Spanish past tenses I Spanish past tenses I is the first of a few blogs where you will discover the different past tense in Spanish and when to use them

I think a lot of Spanish learners struggle to get the past tense right. Most of the time, a lot of my students ask me if they just used the right tense when we talk, that is why I am writing about this topic,  that I hope it saves you a lot of learning time, and hopefully will make your learning life easier too.

IThis blog is the first of a few that they are aimed to give you clarity on your past tense when you speak Spanish, so I will take it easy, so you actually have time to read, process and learn.

We will learn today the pretérito perfecto compuesto, the first of them all, so let’s have a look.


We use this tense when the action is ended  but the time is not.

Using this tense the temporal  markers  are important as if we are talking about  something we have done this week, we will use this tense because this week has not  finished yet, but if instead of saying this week, we mention “yesterday” in our sentence, even if today is Wednesday and  yesterday is part of this week,  yesterday means  the time is gone as well, so we will need the “indefinido”instead.

“He ido al cine esta semana” (I have been to the cinema this week)  but “Fui al cine ayer” ( I went to the cinema yesterday)not “he ido al cine ayer” ( I have gone to the cinema yesterday)

p.s. we always ask ¿has estado en Nueva York? Because the action is ended, if you have visited you are not there anymore but the time here is your life and it is still going, that is why we use this tense in this kind of sentences.

This tense has a link with the present, and this link is the time.


We could think about this time as something closed in the past. It started and finished in a particular time and it stayed there.



Watch the next sentence

“Yo he vivido en España” (I have lived in Spain)

Even when we do not say when, we use this tense as it means I have not longer there, but my life(the time) is still going, there is a link with the present.


Homework as usual is to practice as much as you can, and this time I will be able to track your progress as I would like to invite you to the challenge I am hosting until this “past tenses in Spanish” ended.

Just leave a comment below using the past tense we have seen today and you will enter in the withdraw to win one of my book “the Spanish idioms”, to keep pushing your Spanish.


Vale amigos, I hope you  enjoy the post and learn a lot, in case this post was the first approach to the past tense in Spanish, do not get desperate, keep breathing, read the blog a couple of times and if you have a question ask, I am here for you.


Talk you soon

4 Responses to “Spanish past tenses I”

  1. Emily

    ¡Esta semana he aprendido algo nuevo! En españa hay un refrán que dice que ‘en martes, ni te cases, ni te embarques, ni de tu casa te apartes’

  2. Martin

    He leído un blog sobre el pretérito perfecto compuesto y ahora entiendolo! He estado muy liado con mi trabajo, así que no he tenido mucho tiempo para español. Aunque estos blogs son muy útiles. Gracias Blanca!

  3. Anuranjani Nagar

    Este año he leído La familia de Pascual Duarte

    El mes pasado leí Don Quijote

    Durante el curso de literatura española leía una novela cada semana

  4. Zoe

    Esta semana he visitado los mercados de navidades


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