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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.