Skip directly to content

Compound Tenses: preterit perfect, pluperfect, future and conditional perfect

In order to form the compound tenses, one uses the correct form of the verb haber + the past participle.   

This lesson includes information on:

  1. Preterit (Present) Perfect Tense
  2. Pluperfect Tense
  3. Future Perfect Tense
  4. Conditional Perfect Tense

 

1.  Preterit (Present) Perfect Tense

The preterit (present) perfect tense expresses:

a)      A terminated action in the immediate past with no time specified.  For example, He hecho mi tarea. (I have done my homework.)

b)      An action that continues or that is repeated in the present.  For example, Yo ya he comido de ese pastel. (I have been eating that dessert.)

  • The present tense of the verb haber is conjugated:

Spanish

Spanish

English

Subject

Infinitive: Haber

To have

Yo

He

I have

Has

You have

Usted/él/ella

Ha

You (formal)/He/She has

Nosotros

Hemos

We have

Ustedes/Ellos/Ellas

Han

You (plural) have/They have

 
  • The preterit (present) perfect tense is formed:

Present tense of haber + past participle. For example:

Spanish

Spanish

Spanish

English

Subject

Infinitive

Haber+past participle

 

Yo

Prestar

He prestado

I have lent

Ver

Has visto

You have seen

Usted/él/ella

Visitar

Ha visitado

You have visited

Nosotros

Hablar

Hemos hablado

We have spoken

Ustedes/Ellos/Ellas

Comer

Han comido

They have eaten

 

 

2. Pluperfect Tense

The pluperfect tense expresses:

a)      An action that happened before another action.  For example, Ella ya había leído acerca de la cultura china cuando viajó. (She had already read about the Chinese culture when she traveled.)

  • The imperfect tense of the verb haber is conjugated:

Spanish

Spanish

English

Subject

Infinitive: Haber

To have

Yo

Había

I had

Habías

You had

Usted/él/ella

Había

You (formal)/He/She had

Nosotros

Habíamos

We had

Ustedes/Ellos/Ellas

Habían

You (plural) had/They had

 

  • The pluperfect tense is formed:

Imperfect tense of haber + past participle. For example:

Spanish

Spanish

English

Subject

Infinitive: Haber

To have

Yo

Había sido

I had been

Habías pagado

You had paid

Usted/él/ella

Había vivido

He had lived

Nosotros

Habíamos reunido

We had met

Ustedes/Ellos/Ellas

Habían arreglado

They had fixed

 

 

3.  Future Perfect Tense

The future perfect expresses:

a)      A future that comes before another future.  For example,  Ellos ya habrán visitado la playa para el próximo fin de semana.  (They will already have visited the beach next weekend.)

b)      Probability of a past action related with the present.  For example, Habrá recibido buenas notas.  (He will have received good grades.)

  • The future tense of haber is conjugated:

 

Spanish

Spanish

English

Subject

Infinitive: Haber

To have

Yo

Hab

I will have

Habrás

You will have

Usted/él/ella

Hab

You (formal)/He/She will have

Nosotros

Habrémos

We will have

Ustedes/Ellos/Ellas

Habrán

You (plural) will have/They will have

 
  • The future perfect tense is formed:

Future tense of haber + past participle.  For example:

 

Spanish

Spanish

English

Subject

Infinitive: Haber

To have

Yo

Hab jugado

I will have played

Habrás cocinado

You will have cooked

Usted/él/ella

Hab bebido

He will have drunk

Nosotros

Habremos visto

We will have seen

Ustedes/Ellos/Ellas

Habrán viajado

They will have traveled

 

 

 

4.  Conditional Perfect Tense

Conditional perfect expresses:

 

a)      An action that one thought had already happened in the past but that in reality never happened.  For example, Pensé que para ayer Juan ya habría llamado a su madre. (I thought that yesterday Juan would have already called his mom.)

b)      The probability of a past action before another past action.  For example, Pedro habría estudiado ayer por la tarde. (Peter would have studied yesterday afternoon.)

 

  • The conditional tense of the verb haber is conjugated:

 

Spanish

Spanish

English

Subject

Infinitive: Haber

To have

Yo

Habría

I would have

Habrías

You would have

Usted/él/ella

Habría

You (formal)/He/She would have

Nosotros

Habríamos

We would have

Ustedes/Ellos/Ellas

Habrían

You (plural) would have/They would have

 

 

  • The conditional perfect tense is formed:

Conditional tense of haber + past participle.  For example:

Spanish

Spanish

English

Subject

Infinitive: Haber

To have

Yo

Habría puesto

I would have put

Habrías dicho

You would have said

Usted/él/ella

Habría cantado

He would have sung

Nosotros

Habríamos escuchado

We would have listened

Ustedes/Ellos/Ellas

Habrían llegado

They would have arrived