangé votre chambre avant ce soir.
We want you to have tidied up your room before tonight.

 

Je répète encore une fois pour que vous ayez compris la leçon.
I'm repeating one more time so that you've understood the lesson.

 

J'arriverai avant qu'ils aient mangé.
I'll arrive before they've eaten.

 

And here are some examples with être:

Il faut que je sois parti d'ici neuf heures.
I have to have left by nine. I need to have left by nine.

Je ne crois pas que tu te sois rasé aujourd'hui.
I don't believe you shaved today.

 

J'ai attendu qu'il soit monté dans le train pour partir.
I waited after he got on the train to leave.

Il a peur que nous ne soyons pas rentrées à temps.
He is afraid that we might not have got home on time.

 

C'était important que vous y soyez allés.
It was important that you went there.

 

Je ne suis pas sûre qu'elles se soient excusées.
I'm not sure that they apologised.

 

The rules of agreement are the same as with other compound tenses.


See also Conjugate être in Le Subjonctif Présent (subjunctive mood) and  Conjugate avoir in Le Subjonctif Présent (subjunctive mood)

GRAMMAR JARGON
Note that there is an Imparfait and a Plus-que-Parfait in Le Subjonctif, but both are very archaic tenses.
To speak in the past tense, Le Subjonctif Passé is the tense you use.

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Il faut que tu aies pris ta douche avant midi.
You have to have had your shower before noon.
You need to have had your shower before noon.


Je suis contente qu'elle ait eu son examen.
I'm happy she got her exam.


Il faut que je sois parti d'ici neuf heures.
I have to have left by nine. I need to have left by nine.


Il a peur que nous ne soyons pas rentrées à temps.
He is afraid that we might not have got home on time.


J'ai attendu qu'il soit monté dans le train pour partir.
I waited after he got on the train to leave.


Je répète encore une fois pour que vous ayez compris la leçon.
I'm repeating one more time so that you've understood the lesson.


Je ne suis pas sûre qu'elles se soient excusées.
I'm not sure that they apologised.


Je suis satisfait bien que je n'aie pas fini à temps.
I'm satisfied even though I didn't finish on time.


C'était important que vous y soyez allés.
It was important that you went there.


Je ne crois pas que tu te sois rasé aujourd'hui.
I don't believe you shaved today.


J'arriverai avant qu'ils aient mangé.
I'll arrive before they've eaten.


Nous voulons que vous ayez rangé votre chambre avant ce soir.
We want you to have tidied up your room before tonight.


Q&A

Gabriela

Kwiziq community member

25 October 2018

1 reply

La phrase “je ne suis pas sûre que’‘elle se soient excusées » utilise le subjonctif car elle est négative?

si c’etait « Je suis sûre que... » faudrait-il l’indicatif?

même question avec la formule « je ne crois pas que... »

Steve

Kwiziq community member

6 November 2018

6/11/18

Gabriela,

Le subjonctif est utilisé parce qu'il y a un sens de doute dans la question.

Dans l'afirmative, il n'y a pas de doute (je suis sûre), donc l'indicatif est utilisé.

Ann

Kwiziq community member

17 October 2018

3 replies

"shouldn't it be "J'ai eu peur que nous ne soyons arrivés trop tard?" The correct answer did not include ne."

Chris

Kwiziq community member

17 October 2018

17/10/18

Hi Ann,

this is a question of register. In formal French you would use the ne, whereas in spoken French, often you don't use it. With or without ne, the meaning remains unchanged.

Ann

Kwiziq community member

17 October 2018

17/10/18

But shouldn't it be marked correct as we don't know whether the tester wants the formal or the dialogue? This way one does not have to go through several exercises to prove one understood

Chris

Kwiziq community member

17 October 2018

17/10/18

I think in the context of the lesson, which is trying to get students to learn the ne-explétif, it is understood to use the "ne" whenever appropriate.

K

Kwiziq community member

3 April 2018

1 reply

... elle ait eu son examen” is translated as “she got her exam.” Is that the same as “she passed her exam”?

If so, can we just stay with “she passed her exam”? If we were saying she got her degree or got her license, it would not be a problem. 

Chris

Kwiziq community member

3 April 2018

3/04/18

Yes, you are correct:

Elle a eu son examen. -- She passed her exam.
Ella a passé son examen. -- She took her exam.

However, this distinction is apparently not widely and not stricktly observed. At least that's my impression after talking to several native French speakers.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

helen

Kwiziq community member

15 December 2017

2 replies

Another way to say - You need to have had your shower before noon.

"Il faut que tu aies pris ta douche avant midi." (You have to have had your shower before noon.You need to have had your shower before noon.) Would it also be correct to say the following: "Il faut que tu aies eu ta douche avant midi"?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

16 December 2017

16/12/17

Bonjour Helen ! No, that would be what we call in French "un anglicisme" :) Indeed, you would never use "avoir une douche" in French, unlike in English. The colloquial expression is "prendre une douche/un bain". Bonne journée !

helen

Kwiziq community member

16 December 2017

16/12/17

Merci!

helen

Kwiziq community member

14 December 2017

3 replies

Why is this in the past tense and not the present tense?

"Il a peur que nous ne soyons pas rentrées à temps." (He's worried that we might not get home on time.) Why wouldn't this be in the present tense subjunctive? "il a peur que nous ne rentrions pas a temps."

Chris

Kwiziq community member

14 December 2017

14/12/17

Hmmmmm....I would have translated the given French sentence as: "He is afraid that we might not have got home on time." But I would hope Aurélie chimes in on that. -- Chris (not a native speaker).

helen

Kwiziq community member

15 December 2017

15/12/17

Thanks, Chris, I hope she or Laura chimes in!!

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

15 December 2017

15/12/17

Bonjour Helen and Chris ! Yes indeed, the translation was off, but thanks to you, I've now edited the example accordingly. :) Merci beaucoup et à bientôt !

Danielle

Kwiziq community member

25 June 2017

1 reply

How would we say 'it's a pity she couldn't come..?'

Is this correct: C'est dommage qu'elle n'aie pas pu venir? Merci!

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

29 June 2017

29/06/17

Bonjour Danielle !

It's almost perfect:
C'est dommage qu'elle n'ait pas pu venir.

Aie is the je form of Le Subjonctif.

See our related lessons:
https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/grammar/conjugate-avoir-in-le-subjonctif-present-the-subjunctive-mood
https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/grammar/conjugate-verbs-in-le-subjonctif-passe-compose

À bientôt !

Chris

Kwiziq community member

9 March 2017

1 reply

I am afraid that we got there too late.

I translated this as: "J'ai peur que nous soyons y arrivés trop tard." In particular, I used "y" to account for the original "there" in the English version. Alas, it was counted wrong, the correct answer given without the "y". To avoid confusion, I suggest the English sentence be given as: "I am afraid that we arrived too late." This leaves no doubt what you are looking for.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

10 March 2017

10/03/17

Bonjour Claus ! The fact is that in French, when you use the verb "arriver" to express "to get there", you don't add the locative "y", similarly to "to arrive" in English. But I do agree with your suggestion and changed the English in the question accordingly :) Merci beaucoup et à bientôt ! PS: To report on specific questions, please use the "Report it" button in your Correction Board, as it gives us a direct link to the reported question, and saves us time looking for it :)
Getting that for you now.