Congiuntivo Trapassato

The Congiuntivo (Subjunctive) is an Italian mood mainly used in subordinate clauses to express uncertainty, doubts or personal feelings.

It consists of four tenses: Presente, Passato, Imperfetto, Trapassato.

The choice among them depends on the verb of the main clause.

The Congiuntivo Trapassato is formed by the Congiuntivo Imperfetto of Essere or Avere and the Participio Passato (Past Participle) of the verb.

Have a look at the conjugation!

IO Fossi Arrivato/a
TU Fossi Arrivato/a
LUI/LEI Fosse Arrivato/a
NOI Fossimo Arrivati/e
VOI Foste Arrivati/e
LORO Fossero Arrivati/e


IO Avessi Dormito
TU Avessi Dormito
LUI/LEI Avesse Dormito
NOI Avessimo Dormito
VOI Aveste Dormito
LORO Avessero  Dormito


How shall we use the Congiuntivo Trapassato?

This Tense is used after verbs, expressions and conjunctions that require the Congiuntivo and expresses a past action happened before another past action expressed by the verb in the main clause.

Here you have some examples.

Italian English
Pensavo che Anna fosse partita la settimana prima. I thought Anna had left the week before.
Credevo che i bambini avessero già fatto i compiti. I believed the children had already done their homework.
Paolo è arrivato tardi nonostante gli avessi chiesto di essere puntuale. Paolo arrived late even though I had asked him to be on time.


Also, it is used in the If clause which expresses unreality: have a look here!

Now, would you be able to write some more sentences using the Congiuntivo Trapassato?

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