Spanish Formation of the Participles

The participles are formed on the present stem.

  1. The past participle is formed by adding -ado in the first conjugation and -ido in the second and third. b.The present participle is formed by adding -ando in the first conjugation and -iendo in the second and third.
Infinitive Past Participle Present Participle
I habl-ar hablado, spoken hablando, speaking
II com-er comido, eaten comiendo, eating
III viv-ir vivido, lived viviendo, living
  1. The present participle corresponds, in general, to the English present participle, and may be used to express progressive action:
Yo no estoy hablando. I am not talking.
¿Qué estaba diciendo? What was he saying?
  1. The Verb haber. Haber, ‘ to have,’ is principally used as an auxiliary verb to form the compound tenses. It is never used for tener to express possession. The present indicative of haber is:
he hemos
has habéis
ha, hay han

The past descriptive indicative of haber is regular:

Learn the past absolute of haber, 471.

  1. The Present Perfect Tense. The present perfect tense is formed from the present indicative of haber and the past participle.
he venido I have come, I came
has venido you have come, you came
ha venido he or she has come, you have come, etc.
hemos venido we have come, etc.
habéis venido you have come, etc.
han venido they or you have come, etc.

The use of the Spanish present perfect tense corresponds in general to that of the English present perfect, but it may also be used for the Spanish past absolute, especially in referring to recent past action.

Ayer lo ví (or lo he visto). I saw him yesterday.
He comprado dos caballos. I (have) bought two horses.
  1. The Past Perfect Indicative. The past perfect indicative is formed from the past descriptive indicative of haber and the past participle: había hablado, I had spoken; habías hablado, you had spoken, etc. It corresponds in general to that of the English past perfect.
Todavía no había llegado cuando ví la casa. I had not yet arrived when I saw the house.
  1. The second past perfect indicative, formed from the past absolute of haber and the past participle, hube hablado, etc., is rarely used except after conjunctions of time.
Cuando hubo hablado se sentaron. When he had spoken, they sat down.
  1. Impersonal Use of haber. In the infinitive, participle, and third person singular, haber is used impersonally with the meaning ‘ to be.’ For ha, hay is used.
Aquí no hay sillas. There are no chairs here.
¿Qué había en la caja? What was there in the box?
Habrá un concierto. There will be a concert.

115. The past participles of decir, escribir and ver are irregular: dicho, escrito, visto. For other irregular past participles, see 494.

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