‘Haber’, when translated literally means ‘to have‘ in English it is not used in the possessive sense as in the sentences, ‘I have a car’ or, ‘he has a dog’. ‘Haber‘ is used as an auxiliary verb and as such is an extremely important verb.
‘Haber‘ is used as an auxiliary verb in all perfect tenses in Spanish. 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 both English and Spanish, the perfect tenses are formed by using a form of the verb ‘haber‘ ,’to have’ followed by the past participle (el participio in Spanish). In English, the participle typically is formed by adding ‘-ed’ to verbs; the Spanish participle, which has origins related to the English participle, typically is formed by adding using the ending of ‘-ado‘ for ‘-ar‘ verbs and ‘-ido‘ for ‘-er‘ and ‘-ir‘ verbs.
The verb tense in the perfect tenses is decided by the tense of ‘haber‘ that 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.
Using the full conjugation sheet available above will make this much clearer.
Here are the conjugations of the verb ‘haber’ in the present tense. Although it must be stated that the present tense is not used that much other than as an auxiliary when forming the present perfect tense.
(It is highly recommended to use the complete and printable conjugation sheet above that shows all the irregular conjugations of ‘haber’ and, more importantly, how it is used as an auxiliary verb. Click here or click on the image above to get access)
|Yo he||I have|
|Tú has||You have (familiar)(sing.)|
|Él ha||He has|
|Ella hay||She has|
|Nosotros hemos||We have|
|Vosotros habéis||You have (polite)(plur.)|
|Ellos han||They have|