Spanish/Tenses/Indicative/Perfect/Preterite

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-AR / -ER / -IR
conjugation example translation
-AR / -ER / -IR hablar to speak
Yo hube + past participle hube hablado I had spoken
hubiste + past participle hubiste hablado You had spoken
Él hubo + past participle hubo hablado He had spoken
Nosotros hubimos + past participle hubimos hablado We had spoken
Vosotros hubisteis + past participle hubisteis hablado You all had spoken
Ellos hubieron + past participle hubieron hablado They had spoken

Some things to note:

  1. This tense (and all perfect tenses) uses a form of the irregular helping verb haber (meaning to have done). As this is the preterite perfect indicative (also called the preterite anterior), it takes the simple preterite indicative form of haber.
  2. The past participle of a regular verb is formed by adding -ado to the stem of an -AR verb, and -ido to the stem of an -ER or -IR verb.
  3. As the structure for this tense is a form of haber with the past participle, there are no irregular verbs in this tense. Any irregularity would come from a verb with an irregular past participle, but the haber + past participle structure still holds true.
  4. While the past participle is oftentimes the same word as the adjective form of a verb (las palabras habladas - the spoken words), the past participle itself is not an adjective, and therefore does not have to "agree" with the subject. Regardless of the subject's gender or number, the past participle remains the same. Ellas hubieron hablado, NOT ellas hubieron habladas.
  5. Be careful not to confuse the past participle with the gerund. Hube hablado, not hube hablando.