Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb embusquer

Introduction to the verb embusquer

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The English translation of the French verb embusquer is “to ambush” or “to lie in wait.” It is pronounced as ahm-bew-skeh.

The word embusquer comes from the Old French word “busches,” meaning “bushes” or “underbrush,” and the prefix “en-” meaning “in.” Therefore, the original meaning of embusquer was “to hide in the bushes.” Over time, it has evolved to also mean “to ambush” or “to lay a trap.”

In everyday French, the verb embusquer is most often used in the Subjonctif Passé tense, which is used to express actions that occurred before another action in the past. It is formed by using the subjunctive present tense of the auxiliary verb “avoir” or “être” followed by the past participle of the verb.

Here are three examples of embusquer in the Subjonctif Passé tense:

  1. J’espère qu’il ne m’a pas embusqué avant que je n’arrive à la maison.
    (I hope he didn’t ambush me before I arrived home.)

  2. Il faudrait qu’elle se cache pour ne pas être embusquée par les chasseurs.
    (She should hide so she doesn’t get ambushed by the hunters.)

  3. Nous voulions éviter d’être embusqués par les bandits en voyageant de nuit.
    (We wanted to avoid getting ambushed by bandits while traveling at night.)

Table of the Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of embusquer

Pronoun Conjugation Example Usage English Translation
je me sois embusqué J’étais parti avant qu’il me sois embusqué. I had left before he ambushed me.
tu te sois embusqué Tu as peur qu’il te sois embusqué. You’re afraid he ambushed you.
il se soit embusqué Il est possible qu’il se soit embusqué. It’s possible he ambushed himself.
elle se soit embusquée Elle regrette qu’elle se soit embusquée. She regrets that she ambushed herself.
on se soit embusqué On veut qu’on se soit embusqué. We want it to have been ambushed.
nous nous soyons embusqués Il est important que nous nous soyons embusqués. It’s important that we ambushed ourselves.
vous vous soyez embusqués Il est nécessaire que vous vous soyez embusqués. It’s necessary that you ambushed yourselves.
ils se soient embusqués Ils sont convaincus qu’ils se soient embusqués. They are convinced that they ambushed themselves.
elles se soient embusquées Elles ont l’espoir qu’elles se soient embusquées. They have hope that they ambushed themselves.

Other Conjugations for Embusquer.

   
    Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb embusquer
   

    Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb embusquer
   

    Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb embusquer
   

    Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb embusquer
   

    Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb embusquer
   

    Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb embusquer
   

    Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb embusquer
   

    Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb embusquer

    Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb embusquer

    Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb embusquer

    Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb embusquer     (this article)

    Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb embusquer

    Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb embusquer
   

    Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb embusquer
   

    Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb embusquer

    L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb embusquer

    L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb embusquer

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Embusquer – About the French Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense

The French Subjonctif Passé is a verb tense used to express actions or states that are uncertain, hypothetical, or dependent on some condition in the past. It’s often used in conjunction with the main verb in the present or future tense to convey various nuances of doubt, desire, necessity, or emotion.

NOTE: To take a deep dive into all the French tenses then see my article on Mastering French Tense Conjugation.

Formation of the Subjonctif Passé

To form the Subjonctif Passé, you generally need to start with the third person plural (ils/elles) form of the passé composé (a compound past tense). Then, drop the subject and replace it with the appropriate Subjonctif endings. The endings are the same for regular -er, -ir, and -re verbs:

   – For -er verbs: -e, -es, -e, -ions, -iez, -ent
   – For -ir verbs: -isse, -isses, -ît, -issions, -issiez, -issent
   – For -re verbs: -e, -es, -e, -ions, -iez, -ent

For example, if you have the verb “parler” (to speak) in the third person plural passé composé, which is “ils ont parlé” (they spoke), the Subjonctif Passé form would be “qu’ils aient parlé” (that they spoke).

Everyday Usage Patterns

The Subjonctif Passé is commonly used in various situations:

– Expressing doubt or uncertainty: It’s used when you’re not certain about the completion of an action in the past. For example, “Je doute qu’il ait mangé” (I doubt that he ate).

– Desires and preferences: When you want or wish for something to have happened in the past. For instance, “Je préfère que tu aies réussi” (I prefer that you have succeeded).

– Expressing emotions: To convey emotions or feelings related to past actions or events. For example, “Il est content que nous ayons gagné” (He is happy that we won).

– Hypothetical situations: When discussing hypothetical or unreal past situations. For example, “Si j’avais su, j’aurais souhaité qu’ils aient été là” (If I had known, I would have wished they had been there).

Interactions with Other Tenses

The Subjonctif Passé often interacts with other tenses to convey specific meanings:

Present tense

It’s commonly used after expressions of doubt, desire, necessity, or emotion in the present. For example, “Il faut que tu aies fini” (You must have finished).

Future tense

It’s used in the future for hypothetical or unreal actions in the past when the main clause is in the future. For example, “Je douterai qu’ils aient terminé demain” (I will doubt that they have finished tomorrow).

Conditional

When the main clause is in the conditional, the Subjonctif Passé can be used to express unreal or hypothetical actions in the past. For instance, “Il voudrait que nous ayons réussi” (He would like us to have succeeded).

Summary

The Subjonctif Passé is a versatile tense used in French to convey uncertainty, doubt, desire, or hypothetical situations related to past actions. It is used in various everyday contexts and interacts with other tenses to express specific nuances in the language.

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