We have several past tenses in Spanish, and today we are going to have a closer look to one of them, “el pretérito perfecto compuesto.”

Today we are talking about one of the past tenses in Spanish, “el pretérito perfecto compuesto” of the indicative, we also have this tense in the subjunctive but that si something for another time.

In this blog we are going to learn the conjugations, including the reflexive verbs some irregular verbs in this tense and when to use, so if you are ready let’s have a look.


Firs of all the equivalent of this tense in English is the “I have done, I have eaten etc.”

Therefore that gives you a hint that this tense is going to have two parts.


 we need the verb haber (conjugates and the past participle of the verb we want to use.

The verb haber is the one that changes when we talk about different people but the past particle is the same for all the pronouns in this tense.

For example the verb trabajar-to work will be:

Yo trabajo

Tú has trabajado

él/ella ha trabajado

Nosotros hemos trabajado

Vosotros habéis trabajado

Ellos han trabajado

And to make a negative sentences we just add no in front of the verb haber. Let’s see it with the verb trabajar again.

Yo no trabajo

no has trabajado

él/ella no ha trabajado

Nosotros no hemos trabajado

Vosotros no habéis trabajado

Ellos no han trabajado

Reflexive verbs

Remember we also have reflexive verb, in which case the conjugation is very similar, we just need to add an extra step, that is the reflexive particle before the verb haber (conjugated). Have a look,

In that way the verb despertarse-to wake up in the “el pretérito perfecto compuesto”  will be

Yo me he despertado

Tú te has despertado

Él/ella se ha despertado

Nosotros nos hemos despertado

Vosotros os habéis despertado

Ello se han despertado

And the same way that before to make the negative we will add a “NO” in front of the reflexive particle this time. Let’s see it for the verb “despertarse” again.

Yo no me he despertado

no te has despertado

Él/ella no se ha despertado

Nosotros no nos hemos despertado

Vosotros no os habéis despertado

Ellos no se han despertado

As you see the conjugation is not extremely difficult, but you still need to watch for something… The irregulars.

Irregular verbs in the “el pretérito perfecto compuesto”

Although there aren’t many, some common ones are irregular int his tense, for example:

These are only some, but there are not many in this tense, I promise.

Ok, conjugations and irregularities seen, let’s have a look to the uses.

When to use “el pretérito perfecto compuesto”

1-the action is finished but the time is not. There is a line with the present, and it is the time. That is why is common to use this tense with the markers: hoy, esta semana, este mes, este año…

Example he ido al cine esta semana.

I have gone to the cinema this week.

The action is finished, I am not longer in the cinema but the time (this week) is still going.

2-To describe finished actions but close in time or very recently

Example he trabajado mucho últimamente

I have worked a lot lately.

3-Past actions that we don’t frame in an specific time in the past.

¿Has visitado España? Have you visited Spain?

He estudiado espanol-I have studied Spanish.

We are not putting this action in any particular time in the past, we are just saying something about them. And in fact, the time in this actions without specification it is our life, which if you think about it is still going, so that will be use 1 (action finished but time still going)

4-Actions in the past that have consequences or results in the present or the future.

Example. Hemos planeado tener menos reuniones.

We have planned less meeting.

The action of planning was in the past but the results will take place/show in the future.

And…That’s it! “el pretérito perfecto compuesto” in a  nutshell, if you still have questions you can leave them in the comments and I will make sure toa ddress them. Remember that you can watch this lesson on my YouTube channel here. And also if you enjoy my content and find it useful, now you can say gracias in a different way by buying me a coffee in the following link .

One last thing! Before you leave write a comment with a sentence using “el pretérito perfecto compuesto.”

Enjoy the rest of your day and I will see you next time!

Leave a Reply