Using El Pluscuamperfecto Subjuntivo in hypothetical clauses (si) followed by El Condicional Perfecto/ El Pluscuamperfecto de Subjuntivo

Here's a hypothetical situation in English:

If we had won the lottery, we would have bought a Ferrari.

Here you can see that if is followed by a verb in the Pluperfect (had won), while the second clause uses the Conditional Perfect (would have bought).

Now look at the Spanish:

Si hubiésemos ganado  la lotería, habríamos comprado un Ferrari.

Si hubiésemos ganado  la lotería, hubiéramos comprado un Ferrari.

Si hubiésemos ganado  la lotería, hubiésemos comprado un Ferrari.

Here you see that in Spanish, si is followed by a verb in El Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto de Subjuntivo (hubiésemos ganado), while the second clause uses either:

or 

All cases above are equally correct.

 

In this type of conditional sentence the condition is seen as impossible, so that the action of the main clause is not fulfilled.

Here are more examples: 

Si hubiera llegado antes habría visto a Carlos en la fiesta.
If I had arrived earlier I would have seen Carlos at the party.

Si hubiera llegado antes, hubiera visto a Carlos en la fiesta.
If I had arrived earlier, I would have seen Carlos at the party.

Si tú hubieras firmado ese contrato te habrías arrepentido.
If you had signed that contract you would have regretted it.

Si te hubieras llevado el paraguas, no te habrías mojado tanto.
If you had taken the umbrella, you wouldn't have got so wet.

Si te hubieras llevado el paraguas, no te hubieras mojado tanto.
If you had taken the umbrella, you wouldn't had got so wet.

Si no hubiéramos comprado esta casa habríamos tenido más dinero para vacaciones.
If we hadn't bought this house we would have had more money for holidays.

Si no hubiésemos comprado esta casa, hubiésemos tenido más dinero para vacaciones.
If we hadn't bought this house, we would have had more money for holidays.

Si usted hubiera venido a las diez yo le habría atendido personalmente.
If you had come at ten I would have dealt with you personally.

You need auxiliary verb "haber" in both parts of the sentence: in the conditional clause after "si" and in the main clause.

Examples and resources

Si no hubiéramos comprado esta casa habríamos tenido más dinero para vacaciones.
If we hadn't bought this house we would have had more money for holidays.


Si hubiera llegado antes habría visto a Carlos en la fiesta.
If I had arrived earlier I would have seen Carlos at the party.


Si hubiera llegado antes, hubiera visto a Carlos en la fiesta.
If I had arrived earlier, I would have seen Carlos at the party.


Si usted hubiera venido a las diez yo le habría atendido personalmente.
If you had come at ten I would have dealt with you personally.


Si te hubieras llevado el paraguas, no te hubieras mojado tanto.
If you had taken the umbrella, you wouldn't had got so wet.


Si te hubieras llevado el paraguas, no te habrías mojado tanto.
If you had taken the umbrella, you wouldn't have got so wet.


Si no hubiésemos comprado esta casa, hubiésemos tenido más dinero para vacaciones.
If we hadn't bought this house, we would have had more money for holidays.


Si tú hubieras firmado ese contrato te habrías arrepentido.
If you had signed that contract you would have regretted it.


Q&A

Laurie

Kwiziq community member

18 December 2018

1 reply

Tú Te

Why is it Si tú hubieras firmado ese contrato te habrías arrepentido but it is Si te hubieras llevado el paraguas no te habrís mojado tanto?  Shouldn't they both be Si tú?  

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

19 December 2018

19/12/18

Hi Laurie

They are both correct. The only difference is this:

In "Si tú hubieras firmado ese contrato..." we are using the personal pronoun tú that you can easily drop if you want to and would still be ok -> "Si hubieras firmado ese contrato..."

In "Si te hubieras llevado el paraguas..." we are omitting the personal pronoun tú that you could add if you want to. The "te" here comes from reflexive verb "llevarse" that we can use in this reflexive way to emphasise who is doing the action. It is something like saying "If you had taken the umbrella "with you"... 

So the function of tú and te are different.

I hope this clarifies your doubt.

Saludos

Inma

Clever stuff underway!