Memo to Self...

Thursday, September 27, 2001

Spanish: This time, kiddies, we're gonna cover the PERFECT TENSES. These are all compound tenses with various forms of haber+past participle. First, a quick review of the past participle and its irregulars. These forms are used with both perfect tenses, and as adjectives. As adjectives, they correspond to number and gender, such as ventanas abiertas.
Formed with -ado or -ido:
If a participle is proceeded by the vowels a, e, o, then it gets an accent. If it's proceeded by u, it doesn't.
abrir--abierto volver--vuelto
cubrir--cubierto poner--puesto
escribir--escrito morir--muerto
romper--roto decir--dicho
ver--visto hacer--hecho

Now, for the PERFECT tense. First up: Present perfect. This is the present tense of haber + past participle (all of them use it):
he, has, ha, hemos, habéis, han
This corresponds in English to "have" or "has", dependent on person.
He comprado vejetales--I have bought veggies.
Has abierto las ventanas--She has opened the windows.
According to the book, it's used to express "recently completed past actions that still affect the present." This is nitpicky grammar, 'cause in Spain, they use it all the time. :)

Second: Pluscuamperfecto. This is imperfect haber plus participle:
había, habías, había, habíamos, habíais, habían.
This corresponds to "had," as does the Preterite form. This is the one that's used more, though. They use it for a past action finished before another action. "Ya" is very frequently used with this form.
Ellos ya habían comido cuando yo llamé.--They had already eaten when I called.
Ella ya había visto esa pelicula--She had already seen that movie.

Third: Preterite anterior. Pret. of haber + participle:
hube, hubiste, hubo, hubimos, hubisteis, hubieron.
This is used VERY rarely, and usually with "tan pronto como" (as soon as) to express temporal sorts of things with a verb in the pret.
Tan pronto como hubimos llegado empezó el programa.--As soon as we had arrived the program began.
Tan pronto como llegamos empezó el programa.--As soon as we arrived the program began.
It's a minute difference, really.

Fourth: Future perfect. Future of haber + particple.
habré, habrás, habrá, habremos, habréis, habrán.
Used to express a future action occuring before another future action, or to express probability, conjecture, doubt, like "probably" or "I wonder/suppose" in English.
Habremos preparado las maletas para mañana.--We will have packed the suitcases by tomorrow.
Ya habrán salido.--They have probably already gone out.

Fifth: Conditional perfect. Conditional of haber + participle.
habría, habrías, habría, habríamos, habríais, habrían.
Used to express what might have happened in the past if something else hadn't occured:
Yo les habría hablado, pero no los ví.--I would have talked to them, but I didn't see them.
Also, to express probability, conjecture, or doubt in the past:
Pensé que habrías ido a la playa.--I thought that you had probably gone to the beach.
Habría ganado Elisa el primer premio?--I wonder if Elisa would have won first prize?
Also, this tense is used with the pluscuamperfecto of the subjunctive in "si" clauses:
Si hubiera venido, lo habría visto.--If he had come, I would have seen him.

WHEW! Done with that!