Spanish Present Perfect Indicative

Quick Answer

The present perfect (el pretérito perfecto ) is used to talk about something that starts in the past and continues or repeats in the present. It's also used to talk about things that happened in the recent past.

Ok! So how do you form the present perfect?

Present Perfect Indicative Formula

present indicative of haber + past participle of another verb

Now check out these examples of the present perfect.

Present Perfect Examples

He visto las montañas de Perú.
I have seen the mountains of Perú.
Has ido a Colombia.
You have gone 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.
Hemos vuelto para comprar la leche.
We have returned to buy milk.
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.

For talking about actions that happened in the recent past, the present perfect is more widely used in Spain than in Latin America. It's more common to hear the preterite, or simple past, used in Latin America to talk about something that just happened.

Haber and Pronoun Placement

Haber, the auxiliary verb used with the present perfect, and the past participle are never separated a present perfect construction. If object pronouns are used with the present perfect, they go immediately before haber.

¿Los has visto?
Have you seen them?
Se las he dado.
I have given them to her.

Present Perfect or Present Simple?

  • The present perfect may be used to talk about an action still in progress, but it's also common to use the present tense to do this.
Hace tres años que vivo aquí.
I have lived here for three years.
  • The present perfect may be used to talk about something that was just done, but it's almost very common to use acabar de  to do this.
Acabo de hablar con mi mamá.
I just talked to my mom.

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