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Los Tiempos Perfectos

Los tiempos perfectos- the Perfect Tenses.  What a name!  What does it mean?  I don't know.  I only know how to use them and what they mean.  You need to know how to use them and what they mean, too.  If you ever figure out what the name means and where it comes from, let me know.

So.  What are the Tiempos Perfectos?  They are the equivalent to the English verb "to have" plus the past participle.  For example- I have eaten (He comido); I would have left (Yo habría salido); They will have spoken (Habrán hablado); etc.
 
 

In these tenses in Spanish, the verb "to have" is "HABER". 

We'll deal with HABER soon.  First let's look at the past participle.


El participio del pasado

The past participle is usually formed as follows:

Of course there are exceptions- just as there are in English for the past participle.  (leak-leaked; speak-spoken; eat-eaten; walk-walked; etc.)  There is no way to learn these except by use and memorization. I strongly suggest that you make flash cards of these verbs- infinitive on one side and past participle on the other.  Then use these cards- study and practice!
 
abrir
abierto
cubrir
cubierto
decir
dicho
escribir
escrito
hacer
hecho
morir
muerto
poner
puesto
romper
roto
ver
visto
volver
vuelto

Of course, as we know already, any compound verbs are formed like the root verb.  Therefore the past participle of maldecir is maldicho, descubrir=descubierto, componer= compuesto, etc.  Figure out the past participles for these verbs:  describir, deshacer, devolver, posponer, predecir, prever.

Another thing you need to know....What would happen to verbs that end in AER, EER, EIR or Oír if we followed the regular rules?  They would sound weird.

leido    caido    oido    traido    creido    reido
ei= "ay"; ai = "I" and oi - "oy"

So how do we make it right?  Add an accent on the "i" in each.

leído    caído    oído    traído    creído    reído

Now they will be spelled they way they are pronounced.
 

The past participle in the perfect tenses NEVER changes form.



Some other really important stuctural rules:
 
 
Object pronouns- Direct, Indirect, Reflexive- must precede the verb HABER.  They can NEVER be attached to the participle, nor can they come between it and HABER.
Me he bañado. (I have bathed.)
Lo he visto. (I've seen it.)

and...


 
If negative, the "NO" comes before "HABER".  It can NEVER come between HABER and the participle. 
I have not eaten. = No he comido.

 
Have you noticed anything about HABER and the past participle?  That's right.  Nothing can ever come between them!


HABER
The tense of "HABER" determines the tense of the construction.
 
he
has
ha
hemos
habéis
han


¡Vamos a practicar!

Make sentences in the present perfect tense using the subjects and verbs suggested.
modelo:  Yo/comer >He comido.
 



¿Lo has hecho?  Tell whether or not you have done the following:
 




Ahora vamos a contestar preguntas Imagínate que un amigo tuyo ha llamado para saber qué ha pasado en tu casa.  Responde a las preguntas siguientes de manera  negativa.  Recuerda emplear el pronombre reflexivo correcto ante el verbo «HABER».
modelo: ¿Te has acostado? No, no me he acostado.

Más preguntas:  Contesta las preguntas siguientes con el pronombre objetivo correcto (lo, la, los, las).  Escribe frases completas con el pretérito perfecto.
 




Prepara una encuesta de 5 preguntas generales (de sí o no) para tus compañeros de clase.  Emplea por lo mínimo 2 verbos reflexivos.


¡Excusas!  Imagínate que una persona siempre te invita a salir y tú no quieres acompañarle.  No importa lo que te invita a hacer- siempre ofreces la excusa que ya lo has hecho.  Pues, tienes que responder a las preguntas siguientes de manera negativa diciendo que ya has hecho la actividad.  Emplea pronombres solamente cuando sea lógico y correcto.

ejemplo:  ¿Quieres salir a cenar?  >  No.  Ya he cenado.
 


Los otros tiempos de HABER  (Solamente indicativo)

El imperfecto:  Se usa para decir what had happened.   This tense is known by name as the "pluscuamplerfecto".  This is only important if you want to impress someone who is easily impressed by people who know the names of compound tenses, or if you need to look it up in a textbook.  I just call it the "past perfect".   (The preterite of HABER is used in literature on occasion to say what had happened, but you do not need to use it.)  So what is it used for?  As the present perfect (have/has.....) reflects an action that happened prior to now, the past perfect is used to tell what had happened before a moment in the past.  Look at the following:


 
había
habías
había
habíamos
habíais
habían
Para practicar:  Imagínate que las personas siguientes hicieron las actividades sugeridas antes de que llegaras a casa.  Explica esto empleando el pluscuamperfecto.

Cuando  llegué a casa......
 



El condicional:  Tells what would have happened.  You'll use this a lot when we do "si clauses".
  *hubieran is the past subjunctive of HABER- we'll cover it when we do "si clauses".
 
habría
habrías
habría
habríamos
habríais
habrían

Para practicar:  ¿Qué habrían hecho?  What would the people have done if they had won the lottery?  Write out the sentences, then tell what you would have done if you had won the lottery last week.

Si hubieran ganado la lotería......




El futuro:  Tells what will have happened (before some point of time in the future).
 
habré
habrás
habrá
habremos
habréis
habrán

Soon you will graduate, ¿verdad?  What will have happened by that time?  Think of siete things that will have happened by then.
 

The perfect subjunctive tenses

As we now know, there are times when the subjunctive is necessary.  Sometimes the tense needs to be "perfect".  In these situations we use the perfect subjunctive.  There are two possibilities.  First, you might use the present perfect subjunctive.  This is formed with the present subjunctive form of haber.
 
 

haya
hayas
haya
hayamos
hayáis
hayan
Be creative now.  Think of five things that you hope have happened.
 

The past perfect subjunctive...Uses the past perfect of "haber" plus the past participle.
 
hubiera
hubieras
hubiera
hubiéramos
hubieráis
hubieran
Remember the sentences you did in the previious section?  You wrote those in the past, correct?  It may not be too long ago, but it was past.  So rewrite those sentences to the past tense- Esperaba que (+ past perfect subjunctive)