Present Perfect and Pluperfect Past Participle All perfect tenses are made up of two parts: the helping verb and the past participle of the main verb: helping verb past participle He has eaten. They have left. I have studied. helping verb past participle We have seen. You have finished. She has fallen. This is how you form the past participle in Spanish: Drop the –ar and add –ado: hablar pensar llegar hablado pensado llegado nadar almorzar estar nadado almorzado estado Drop the –er or –ir and add –ido: comer leer asistir comido leído asistido poder querer venir podido querido venido Click here to go to a brief practice exercise. There are, of course, irregular past participles in Spanish as there are in English. call jump look eat bring have called have jumped have looked have eated???? have bringed???? have eaten have brought You have to memorize the irregular past participles in Spanish just as you do in English. volver poner abrir cubrir escribir ver morir decir hacer romper vuelto (NOT volvido) puesto (NOT ponido) abierto etc. cubierto escrito visto muerto dicho hecho roto Helping Verb Now you need a helping verb to go with your past participles. What we use is the present tense of the verb “haber.” he hablado has hablado ha hablado hemos hablado habéis hablado han hablado Use these verb forms with all your past participles: he comido, has querido, ha vuelto, hemos trabajado, etc. Click here to go to a brief practice exercise. Pluperfect (Past Perfect) (Pluscuamperfecto) The past perfect (also called the pluperfect and, in Spanish, the pluscuamperfecto), remember, is the past of the past and translates with “had” in English. ALL perfect tenses get a helping verb and a past participle: present perfect past perfect future perfect conditional perfect he has eaten he had eaten he will have eaten he would have eaten As you saw, the present perfect tense has a set of helping verbs that come from “haber”: he has ha hemos habéis han The same is true of the past perfect. The helping verbs for the past perfect are the imperfect form of “haber”: había hablado habías hablado había hablado habíamos hablado habíais hablado habían hablado Note that the endings on “haber” for the past perfect are the endings for the imperfect tense: había habías había habíamos habíais habían The present perfect is the PRESENT tense of “haber” + the past participle. The past perfect tense is the IMPERFECT (PAST) tense of “haber” + the past participle. Guess what the future perfect tense is composed of. But that’s another lesson. Click here to go to a brief practice exercise.