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

Introduction to the verb débouter

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The English translation of the French verb débouter is “to dismiss” or “to reject.” It is pronounced as “day-boo-tay” in the infinitive form.

Débouter comes from the Old French word desbouter, which means “to put out of office” or “to deprive of one’s post.” It is most often used in every day French in the Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait tense, which expresses a past and hypothetical action.

For example:

  1. J’avais débouté l’idée qu’il vienne avec nous. (I had dismissed the idea that he come with us.)
  2. Il était débouté avant qu’il puisse présenter son argument. (He had been rejected before he could present his argument.)
  3. Nous avions débouté toutes les suggestions qu’il avait proposées. (We had dismissed all the suggestions he had proposed.)

In these examples, débouter is used in the Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait tense to express a past action that may or may not have actually happened. It is often used in formal or legal contexts, such as in court proceedings or in official documents.

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

Pronoun Conjugation Example Usage English Translation
je eusse débouté Je regrette que j’eusse débouté mon collègue. I regret debarring my colleague.
tu eusses débouté Je regrette que tu eusses débouté ton collègue. I regret debarring your colleague.
il eût débouté Je regrette qu’il eût débouté son collègue. I regret debarring his colleague.
elle eût débouté Je regrette qu’elle eût débouté son collègue. I regret debarring her colleague.
on eût débouté Je regrette qu’on eût débouté son collègue. I regret debarring one’s colleague.
nous eussions débouté Je regrette que nous eussions débouté notre collègue. I regret debarring our colleague.
vous eussiez débouté Je regrette que vous eussiez débouté votre collègue. I regret debarring your colleague.
ils eussent débouté Je regrette qu’ils eussent débouté leur collègue. I regret debarring their colleague.
elles eussent débouté Je regrette qu’elles eussent débouté leur collègue. I regret debarring their colleague.

Other Conjugations for Débouter.

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

    Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb débouter
   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Débouter – 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.

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