Archive for Haber Posts

How to Conjugate Haber Preterite Tense

Conjugating haber, or rather knowing how to conjugate haber, in all tenses is very important as haber’s primary use in Spanish is as an auxiliary verb and as such it will be used a great deal when using the perfect tenses of all verbs.

However, this particular post will cover the conjugation of haber preterite tense which is highly irregular.

Before checking out the conjugation of haber preterite you should first consider for a moment how many verbs and various conjugations you will need to be proficient at using to be a fluent Spanish speaker and then you will realize the enormity of the task ahead of you!

This is why you need to take note of any learning/study aids that become available that will make the task of learning Spanish verbs much easier and quicker. One such tool is the Verbarrator and if you are serious about learning Spanish I strongly urge you to check it out.

Haber in the Preterite Tense

Singular
yo hube I had
hubiste You had
él, ella, usted hubo He/She/You had
Plural
nosotros/as hubimos We had
vosotros/as hubisteis You had
ellos, ellas, ustedes hubieron They/You had

Which Spanish Verb is the Most Important?

Spanish VerbsSpanish verbs can be difficult to learn, or rather learning the conjugation of Spanish verbs is. Difficult or not, the learning of Spanish verbs is unavoidable as they are an integral part of the Spanish language as are verbs in English or any language for that matter.

But which verb should we deem the most important in the Spanish language?

Spanish verbs are probably the most difficult and the most complex areas of the Spanish Language. Spanish verbs are split into 3 main groups, verbs that end in ‘-ar‘, ‘-er‘ and ‘-ir‘, each of the verbs in these verb groups has multiple endings to indicate who or what is performing an action and when.

There are also numerous irregular verbs that follow their own specific verb pattern that must also be learned and many of these are amongst the most commonly used verbs  such as, ‘ser‘ – ‘to be‘ and, ‘tener‘ – ‘to have‘.

The complexities do not stop there because there are 16 different tenses that are each conjugated differently, these 16 tenses are split into 8 simple tenses and 8 perfect (compound) tenses and it is the perfect tenses that should give you a clue as to the verb many, including myself, deem to be the most important verb in Spanish.

There are four distinct types of Spanish verb and they are; regular, irregular, reflexive and auxiliary and there is one specific auxiliary verb that is used with the past participle of every single verb in Spanish in each of the 8 perfect tenses.

The verb I’m referring to is, ‘haber‘ meaning ‘to have’.

Understanding, and knowing, the various conjugations of ‘haber‘ will make it possible to use verbs more extensively. The perfect tenses are those tenses that describe a completed task, for example: ‘I have been’; ‘I had been’; ‘I was’; ‘I will have been’ and, ‘I would have been‘, are all perfect tenses that will use ‘haber‘ as an auxiliary verb.

In Spanish, the perfect tenses are formed by using ‘haber‘, followed by the past participle (el participio in Spanish). In English, the participle typically is formed by adding ‘-ed‘ to the end of verbs; the Spanish participle, which has origins related to the English participle, typically is formed by adding ‘-ado’ for ‘-ar’ verbs and ‘-ido’ for ‘-er’ and ‘-ir’ verbs.

The verb tense in the perfect tenses is decided by which simple tense of ‘haber‘ is being used: for example if we said: ‘I have eaten’ and ‘I will have eaten‘ the only way to distinguish between the two would be the tense of the auxiliary verb being used; ‘I have eaten’ = ‘he comido’ and ‘I will have eaten’ = ‘habré comido’.

It isn’t feasible to show the complete conjugation of ‘haber‘ for each tense in Spanish as there are so many but the example below highlights how ‘haber‘ is used, using the past participle of the verb ‘andar‘, meaning ‘to walk‘, in the first person singular for each of the perfect tenses:

Indicative Tenses

  • Present Perfect – he andado – I have walked
  • Pluperfecthabía andado – I had walked
  • Past Perfecthube andado – I walked
  • Future Perfecthabré andado – I will have walked
  • Conditional Perfecthabría andado – I would have walked

Subjunctive

  • Present Perfecthaya andado – I have walked
  • Pluperfecthubiera or hubiese andado – I had walked
  • Future Perfecthubiera andado – I will have walked

So there you have it, ‘haber‘, is the most used verb in Spanish and as such rightfully earns the honor of being the most important Spanish verb. Obviously, the use of a full conjugation sheet for the verb ‘haber‘ would make the use of this auxiliary verb a great deal easier to understand … so why don’t you download or print off just such a sheet on this page about the Spanish verb haber.