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Spanish past subjunctive for regular verbs

We already reviewed the Spanish subjunctive mood includes three tenses, as listed on the article Spanish present subjunctive. Regular verbs:

This article covers the conjugation in Spanish of the past subjunctive for regular verbs and includes a link to an audio recording with the subjunctive conjugations (past tense) of “amar”, “beber” and “vivir”.

Past subjunctive conjugation
Same as for the Spanish present of subjunctive conjugation, we’ll use those three same regular verbs to conjugate the past subjunctive: Amar (first conjugation verb), Beber (second conjugation verb) and Vivir (Third conjugation verb).

AMAR (TO LOVE) Past Subjunctive

Yo amara / amase
Tú amaras / amases
Él / Ella / Usted amara / amase

Nosotros / Nosotras amáramos / amásemos
Vosotros / Vosotras amarais / amaseis
Ellos / Ellas / Ustedes amaran / amasen

As you can see, this Spanish tense (Past subjunctive) includes in fact, two forms for each person. This means any of them can be used. In practice, the first form (Yo amara, tú amaras, él amara, etc.) is more common than the second one.

Letters in bold are the endings for this tense. Notice “am-” is the stem of the verb. To identify the stem of a verb, just ignore the final –ar, -er or –ir endings of its infinitive. For example, let’s identify the stem of the verb “Pensar” (To think).
Pensar is the infinitive. Let’s remove the final –ar (in this case). The remaining part is what we call “stem”: “Pens-”.

Now, to conjugate the past tense of “pensar”, we'll first take its stem “pens-” and add the corresponding past tense endings: yo pensara / pensase, tú pensaras / pensases, and so on.

BEBER (TO DRINK) Past Subjunctive

Yo bebiera / bebiese
Tú bebieras / bebieses
Él / Ella / Usted bebiera / bebiese

Nosotros / Nosotras bebiéramos / bebiésemos
Vosotros / Vosotras bebierais / bebieseis
Ellos / Ellas / Ustedes bebieran / bebiesen

Beber” belongs to the second conjugation, that is, it is a verb ending in -er. Its stem is “beb-”. Notice now that the endings for regular verbs belonging to the second conjugation are different from those belonging to the first conjugation (verbs ending in -ar, like “amar”).

And finally, let’s see how regular verbs belonging to the third conjugation are conjugated in the past subjunctive:

VIVIR (TO LIVE) Past Subjunctive

Yo viviera / viviese
Tú vivieras / vivieses
Él / Ella / Usted viviera / viviese
Nosotros / Nosotras viviéramos / viviésemos
Vosotros / Vosotras vivierais / vivieseis
Ellos / Ellas / Ustedes vivieran / viviesen

Good news! The past subjunctive endings for regular verbs belonging to second and third conjugations are the same.

To listen to these verbs audio recording, click here.

If you learn these patterns, you’ll be able to conjugate any Spanish regular verb in the past subjunctive.

Do you want to learn more about Spansh verbs? The book 2000+ Essential Spanish Verbs: Learn the Forms, Master the Tenses, and Speak Fluently! (Essential Vocabulary)style=border:none can help you!

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This content was written by Angeles Fernández. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Angeles Fernández for details.



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