The Past Subjunctive

The past subjunctive is formed by using the subjunctive of the helping verb (avoir or être) + the past participle of the action being performed. The past subjunctive is used like the passé composé to express an action that has already taken place in the past:

  • Il est regrettable qu'il n'ait pas réussi. (It is a shame that he didn't succeed.)
  • Il est douteux qu'ils soient partis. (It is doubtful that they left.)
  • Il est important qu'elles se soient bien amusées. (It is important that they had a very good time.)