If you are reading this article, congratulations, it means you are at an advanced level of Spanish! In case you didn’t know, Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the world, and for non-native speakers, interacting with this language can be a bit complicated if you don’t have the proper preparation.
As you progress in the Spanish language, you will encounter grammar that is a little more complicated, but nothing impossible. One of the most complicated things in Spanish is the subjunctive, but in this article, you’ll be able to easily start using the Spanish present perfect subjunctive right away.
The reason why this form of the subjunctive mood confuses is mainly that it has no English equivalent, and that means that some sentences can sound a bit strange when you try to translate them into English directly.
The best way to learn how to use the present perfect subjunctive is to approach real, everyday situations in Spanish; ask and answer questions, and start thinking in Spanish so that you can interact naturally with native speakers on both concrete and abstract topics. Since there is no exact translation into English, you have to learn the context from scratch.
In this article, we will show you how to use the present perfect subjunctive with all possible contexts and start using it in your daily vocabulary. Let’s get started!
What Does The Subjunctive Mean?
As you probably already know, the subjunctive is a mood, not a tense.
The subjunctive is one of the three modes we use in Spanish – the others are the indicative mood and the imperative mood – and it’s used to express possible, desired, or hypothetical actions, that is, actions that are not happening.
In Spanish, the subjunctive is used after certain verbs and conjunctions when two parts of a sentence have different subjects.
- Tengo miedo de que le ocurra algo a mi perro en el veterinario. – I’m afraid that something will happen to my dog at the vet’s office.
- Entiendo que te quieras ir, yo también quiero. – I understand you want to go, I want to go too.
- No quiero que te sientas mal, ¿qué puedo hacer por ti? – I don’t want you to feel bad, what can I do for you?
If you want to learn more in-depth about Spanish subjunctive conjugation, click that link and check out the comprehensive guide we have for you.
Understanding the Spanish Present Perfect Subjunctive
The present perfect subjunctive tense (el pretérito perfecto de subjuntivo) is used to express past actions that are connected to the present, such as actions that will have happened at a certain time in the future.
It can also be used to express opinions, wishes and expectations, and things that may have happened but you are not sure if they happened. The present perfect subjunctive tense is a combination of the present subjunctive of the verb “haber” and a past participle.
It is very like the present perfect indicative, but it is actioned with the same type of words and sentences as the present subjunctive. Some words and phrases, such as words expressing emotions and desires, trigger the use of the present perfect subjunctive.
The Present Perfect Subjunctive Formula is present subjunctive of haber + past participle form of the verb.
Let’s see how to form “haber” in the present subjunctive.
|Spanish Personal Pronouns||Conjugation Present Simple Tense|
|Tú / vos (singular)||hayas|
|Él / Ella / Usted (singular)||haya|
|Vosotros (plural – Spain)||hayáis|
|Ellos / Ellas / Ustedes (plural)||hayan|
Now, let’s remember how to conjugate the past participle forms of verbs with this quick review! For all regular -AR verbs, we use the ending -ado as follows:
|Comprar (to buy)||Comprado|
|Hablar (to talk)||Hablado|
|Soñar (to dream)||Soñado|
|Cortar (to cut)||Cortado|
|Cerrar (to close)||Cerrado|
For all regular verbs ending in -ER and -IR, we use the suffix -ido at the end of the conjugation:
|Comer (to eat)||Comido|
|Dormir (to sleep)||Dormido|
|Oír (to hear)||Oído|
|Tener (to have)||Tenido|
|Leer (to read)||Leído|
Present Perfect Subjunctive in Spanish
As we said before, the present perfect subjunctive has five uses:
- to talk about past actions related to the present;
- to talk about actions that will be completed in the future;
- to talk about opinions,
- to talk about wishes, and expectations,
- and to talk about things that may have happened but you are not sure.
Let’s see here the differences and some examples.
Past Actions Connected to the Present
The present perfect subjunctive tense is used to talk of actions that occurred in the past but are now relevant to the current time. It is very often used to talk of things that have just recently happened.
- No creo que me haya hecho mal comer tanto. – I don’t think it was bad for me to eat that much.
- Aún estoy en shock de que mi novio me haya terminado. – I’m still in shock that my boyfriend broke up with me.
- ¿De verdad crees que me haya visto? – Do you really think he saw me?
Actions to be completed in the future
- The present perfect subjunctive is used also to talk about expected things to be accomplished at a future point in time.
- Necesito que hayan estudiado todo el tema para la próxima semana. – I need you to have the whole topic studied by next week.
- Si todo sale como queremos, es posible que hayamos vuelto para enero. – If everything goes as we want it to, we may be back by January.
- Puedes salir a jugar una vez que hayas terminado tu tarea. – You can come out to play once you have finished your homework.
One of the easiest tenses to study, the Spanish future tense is used very often in everyday interactions. Click that link and check out our guide for a review on the topic.
Opinions (something is not a fact)
It is also used to comment on things that are not a fact yet, of which you do not yet know the truth, or simply an opinion about something uncertain.
- No creo que Daniela haya hecho eso. – I don’t think Daniela has done that.
- Yo dudo que Juan haya viajado tanto. – I doubt that Juan has traveled that far.
- No creo que eso haya sido verdad, él es muy mentiroso. – I don’t think that was true, he is a liar.
Things that may happen
You can also use the present perfect subjunctive to talk about things that may have happened, but you are not 100% sure about.
- Es posible que María haya llegado tarde a su casa. – Maria may have arrived home late.
- Juan se ve bronceado, es posible que haya estado en la playa. – Juan looks tanned, he may have been at the beach.
- No sé quién me envió estas flores, es posible que haya sido Andrés. – I don’t know who sent me these flowers, it may have been Andres.
Wishes And Expectations
The present perfect subjunctive is also used to talk about desires and expectations, as you will see in the following example.
- Espero que te hayan gustado las flores, son un regalo de parte de la empresa. – I hope you liked the flowers, they are a gift from the company.
- Ojalá le haya gustado el regalo que le mandé. – I hope you liked the gift I sent you.
- ¡Espero que hayas tenido un lindo día! – I hope you had a nice day!
To learn more about other ways to use the subjunctive, check out our guide on how to master the Imperfect Subjunctive in Spanish.
What’s The Difference Between The Present Subjunctive And The Present Perfect Subjunctive?
It’s easier than you think. The present subjunctive is used when the dependent sentence is in the present or future tense, and the present perfect subjunctive is used when the dependent clause is in the past. Let’s see some examples so you can understand better:
Present Subjunctive Examples In Spanish
- Me encanta que mi mamá sea tan alegre. – I love that my mom is so cheerful.
- Aún no sabemos exactamente, pero espero que para nuestra luna de miel recorramos toda Europa. – We don’t know exactly yet, but I hope for our honeymoon we will travel all over Europe.
- Si nos aprueban la visa, es probable que en enero podamos ir a Estados Unidos. – If we get our visa approved, we will probably be able to go to the US in January.
- Ojalá gane mi equipo favorito. – I hope my favorite team wins.
- Espero que estés bien. – Hope you are well.
Present Perfect Subjunctive Examples In Spanish
- Me encanta que mi mamá haya sido tan alegre. – I love that my mom has been so cheerful.
- Aún no sabemos exactamente, pero espero que para nuestra luna de miel hayamos recorrido toda Europa. – We don’t know exactly yet, but I hope that by our honeymoon we will have traveled all over Europe.
- Si nos aprueban la visa, es probable que en enero hayamos podido ir a Estados Unidos. – If we get our visa approved, we will probably have been able to go to the States in January.
- Ojalá haya ganado mi equipo favorito. – I hope my favorite team won.
- Espero que hayas estado bien. – I hope you have been well.
Any Spanish grammar structure that includes the word “perfect”, will use the auxiliary verb “haber”
Time To Practice With A Native Speaker!
If you ask a native speaker about the present perfect subjunctive, they might not know about it, because native speakers never study it, they just simply know it, it’s so innate that they don’t even notice it, and you can certainly get to that level, with some help and practice.
Mastering the verb conjugations of the present perfect subjunctive in Spanish is a big step forward as it is one of the most complicated tenses to understand thanks to the fact that there is no English translation. If you have understood, it means that you have an intermediate/high level of Spanish.
Remember that this is a topic that takes some time to learn and practice, so you can start again as much as you want. And if you want to perfect this knowledge, the best way is to practice with native teachers.
Hop on and sign up for a free 1:1 class or for a 7-day trial of group lessons with one of our professional Spanish-speaking teachers, practice the present perfect subjunctive, and see why hundreds of students trust the SpanishVIP methodology!
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