Pretérito Perfecto - Present Perfect

Pretérito Perfecto - Present Perfect


Hi All,

Spanish is my third language, my other languages are French and obviously English. For the first time I'm exposed to learning each tense individually on a technical level and am having a heard time understanding Present Perfect; maybe it's just me over-analyzing.

I understand that the tense refers to actions that began in the past and persist to the present.

For example, does, "Yo he corrido", mean that I am still running. Or could it mean that I am feeling the effects of running after having ran.

What about, "Yo he visto las montañas de Perú.", does this mean that I cannot unsee what I had seen? Or am I still looking at it.

Which means that the following two sentences have different meanings:

Colgué una foto. - I hung up a picture, but it's no longer hanging.

He colgado una foto. - I hung up a picture, and it's still hanging.

See: http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/100051/present-perfect

updated MAY 18, 2010
posted by salsero69

3 Answers


Hi, Bad News: el Preterito Perfecto is not actually the same as it is in English... It is really depends on context what you want to say... Let's see;

  1. The thing which happened very short time ago, if you had breakfast in the morning and if it's still about 10am or 12 am, you can use el preterito perfecto:

    He desayunado con el pastel esta mañana .

  2. The thing which you've tried, done several times, or once in your life.

    He visto las montañas de Peru.

    1. To stress that something always needs to be done.

    Puedes salir si has terminado la tarea.

    Well , but it also depends on you to use el preterito perfecto to refer to Past tense in english... That means in that sentence above you can say "Desayuné con el pastel esta mañana." These are all I know or all I remember now, if I can find more, I will add them up.. smile

updated MAY 18, 2010
edited by culé
posted by culé
i don't understand how this is different from English. Could you please expand upon your explanation? - hithere3387, MAY 18, 2010

I may be wrong as well, but I thought the Pretérito meant actions that have happened in the past and are now complete. Like: He died, or he visited Peru.

updated MAY 18, 2010
posted by scottdoherty

Unless I'm mistaken, the Spanish present perfect is used in the same manner as its English equivalent. Yo he corrido = I have run. Yo he visto las montañas de Perú = I have seen the mountains of Peru.

Now there is a difference between the preterit and the present perfect.

Colgué una foto. I hung a photograph (as in, I hung a specific photograph)

He colgado una foto. I have hung a photograph (before).

updated MAY 18, 2010
posted by hithere3387
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