HomeQ&Apresente perfecto vs preterite

presente perfecto vs preterite

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Hola,if he hablado means i spoke and hable(sorry no accent on my computer)means i spoke what is the difference please,are there any lessons on the site i can use to practice this'sometimes i think i am learning ok then i struggle so thankyou all for being here i much appreciate the help

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updated MAY 25, 2009
posted by Gez

1 Answer

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"He hablado" is "I have spoken", and "hablé" is "I spoke". The distinction between "I have spoken" and "I spoke" is quite clear in British English, but it does not appear to be so important in American English. Learn how these two tenses differ in British English, and you'll get insights about the Spanish counterparts. Interestingly, "he hablado" is less used in American Spanish too.

The main distinction is that with present perfect ("he hablado") is used when a past event is not important in itself, but in relation with the present moment. It is also used for time frames that include the present moment. It is all about the present, even though it is a past action.

The preterite ("hablé") is used when the past action was important in itself, regardless of its connection with the present; its time frame does not include the present moment.

updated MAY 25, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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