No pensamos que el plan saldría a la luz tan pronto.

English Translation

We didn’t expect an unveiling of the plan this soon.

Is this a case where the pluperfect “trumps” the subjunctive? Consider the present tense: “No pensamos que el plan salga a la luz tan pronto.”

“We didn’t think the plan would come to light / be revealed so soon”

To me, the speaker is describing the case, “We didn’t think so but it did happen”. The “it did happen” is why the indicative mood is being used. Alternatively, what about the opposite situation, “We didn’t think so and it didn’t happen”? Because the speaker is describing some imaginary event in the past we reach for the subjunctive:

No pensamos que el plan saliera a la luz tan pronto

I need to go lie down now.

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Alternatively, it might just be that the subjunctive is less used in casual speech.

I wonder about “no pensamos que fuera a salir a luz”, or is that just too much? :thinking:

For a change of pace, I decided to ask about the sentence on Stack Exchange.


This answer is the best, IMO. It clearly demonstrates that one cannot always rely on simple rules when it comes to the subjunctive.

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