There are lots of ways to talk about the past in Spanish. In today’s episode of the Real Fast Spanish tips podcast you will learn about a hack for talking about actions that have occurred in the past.
This hack for talking about the past is in fact one of the common Spanish grammar hacking sentences. For conversation hackers it is worth knowing about this past tense conjugation to help keep a conversation going if you don’t know all of the spanish past conjugations.
At the start of this episode I mentioned a common mistake for english speakers. This common mistake is that we tend to translate the word “another” to “un otro” in Spanish. This is a common mistake worth avoiding if you can because it tends to annoy native speakers and it is easy to correct if you are a way of it.
A few examples:
I have another example – Tengo otro ejemplo
I have another thing – Tengo otra cosa
I would like to speak about another thing – Quiero hablar de otra cosa
I want to learn another language – Quiero aprender otra idioma
In today’s episode we talk about the past perfect if you want to use the past perfect you need to become familar with the verb “haber”
“Haber” is conjugated as follows:
I have – Yo he
You have – Tu has
He has / She has – El / Ella ha
We have – Nosotros hemos
You-all have – Vosotros habeis
They have – Ellos / Ellas han
The next thing you need to know is have to form the past participle:
– Ar verbs
Hablar – Hablado
Estudiar – Estudiado
Encontrar – Encontrado
– Er and Ir verbs
Comer – Comido (Eaten)
Querer – Querido (Wanted)
Vivir – Vivido (Lived)
Poder – Podido (Abled)
Ir – Ido (Been/Went/Gone)
The present perfect can now be used:
I have spoken – He hablado
I have eaten – He comido
I have lived – He vivido
You have studied – Has estudiado
He / she has found – Ha encontrado
Here are a few irregular past participles you should know:
Decir – Dicho (Said)
Hacer – Hecho (Done)
Ver – Visto (Seen)
The Spanish grammar hacking sentence:
I have eaten the apple – Me he comido la manzana
The appropriate use of the present perfect:
Today, I have eaten an apple – Hoy, me he comido la manzana.
This week, I have done many things – Esta semana, he hecho muchas cosas.
This weekend, I spoke with my friends – Este fin de semana, he hablado con mis amigos
Starting to form some ideas in the past to tell stories, here is the example from today’s podcast:
What did you do on the weekend ? – ¿Que has hecho el fin de semana?
I did a lot of things – He hecho muchas cosas.
My girlfriend and I went to the market – Mi novia y yo hemos ido al mercado
My girlfriend bought some things – Mi novia ha comprado algunas cosas.
She bought a new dress and shoes – Ella ha comprado un nuevo vestido y los zapatos.
Later, we bought some food for dinner – Después, hemos comprado comida para la cena.
Another thing, I found a very interesting book. But I didn’t buy it because it was very expensive – Otra cosa, he encontrado un libro muy interesante. Pero no he comprado el libro porque es muy caro.
Also, we went to the cinemas and we saw a movie – También, hemos ido al cine y hemos visto una película.
This episodes quote:
“Cada vez que conoces a alguien tu vida cambia y, tanto si te gusta como si no, nosotros nos hemos encontrado; yo he entrado en tu vida y tú en la mía.” – Federico Moccia (Esta noche dime que me quieres)
In today’s topic we talked about one of the grammar hacking sentences. To see the others check out the conversation hacking guide.
How can you use today’s tip to talk about the past?