Overview

The present perfect (el pretérito perfecto) is a combination of the past participle and the present indicative of the verb haber. The present perfect describes an action that happened in the past and continues or repeats into the present or an action that happened in the recent past. There are three other perfect tenses in the indicative: past perfect, future perfect, and conditional perfect.

Present Perfect

The present perfect describes what a person "has" done, but notice that tener is not used even though it means "to have." It is formed by combining haber (conjugated to the subject of the sentence) and the past participle.

Present Perfect Formula

present indicative haber + past participle

  • Yo he visto las montañas de Perú. (I have seen the mountains of Perú.)
  • has ido a Colombia. (You have been to Colombia.)
  • Usted ha escrito un poema bonito. (You have written a pretty poem.)
  • Él ha dormido 10 horas. (He has slept 10 hours.)
  • Ella ha dicho que es una princesa. (She has said that she is a princess.)
  • Nosotros hemos vuelto para comprar la leche. (We have returned to buy milk.)
  • Vosotros habéis cantado muy bien. (You have sung very well.)
  • Ustedes han hecho un pastel delicioso. (You have made a delicious cake.)
  • Ellos han bailado en 12 países. (They have danced in 12 countries.)
  • Ellas han oído la verdad. (They have heard the truth.)

Regional Variances

This form is very widely used in Spain, while in Latin and South America, the preterit is used more often.

Excercises

1) Conjugate each verb in parenthesis to complete the sentences in the present perfect (haber + past participle).

Example: Mi hermana (llegar) a la fiesta. -> ha llegado

  1. ¿Quién (robar) mi bolsa?
  2. El examen (terminar).
  3. Yo no (hablar) con él.
  4. ¿Tú (recibir) una invitación a la fiesta?
  5. Juan y Samuel (ir) a Perú dos veces.
  6. ¿Usted (ver) el acuario nuevo?
  7. Sus estudiantes (leer) su libro en entero.
  8. Vosotros (comer) en este restaurante mucho.
  9. Mi tía (correr) 42 kilómetros.
  10. Yo (recibir) un regalo de un admirador secreto.

Answers

  1. ha robado
  2. ha terminado
  3. he hablado
  4. has recibido
  5. han ido
  6. ha visto
  7. han leído
  8. habéis comido
  9. ha corrido
  10. he recibido