Present Perfect and Past/PluPerfect Tenses
To form the Present Perfect and the Pluperfect/ Past Perfect tenses in Spanish the verb “HABER” is used in the present and the imperfect tenses respectively in addition to a past participle. Before addressing the conjugations of the verb “HABER” we will look at forming the past participle.
The Past Participle
To form the Past Participle generally takes the following stem changes: –AR verbs end with “-ADO”, -ER and –IR verbs end with “-IDO”. For example:
1.Hablar = Hablado
2.Comer = Comido
3.Vivir = Vivido
NOTE: If an –ER or –IR verb ends with a, e or o before the –ER or –IR stem ending the “-ido” ending takes an accent above the “i” and becomes “ído”. For example:
1.Traer = Tra-er = Traído
2.Leer = Le-er = Leído
3.Oír = O-ír = Oído
Conjugating the Verb “Haber”
For the purposes of forming the present and past perfect/pluperfect tenses the verb “HABER” is conjugated in the present and imperfect tenses respectively.
Forming the Perfect Tenses
The Perfect Tenses are formed with conjugations of the verb “HABER”, which means “To have” and a past participle.
The Present Perfect Tense:
The Past Perfect/PluPerfect Tense:
Note: With the Perfect Tenses the Past Participle will always end in “–o” despite the gender or the amount/number of the subject(s). For example:
1.La niña ha llegado tarde. – The girl has arrived late.
2.El hombre ha roto el escritorio. – The man has broken the desk.
3.Habíamos comprado todo. – We had bought everything.
4.Ya habían vendido la casa. – They had already sold the house.
Using the Present Perfect and PluPerfect /Past Perfect Tenses
1.The Present Perfect Tense is used to state that an activity has recently taken place or has some impact on the present. For example:
a.Me he graduado. – I have graduated.
b.Ya han discutido y son amigos de nuevo. – They have already argued and are friends again.
c.¿Quién te ha dado esta autoridad? - Who has given you this authority?
2.The Pluperfect/Past Perfect Tense is used to state that a past activity had taken place. For example:
a.Ya él había dicho a ella. – He had already told her.
b.Habíamos visto esta misma película ayer. – We had watched this same movie yesterday.
c.Habían escogido el ganador. – They had already chosen the winner.