The Spanish present perfect

How to talk about the past in Spanish: the Spanish present perfect tense

🙂 The Spanish present perfect is the first tense that I recommend Spanish students learn, in order to start talking about the past in Spanish. It is the easiest and you can use it in a lot of situations.

In this post you will learn how and when to use. You’ll also practice the conjugation with interactive exercises.

First, let’s practice with the exercise below to see how to use this verb in context.

Español: Hoy es viernes por la noche. Esta semana Laura ha hecho muchas cosas. Esta es su agenda. Contesta abajo si las frases son correctas con verdadero o falso.

English: It is Friday night. This week Laura has done many things. This is her diary. Reply below if the sentences are correct with True or False.

Spanish present perfect

How do you conjugate the Spanish present perfect tense?

The formula is:

PRESENT TENSE OF THE VERB HABER + PAST PARTICIPLE

How is the participle formed?

-AR verbs: drop the -ar, and replace it with -ADO

-ER verbs: drop the -er, and replace it with -IDO

-IR verbs: drop the -ir, and replace it with – IDO

Remember that the participle is invariable, it doesn’t change . Also, we can’t put anything between the auxiliary verb and the participle.

The present perfect in Spanish

Examples in English:

I have spoken with my boss this morning.

Today we have eaten salad and roast chicken.

Lucas has lived in many interesting places.

Irregular Participles

Some verbs have irregular past participles, have no pattern and must be learned individually. Check them in the infographic below.

Examples in English:

This weekend we have seen a good movie.

I wrote a message to him five minutes ago.

How to use the Spanish present perfect tense

1. To talk about experiences in life. No matter when they happened.

He estado muchas veces en París

I have been to Paris many times

Juan ha viajado por todo el mundo

John has travelled all over the world

2. To talk about events that started in the past and continue in the present or events that have happened in the recent past.

Esta semana he ido al gimnasio dos veces.

I’ve been to the gym twice this week

Tu madre ha llamado por teléfono hace diez minutos.

Your mother called by phone ten minutes ago.

3.To talk about past events with consequences in the present or even in the future.

He reservado una mesa para esta noche.

I have booked one table for tonight.

The Spanish present perfect tense: temporary markers

Temporary markers are important to know with tenses we need to use in the past. In this infographic you can see the temporary markers that we usually use with the Spanish present perfect tense.

Este mes

This month

Este año

This year

Este fin de semana

This weekend

Este verano

This summer

Este otoño

This autumn

Este siglo

This century

Esta mañana

This morning

Esta tarde

This afternoon

Esta noche

Tonight

Hace un momento

A moment ago

Hace diez minutos

Ten minutes ago

Hoy

Today

Nunca

Never

Ya

Already

Últimamente

Lately

¿Alguna vez…?

Have you ever…?

Now practice The Spanish present perfect temporary markers with this interactive exercise

¿Y tú?

¿Qué has hecho este mes?

¿Qué has hecho esta semana?

🙂 Reply in comments to keep practising the Spanish present perfect

🙂 Now that you have learned the present perfect in Spanish, maybe you should be interested in practising this tense in a conversation to improve your communication skills in Spanish. Find out how can I help you with my private Spanish lessons and see you very soon!!

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