Unit 5.2

Past Perfect

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Introduction

The past perfect [pretérito perfecto] is a verb tense that expresses actions already performed/finished/finished, although it causes a state or situation still linked to the present.

Form

The indicative is one of the verbal modes or categories in which the different tenses of the verb are grouped (present, past, future, etc.). It conveys authentic information.

The past perfect tense of indicative is formed with the present tense of indicative of the verb haber followed by the past participle according to the following formula: (Subject +) Haber (present indicative) + participle + … 

The following table shows the formation of the past perfect indicative:

Persona Haber
(conjugado en Presente de Indicativo) 
Participio regular (-ado, -ido)
Yo he hablado/comido/vivido
has
Él/Ella/Usted ha
Nosotros/-as hemos
Vosotros/-as habéis
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes han

It is important to remember irregular participles such as: hecho, escrito, visto…

Example

  • Yo he hablado con mi mamá por videollamada;
  • has comido siempre sin prisas porque eres hija única;
  • Él ha vivido con su pareja desde que se conocieron hace diez años;
  • Nosotros hemos hablado de ello y queremos que seas nuestro compañero de piso;
  • ¿Vosotras ya habéis comido con los socios de la empresa?
  • Los dos vecinos han vivido puerta con puerta toda su vida.

Use

The past perfect tense is used:

  • to express actions begun in the past but with continuing relevance to the present;
    with explicit time markers:hoyeste añoesta mañana/tarde/noche/semanayatodavía no…;
  • with implicit temporal markers: He estado en el piso de Pedro [esta tarde/alguna vez/hoy];
  • with temporal markers included in larger temporal units which go up to the present: estas Navidadesen septiembre…;
  • to talk about immediate past actions or situations with expressions such as: hace poco, hace un momento, hace un rato…;
  • with the adverbs aún and todavía;
  • to give recent news.

Summary

In Spanish, the preterite perfect is a verb tense that expresses actions that have already taken place and are somehow linked to the present.

It has the following formula:
(Subject +) Haber+ participle + … 

For example:
— «Hoy he hecho todos los deberes de la semana». = With time marker hoy;
— «Hemos estudiado italiano desde hace 2 semanas». = Actions started in the past but with continuing relevance to the present;
— «¿Aún no has comprado el coche?» = With the adverb aún.

Check the contents of the {Form} section. Then move on the {Example} sections, which shows you the usage in context.

Related

The past perfect tense is a verb tense that expresses actions already perfomed/completed/finished, although it causes a state or situation linked to the present. This verb tense is formed with the present indicative of the verb haber followed by the past participle of regular or irregular verbs.

 

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