Pretérito perfecto





Introduction

Pretérito perfecto is one of 4 Spanish past tenses. It is used similar as Perfect tense in English.

Example:
This morning I have eaten.
Esta mañana he comido.

This morning I have not eaten.
Esta mañana no he comido.

As You can see from example we are using conjugated verb haber (to have) + past participle.

How to form Pretérito perfecto

In table we are using past participle of verb hablar (to talk). As you cans see verb haber is conjugated in present for all persons. Past participle of verb is always the same.

Person Haber Participle
Yo He hablado
Has hablado
Él, ella, usted Ha hablado
Nosotros Hemos hablado
Vosotros Habéis hablado
Ellos, Ellas, Ustedes Han hablado

So to properly use pretérito perfecto you need to remember two things:
1. Conjugation of verb haber in present
2. Past participle of verb.

In English verbs in infinitive have “to” in front of them, i.e. to talk, to drink, to study etc.
As You probably remember in Spanish verbs in infinitive always finish in one of three combinations: -AR, -ER or -IR.

To form past participle we just use root of the verb (verb without ending -ar/-er/-ir) and add ado for verbs ending in -AR and ido for verbs finishing in -ER or – IR.

-AR adding: ado
english infinitive participle
to talk hablar hablado
to study estudiar estudiado
to be estar estado
-ER adding: ido
english infinitive participle
to eat comer comido
to have tener tenido
to be ser sido
-IR adding: ido
english infinitive participle
to live vivir vivido
to leave salir salido
to go ir ido

Irregular verbs

Some of verbs are irregular. So participle is not created just by adding ado/ido to the root. Table below shows some of most used irregular verbs.

english infinitive participle
to open abrir abierto
to cover cubrir cubierto
to say decir dicho
to broke romper roto
to write escribir escrito
to fry freir frito
to do hacer hecho
to see ver visto
to die morir muerto
to put poner puesto
to resolve resolver resuelto
to return volver vuelto

Usage of Pretérito perfecto

We are using Pretérito perfecto when talking about:

1. Past actions, terminated and related with present. Usually using phrase: “this”
Phrase Translation
ESTE año This year
ESTE verano This summer
ESTA semana This week
ESTOS dias This days
ESTAS vacaciones This holidays

Example:
This week I have been in Italy.
Esta semana he ido a Italia.

2. Past actions, made today
Phrase Translation
HOY Today
AHORA Now
ESTA mañana This morning
ESTA noche This evening
HACE unas horas Few hours ago
ANTES/DESPUES de cenar Before/after the dinner

Example:
This morning I have breakfast.
Esta mañana he desayunado.

3. Past actions, related with present but without specific time
Phrase Translation
NUNCA Never
JAMÁS Never
SIEMPRE Always
MUCHAS VECES Many times
ALGO VECES Sometimes

Example:
I have never saw a snow.
Nunca he visto la nieve

4. Action made / Action not made
Phrase Translation
YA Already
AÚN NO Not yet
TODAVÍA NO Not yet

Example:
I have already visited United States but haven´t yet visited Asia.
Ya he visitado Estados Unidos pero todavía no he visitado Asia

Exercises

Conjugates the verbs in parentheses in the pretérito perfecto.


Result
correct answers and incorrect = %

If you liked this post check our other posts. Maybe you need to refresh your knowledge of ir vs irse here, or hay vs está here.

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