Perfect Tenses A compound tense is one made up of two or more words, and certain examples of compound tense appear elsewhere, such as the present progressive tense, when the verb estar (to be) is combined with the present participle of another verb. A perfect tense, in English and in Spanish, is a type of compound tense that is made up of a form of an auxiliary verb – haber (to have) – in combination with the past participle of another verb.
Past Participle The past participle in Spanish is equivalent to the English –ed, -en, etc. endings. It is formed by dropping the –ar from the –ar verbs and adding –ado to the infinitive stem. Example: nevar (to snow) – nevado (snowed) For –er/-ir verbs, drop the –er or –ir and add –ido to the infinitive stem. Examples: comer (to eat) – comido (eaten) Surtir (to supply) – surtido (supplied)
Perfect Tenses In Spanish, there are four commonly used perfect tenses:1. Present Perfect2. Pluperfect (Past Perfect)3. Future Perfect4. Conditional Perfect The verb haber (to have) is an auxiliary verb; the verb tener (to have) is used to express possession.
Haber – Present Tense Haber – to have (auxiliary) He Hemos Has Ha Han
Present Perfect The present perfect tense is used to express an action or event in the past without reference to a specific time or duration. Often it is used to describe a recent or continuing event in the past. It is formed with present tense of haber together with the past participle. Example: She has gone to the store. Ella ha ido a la tienda.
Haber – Imperfect Tense Haber – to have (auxiliary) Había Habíamos Habías Había Habían
Pluperfect (Past Perfect) The pluperfect tense is used to express a past action or event that is completed before another past action or event. It is formed with haber in the imperfect tense together with the past participle. Example: They had arrived many hours before the sun. Habían llegado muchas horas antes del sol.
Haber – Future Tense Haber – to have (auxiliary) Habré Habremos Habrás Habrá Habrán
Future Perfect The future perfect tense is used to express a future action or event that will have been completed before another future action. It is formed with haber conjugated in the future tense together with the past participle. Example: After this child, the woman will have given birth six times. Después de este niño, la mujer habrá parido seis veces.
Haber – Conditional Tense Haber – to have (auxiliary) Habría Habríamos Habrías Habría Habrían
Conditional Perfect The conditional perfect tense is used to express a contrary-to-fact action or event in the past – one that would have occurred if something else had not happened. It is formed with haber conjugated in the conditional tense together with the past participle. Example: The boys would have stopped if they had known it was wrong. Los chicos se habrían detenido si hubieran sabido que no es correcto.
Future and Conditional Perfect The future and conditional perfect tenses are also used to express probability. Example: She must have given birth many times. Ella habrá parido muchas veces. Example: She had probably given birth many times. Ella habría parido muchas veces.