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

Introduction to the verb briser

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The English translation of the French verb briser is “to break.” The infinitive form of briser is pronounced “bree-zay.”

Briser comes from the Latin verb “brevis,” meaning “short,” which also gave rise to the French word “bris,” meaning “fragments.” In everyday French, briser is often used in the subjonctif plus-que-parfait tense to express a past action that is hypothetical or uncertain.

Here are three simple examples of briser in the subjonctif plus-que-parfait tense with their English translations:

  1. J’aurais été très déçu si tu avais brisé ma confiance. (I would have been very disappointed if you had broken my trust.)
  2. Si tu avais brisé cette règle, tu aurais dû en accepter les conséquences. (If you had broken this rule, you would have had to accept the consequences.)
  3. Il est probable que mon frère ait brisé la fenêtre en jouant au ballon. (It is likely that my brother broke the window while playing with a ball.)

Table of the Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of briser

Pronoun Conjugation Example Usage English Translation
je eusse brisé J’aurais aimé que je eusse brisé ma promesse. I wish I had broken my promise.
tu eusses brisé J’aurais aimé que tu eusses brisé le vase. I wish you had broken the vase.
il eût brisé J’aurais aimé qu’il eût brisé la fenêtre. I wish he had broken the window.
elle eût brisé J’aurais aimé qu’elle eût brisé sa promesse. I wish she had broken her promise.
on eût brisé J’aurais aimé qu’on eût brisé cette règle. I wish one had broken this rule.
nous eussions brisé J’aurais aimé que nous eussions brisé nos promesses. I wish we had broken our promises.
vous eussiez brisé J’aurais aimé que vous eussiez brisé l’ordinateur. I wish you had broken the computer.
ils eussent brisé J’aurais aimé qu’ils eussent brisé la porte. I wish they had broken the door.
elles eussent brisé J’aurais aimé qu’elles eussent brisé la loi. I wish they had broken the law.

Other Conjugations for Briser.

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

    Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb briser
   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb briser
    (this article)

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Briser – About the French Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense

The French Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait, also known as the Pluperfect Subjunctive, is a verb tense used to express actions or states that occurred before another action in the past, and it’s used in situations where the indicative mood is in the past subjunctive or conditional mood.
NOTE: To take a deep dive into all the French tenses then see my article on Mastering French Tense Conjugation.

Formation

To form the Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait, you start with the imperfect subjunctive form of the auxiliary verb “avoir” or “être,” followed by the past participle of the main verb. 
For “avoir” verbs: Take the imperfect subjunctive form of “avoir” (e.g., j’eusse, tu eusses, il/elle eût, nous eussions, vous eussiez, ils/elles eussent). Add the past participle of the main verb. 
For “être” verbs: Take the imperfect subjunctive form of “être” (e.g., je fusse, tu fusses, il/elle fût, nous fussions, vous fussiez, ils/elles fussent). Add the past participle of the main verb.

Common Everyday Usage Patterns

Hypothetical Situations

The Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait is often used to express hypothetical or unreal actions that occurred before another past action.
For example: J’aurais aimé que tu aies fini ton travail avant que je sois arrivé. (I would have liked for you to have finished your work before I arrived.) 

Reported Speech

In reported speech, you may use the Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait to convey what someone said or thought in the past. 
For example: Il m’a dit qu’il avait peur que je n’aie pas compris. (He told me that he was afraid that I hadn’t understood.) 

Doubt, Wishes, and Emotions

This tense can also be used to express doubt, wishes, and emotions about past actions. 
For example: Je doutais qu’il eût dit la vérité. (I doubted that he had told the truth.) 
J’aurais souhaité que tu fusses venu. (I would have wished for you to have come.)

Interactions with Other Tenses

Present Subjunctive

The Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait can be used to describe past actions when the main verb is in the present subjunctive. 
For example: “Il faut que j’aie fini mon travail avant que tu partes.” (I must have finished my work before you leave.) 

Imperfect Subjunctive

It’s common to use the Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait with the imperfect subjunctive in complex sentences. 
For example: “Il m’avait dit qu’il fût rentré avant la fin de la journée.” (He had told me that he had returned before the end of the day.) 

Conditional

When the main verb is in the conditional mood, the Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait can be used to express past unreal conditions. 
For example: “Si j’avais su, j’aurais voulu que tu aies réussi.” (If I had known, I would have wanted you to have succeeded.)

Summary

The Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait is a complex tense used to convey nuanced meanings in French. While its usage may seem intricate, it becomes more intuitive with practice and exposure to the language. It’s important to understand the context in which it’s used, as it often conveys subtleties of time, conditionality, and emotion in French sentences.

I hope you enjoyed this article on the verb briser. Still in a learning mood? Check out another TOTALLY random French verb conjugation!

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