The sentence I'm trying to write in English:

There even is a second imperfect within the subjunctive mode, but it's a bit archaic and mostly used in literary contexts.

The verb of interest here is written in bold. Here's my attempt at the sentence in Spanish.

Hay hasta un imperfecto segunda dentro de subjuntivo modo, pero es un poco arcaico y es se usaba principalmente en contextos literarios.

I'm thinking imperfect because in English, the verb is in the past tense, and it is describing a habitual act (kinda). As in, this isn't some specific thing that happened, but a thing that happens. It's not really habitual, but I couldn't think of a better conjugation. I'm thinking passive reflexive, because it isn't used, but being used. Not sure if I've grasped the passive reflexive properly though.

  • segundo imperfecto. What ever are you referring to?
    – Lambie
    Apr 24, 2021 at 0:17
  • I think what is meant are the 2 forms of the Imperfect Subjunctive e.g. Hablara/Hablase.
    – Bluelion7
    Apr 30, 2021 at 21:12

1 Answer 1


I don't agree with your analysis of your English sentence. In the phrase "mostly used in literary contexts", the word "used" is not a past tense. It is present tense, passive voice.

Accordingly, the Spanish would be "se usa" and not what you have.

  • Oh, I didn't realize that present tense verbs used in the passive voice gained the same suffix as verbs in the past tense. Considering English is my closest reference to Spanish, I should probably learn a bit more English grammar before trying to learn Spanish grammar.
    – A. Kvåle
    Apr 23, 2021 at 20:16
  • @A.Kvåle a clue is the fact that the sentence said it is a bit archaic and not was a bit archaic. So the sentence might have continued and is mostly used in. Nice catch by Walter here too.
    – mdewey
    Apr 24, 2021 at 10:52
  • 1
    The full present passive would be "is used". The word "is" can be omitted in a context like this one. Apr 24, 2021 at 10:58

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