Compound Tenses ~ Tiempos compuestos
Spanish verb conjugations can be divided into two categories: simple
Simple tenses have only
one part (yo como) whereas
compound tenses have two (yo
estoy comiendo). Spanish compound tenses can be subdivided into two categories:
progressive tenses and perfect tenses. Compound tenses are obviously more
complicated than simple tenses - this lesson will explain what you need to know
But first, a chart of the three kinds of Spanish tenses. The simple tense on
the left is the conjugation for the auxiliary verb of the compound tenses in the
middle and right columns:
*Note: For the sake of simplicity, I've lumped all the compound
conjugations together. Subjunctive and conditional are actually
moods, not tenses, but they follow the exact same conjugation rules as
Characteristics of Spanish compound tenses
1. Compound tenses are always made up of two parts: the conjugated
auxiliary verb and a participle. In the chart above, the tense in the
column is the tense used as the auxiliary verb for the
tenses listed next to it.
There are two types of compound tenses:
Perfect tenses are conjugated with haber
as the auxiliary verb + the past participle.
Progressive tenses have estar
as the auxiliary verb + the gerund.
||Yo he comido.
||Yo estoy comiendo.
| I eat.
||I have eaten.
||I am eating.
| Ã‰l vendrÃ¡.
||Ã‰l habrÃ¡ venido.
||Ã‰l estarÃ¡ viniendo.
| He will come.
||He will have come.
||He will be coming.
2. Object pronouns
always precede the auxiliary verb in perfect tenses (except for the
|Lo he visto.
||I've seen it.
|Â¿Me habÃas mentido?
||Have you lied to me?
However, they may either precede the auxiliary or be attached to
the gerund in progressive tenses -
|Te estoy hablando/
|I'm talking to you.
|Lo estarÃ¡ mirando/
|He will be watching it.
For detailed information about the conjugations and uses of the
individual compound tenses, follow the links in the summary table at the top of
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