Master the Present Perfect Subjunctive
Are you ready to conquer the present perfect subjunctive once and for all?
Me encanta que hayas elegido este artículo para entender el pretérito perfecto de subjuntivo.
I’m glad you have chosen this article to understand the present perfect subjunctive.
Keep reading to learn all there is to know about how and when to use the present perfect subjunctive!
What is the Present Perfect Subjunctive?
The Spanish name of the present perfect subjunctive is el pretérito perfecto de subjuntivo. It’s very important to understand the idea behind the “perfect tense,” which connects a past action to the present.
Me encanta que hayas venido hoy.
I love that you came today.
But because it’s the subjunctive mood, it also talks about what will have happened by a certain point in the future.
Cuando hayan acabado de arreglar sus libros, pueden salir a jugar.
When they have finished arranging their books, they can go outside to play.
(I’ll tell you more about this later on in this lesson!)
I’m sure by now you know quite a bit about the subjunctive mood in Spanish and its usage, but let me remind you of some essential aspects:
Present Perfect Subjunctive vs Indicative
Let’s quickly explore the difference between the present perfect indicative and subjunctive:
PRESENT PERFECT INDICATIVE:
Sé que has comido mucha fruta.
I know that you have eaten lots of fruit.
PRESENT PERFECT SUBJUNCTIVE:
Es bueno que hayas comido mucha fruta.
It’s good that you have eaten lots of fruit.
Both of these sentences refer to actions from the past connected to a present moment. However, the second one starts with the impersonal expression es bueno and forces the use of the subjunctive mood.
Do you remember other subjunctive triggers?
- quiero que – I want to
- ojalá – hopefully
- evitar que – to avoid that
- necesitar que – to need that
- para que – in order to
How to Form the Present Perfect Subjunctive
It’s very easy to form the present perfect subjunctive, especially if you already mastered the present perfect indicative tense.
The present perfect subjunctive combines the present subjunctive of the verb haber and a past participle. This is the formula:
present subjunctive of haber + past participle
Ojalá él haya terminado el libro a tiempo.
Hopefully, he finished the book on time.
Conjugation of Haber in Present Subjunctive
Here’s an easy visual of the present subjunctive conjugation for the verb haber.
|Él, ella, usted (he, she, fml. you)||haya|
|Ellos, ellas (they)||hayan|
Now, you only need to remember how to make the past participle form of the main verb!
How to Create Past Participle Forms
You surely remember by studying the present perfect indicative and the past perfect indicative tenses that there are two endings of past participles: the -ido ending for the -er and -ir verbs, and the -ado ending for the -ar verbs.
All you need to do is to to take off the infinitive ending -ar, -er, and -ir and add the corresponding -ado or -ido past participle ending.
- amar (to love) – amado (loved)
- vivir (to love) – vivido (lived)
- ir (to go) – ido (gone)
- ser (to be) – sido (been)
- decidir (to decide) – decidido (decided)
Nadie me cree que yo haya vivido en Puerto Rico.
Nobody believes me that I have lived in Puerto Rico.
There are also some irregularities in the past participle forms that you’ll want to master.
1. Accented Past Participle Forms
There are some -er and -ir verbs that have the -ido ending written with an accent mark over the letter i.
Examples of Some Verbs With Accented Past Participle Endings.
|atraer – atraído||to attract – attracted|
|caer – caído||to fall – fallen|
|creer – creído||to believe – believed|
|leer – leído||to read – read|
|oír – oído||to hear – heard|
|poseer – poseído||to possess – possessed|
|reír – reído||to laugh – laughed|
|sonreír – sonreído||to smile – smiled|
|traer – traído||to bring – brought|
Me asusta la posibilidad que nos hayan oído.
The possibility that they heard us scares me.
2. Irregular Past Participle Forms
There are also some past participles that don’t follow any rules and you need to learn them by heart.
Past Participle Irregulars Chart
|abrir – abierto||to open – opened|
|absolver – absuelto||to absolve – absolved|
|cubrir – cubierto||to cover – covered|
|decir – dicho||to say – said|
|escribir – escrito||to write – written|
|hacer – hecho||to do – done|
|morir – muerto||to die – died|
|poner – puesto||to put – put|
|resolver – resuelto||to solve – solved|
|romper – roto||to break – broken|
|satisfacer – satisfecho||to satisfy – satisfied|
|ver – visto||to see – seen|
|volver – vuelto||to return – returned|
Lamentamos que no hayas vuelto a tiempo.
We are sorry you did not return on time.
Dudo que hayas resuelto el problema.
I doubt that you have solved the problem.
Quiero que le hayas dicho la verdad para el lunes.
I want you to have told him the truth by Monday.
Sequence of Tenses
The present perfect tense can appear in a sentence after the following tenses:
1. Simple present indicative + present perfect subjunctive
Me molesta que no haya llamado.
It bothers me that he didn’t call.
2. Present perfect indicative + present perfect subjunctive
Lo ha hecho aunque no le haya gustado.
He has done it even if he didn’t like it.
3. Future simple + present perfect subjunctive
Será bueno que lo hayan leído para el sábado.
It will be good if they read it by Saturday.
4. Imperative + present perfect subjunctive
Asegurate que lo hayan hecho.
Make sure they do it.
When to Use the Present Perfect Subjunctive
Let’s see some specific situations when you should use the present perfect subjunctive. You already know that the present perfect subjunctive is used to talk about events related to the present but also actions that will have been completed in the future.
Here are 6 types of verbs trigger the present perfect subjunctive:
1. Verbs that express feelings
Me alegro de que te haya gustado la película.
I’m glad you liked the movie.
2. Verbs that express opinion
No creo que hayan hecho esto.
I don’t think they did this.
3. Verbs that express observations
No es verdad que te haya olvidado.
It’s not true that I have forgotten you.
4. Verbs that express value judgements
Es normal que haya mucha gente así.
It’s normal that there are many people like that.
5. Verbs that express a desire
¡Ojalá haya llegado a tiempo!
Hopefully, he was on time.
6. Verbs that express doubt and probability
Puede que hayas aprobado el examen.
You may have passed the exam.
Present Perfect Subjunctive vs Present Subjunctive
Just before we finish, et’s see the difference between the present subjunctive and the present perfect subjunctive.
Es normal que tengas hambre.
It’s normal that you’re hungry.
Present Perfect Subjunctive:
Es normal que hayas tenido hambre.
It’s normal that you have been hungry.
The first sentence relates to two events, situations that are parallel in time. It’s normal that you’re hungry now. But the second one is used when the dependent clause refers to the past.
It’s Time to Practice With a Native Speaker!
Well done! You have mastered another challenging topic. Every time you’re closer to your dream fluency and your personal goal. If you keep studying at the same pace, you can already start planning your next vacation to a Spanish-speaking country. What is it going to be? Spain? Mexico? Argentina?
Remember that the best way to practice your theoretical knowledge is in 1-to-1 conversations. Sign up for a free class with one of our professional, Spanish-speaking teachers, practice the present perfect subjunctive and see why 24,000 students study with us every month.
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