Present Perfect Pretérito Perfecto (Part 1): Spanish Lesson 53

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In this topic we are going to learn how to use the Spanish Present Perfect – Pretérito Perfecto. This is a very useful tense with which we can describe actions in the past and it is not that difficult to remember and use.

The Spanish Present Perfect – Pretérito Perfecto is used to talk about things that started in the past and which continue or repeat in the present. It’s also used to talk about things that have happened in the recent past.

These are the rules of how to conjugate the Spanish Present Perfect – Pretérito Perfecto for regular verbs (there are some irregular verbs also but the majority of verbs follow these rules):

You use the Spanish verb Haber (to have) in the present tense with a past participle. Spanish past participles finish in -ado or -ido. Verbs with –ar endings finish in –ado and verbs with –ir/-er endings finish in –ido.

How to conjugate the Spanish Present Perfect – Pretérito Perfecto:

Yo – He – ado/ido
Tú – Has – ado/ido
Él/Ella – Ha – ado/ido
Nosotros – Hemos – ado/ido
Vosotros – Habéis – ado/ido
Ellos/Ellas – Han ado/ido

So far we have learned how to use the Spanish Present Simple tense and the Spanish Future tense. Now we can start discussing things that have happened in the past!

Example sentences:

He comido chocolate con churros para desayunar esta mañana: I have eaten chocolate with churros for breakfast this morning

Present Perfect Pretérito Perfecto

¿He cantado afinado?: Have I sung in tune?
No he entendido nada en el texto: I haven’t understood anything in the text
¡Has robado la billetera! You have stolen the wallet!
¿Has cortado la madera?: Have you cut the wood?
¿Aún no has terminado?: Haven’t you finished yet?
Hoy ella ha bailado el chachachá, la samba y la rumba: Today she has danced the chacha, the samba, and the rumba.
¿Él ha estudiado para el examen? Has he studied for the exam?
Ella no ha llegado todavía: She hasn’t arrived yet
Hemos visitado el museo, la galería y el casco antiguo: We have visited the museum, the gallery, and the old town
¿Hemos venido al lugar indicado?: Have we come to the right place?
Nosotras no hemos estado aquí antes: We haven’t been here before
¡Habéis dormido doce horas!: You have slept for twelve hours!
¿Habéis ido a trabajar?: Have you gone to work?
¡No habéis dejado de hablar desde que habeis llegado!: You haven’t stopped talking since you arrived!
Ellos han sido muy mal educados: They have been very rude
¿Han cogido el autobús o el tren?: Have they taken the bus or the train?
Todavía no han pagado sus bebidas: They haven’t paid for their drinks yet

We hope you enjoyed this lesson and feel confident now using the very useful Spanish Present Perfect – Pretérito Perfecto.

As always, the best plan of action is to practice with any new grammar tense as much as you can by writing your own practice sentences or by using it in conversation. Try writing sentences describing what you have done today.

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