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

Introduction to the verb défourailler

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The English translation of the French verb défourailler is “to shoot wildly” or “to spray bullets”. It is pronounced as “day-foo-ray-yay”.

Défourailler comes from the French word “défouraillé”, which means “to shoot wildly” or “to shoot without aim”. It is a combination of the prefix “dé-“, meaning “away” or “off”, and “fourailler”, which is a colloquial term for “shooting”. It is often used in everyday French to describe someone who is shooting recklessly or without a specific target in mind.

In the Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait tense, défourailler is used to express a hypothetical past action or event. It is most often used in spoken French, in informal or colloquial contexts.

Examples:

  1. J’avais peur qu’il ait défouraillé dans la foule. (I was afraid he had shot wildly into the crowd.)
  2. Nous étions inquiets qu’ils eussent défouraillé pendant la fête. (We were worried that they had sprayed bullets during the party.)
  3. Il m’avait dit qu’il craignait qu’elle eût défouraillé à bout portant. (He had told me that he was afraid she had shot at close range.)

In each of these examples, the verb défourailler is conjugated in the Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait tense to express a hypothetical past action. The English translations reflect this tense as well.

Overall, défourailler is a colorful and expressive verb that is commonly used in spoken French to convey a sense of recklessness or chaos.

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

Pronoun Conjugation Example Usage English Translation
je eusse défouraillé Si j’avais eu un pistolet j’aurais aimé que je eusse défouraillé. If I had had a gun I wish I had shot.
tu eusses défouraillé Si tu avais eu un pistolet j’aurais aimé que tu eusses défouraillé. If you had had a gun I wish you had shot.
il eût défouraillé Si il avait eu un pistolet j’aurais aimé qu’il eût défouraillé. If he had had a gun I wish he had shot.
elle eût défouraillé Si elle avait eu un pistolet j’aurais aimé qu’elle eût défouraillé. If she had had a gun I wish she had shot.
on eût défouraillé Si on avait eu un pistolet j’aurais aimé qu’on eût défouraillé. If one had had a gun I wish one had shot.
nous eussions défouraillé Si nous avions eu un pistolet j’aurais aimé que nous eussions défouraillé. If we had had a gun I wish we had shot.
vous eussiez défouraillé Si vous aviez eu un pistolet j’aurais aimé que vous eussiez défouraillé. If you had had a gun I wish you had shot.
ils eussent défouraillé Si ils avaient eu un pistolet j’aurais aimé qu’ils eussent défouraillé. If they had had a gun I wish they had shot.
elles eussent défouraillé Si elles avaient eu un pistolet j’aurais aimé qu’elles eussent défouraillé. If they had had a gun I wish they had shot.

Other Conjugations for Défourailler.

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

    Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb défourailler
   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Défourailler – 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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