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LEARN SPANISH "PRETÉRITO PERFECTO COMPUESTO" (PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE) INDICATIVE MOOD

Before we study the "pretérito perfecto compuesto" (present perfect simple) we need to learn some basic concepts about Spanish verbs. Spanish verbs are always either regular or irregular as it happens with English verbs. All Spanish verbs end either in "-ar", "-er" or "-ir ". These are the three Spanish conjugations.

Example

Hablar (to speak) Correr (to run) Añadir (to add)

To form the "pretérito perfecto compuesto" (present perfect simple) of the indicative mood, we need to use the auxiliary verb "haber" (have) in its present simple and the past participle of another verb. To form the past participle of the regular verbs in Spanish, we need to take the verb as we find it in the dictionary and remove the last two letters. Then, if the verb ends in "-ar" we will add the ending "-ado" and if the verb ends in "-er" or "-ir" we will add the ending "-ido".

Example

For the verbs ending in -ar:

yo (I) he
tú (You) has
el, ella, usted (he, she, you formal) ha
nosotros, nosotras (we) hemos
vosotros, vosotras (you all) habéis
ellos, ellas, (they) ustedes (you all formal) han

Example: We take the verb "hablar" (to speak). We remove the "-ar". We are left with "habl-" (the stem) and then we add "-ado". In this way we have the past participle of the verb "hablar" (to speak).

To conjugate the pretérito perfecto compuesto (present perfect simple) of the verb"hablar" (to speak) we will use the present simple tense of the verb "haber" (to have) and the past participle of the verb "hablar" (to speak).

hablar habl--
yo (I) he hablado (I have spoken)
tú (you) has hablado (you have spoken)
el, ella, usted (he, she, you formal) ha hablado (he, she has spoken)
nosotros, nosotras (we) hemos hablado (we have spoken)
vosotros, vosotras (you all) habéis hablado (you all have spoken)
ellos, ellas, (they) ustedes (you all formal) han hablado (they have spoken)

For the verbs ending in -er:

yo (I) he
tú (You) has
el, ella, usted (he, she, you formal) ha
nosotros, nosotras (we) hemos
vosotros, vosotras (you all) habéis
ellos, ellas, (they) ustedes (you all formal) han

Example: We take the verb "correr" (to run). We remove the "-er": We are left with corr- (the stem) and then we add "-ido". In this way we have the past participle of the verb "correr" (to run).

To conjugate the pretérito perfecto compuesto (present perfect simple) of the verb "correr" (to run) we will use the present simple tense of the verb "haber" (to have) and the past participle of the verb "correr" (to run).

correr corr--
yo (I) he corrido (I have run)
tú (you) has corrido (you have run)
el, ella, usted (he, she, you formal) ha corrido (he, she has run)
nosotros, nosotras (we) hemos corrido (we have run)
vosotros, vosotras (you all) habéis corrido (you al have run)
ellos, ellas, (they) ustedes (you all formal) han corrido (they have run)

For the verbs ending in -ir:

yo (I) he
tú (You) has
el, ella, usted (he, she, you formal) ha
nosotros, nosotras (we) hemos
vosotros, vosotras (you all) ;habéis
ellos, ellas, (they) ustedes (you all formal) han

Example: We take the verb "añadir" (to add). We remove the "-ir": We are left with añad- (the stem) and then we add "-ido". In this way we have the past participle of the verb "añadir" (to add).

To conjugate the pretérito perfecto compuesto (present perfect simple) of the verb "añadir" (to add) we will use the present simple tense of the verb "haber" (to have) and the past participle of the verb "añadir" (to add).

añadir añad--
yo (I) he añadido (I have added)
tú (you) has añadido (you have added)
el, ella, usted (he, she, you formal) ha añadido (he, she has added)
nosotros, nosotras (we) hemos añadido (we have added)
vosotros, vosotras (you all) habéis añadido (you all have added)
ellos, ellas, (they) ustedes (you all formal) han añadido (they have added)

The differences between the persons "tú" (you), "vosotros" (you all), "usted" (you formal) and "ustedes" (you all formal) are explained in Spanish Personal Pronouns .

Some of the irregular verbs will be conjugated exactly in the same form, adding the same sets of endings; the only difference is that they will have some spelling changes in the stem of the verb. ***Remember*** Spanish Irregular verbs can be highly irregular and the general rule is "The rules do not apply". Download our free Spanish verb Trainer and practice

Decir To say
yo he dicho I have said
tú has dicho you have said
el ha dicho he has said
nosotros hemos dicho we have said
vosotros habéis dicho you all have said
ellos han dicho they have said

SOME GENERAL USES

We use the "pretérito perfecto compuesto" (present perfect simple) to talk generally about past experiences in our life. We do not say exactly when our experiences happened.

Example

He estado en América.
I have been to America.

He estado en la National Gallery en Londres.
I have been to the National Gallery in London.

¿Ha probado ella ese plato?
Has she tasted that dish?

The "pretérito perfecto compuesto" (present perfect simple) is also used to express unfinished situations.

Example

Todavía no he leído ese libro que me recomendaste.
I have not read that book you recommended to me yet.

We also use the "pretérito perfecto compuesto" (present perfect simple) to express an action that started in the past and still has consequences in the present moment.



Example

Ha escrito sólo un libro pero se ha ganado la fama.
She has written only one book but she has made a name for herself.

She wrote the book in the past, the book is complete and published, but the consequences of writing that book are still present now as she still enjoys of her fame.

Han comprado una casa nueva.
They have bought a new house.

In this example the consequence of the action is that they still have the house they bought in the past.

With the present perfect simple we can find words to indicate the duration of the action, the moment it started, etc such: durante (for), todavía (still), ya (yet), ya (already), alguna vez (ever), justo ahora (just) y desde (since).

Example

He estado aquí durante horas.
I have been here for hours

Han tenido este coche desde que se casaron.
They have had that car since they got married.

Todavía no hemos oído de ellos.
We still have not heard from them.

Todavía no te lo has pensado.
You have not thought about it yet.

Ella ya se ha ido.
She has already gone.

¿Has volado alguna vez en helicóptero?
Have you ever flown in a helicopter?

Acabas de perder tu autobús.
You have just missed your bus