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«He estado en Madrid muchas veces». / Ahenav, CC BY-SA 2.0

Haber is an auxiliary verb that we use for building sentences such as I have been or I had finished.

Here is the conjugation:

Presente Pasado
Yo he Yo había
Tú has Tú habías
Él/Ella/Usted ha Él/Ella/Usted había
Nosotros/as hemos Nosotros/as habíamos
(Vosotros/as habéis) (Vosotros/as habíais)
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes han Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes habían

We always use it in conjunction with the past participle, which is built by adding:

-ado to the root of -AR verbs
-ido to the root of -ER and -IR verbs

Here are some examples:

English Español
Sung Cantado
Gone Ido
Been Sido/Estado
Driven Manejado/Conducido
Known Sabido

When building sentences such us I have been or I had finished, we just have to be careful with one thing: while in English we usually place the adverb between have and the participle (I have never been, I have always wanted, etc.), in Spanish we can’t have anything between haber and the participle (we can’t say “he nunca estado,” we should say nunca he estado instead).

Here are some sentences:

English Español
I have never been to Paris. Nunca he estado en París.
I have always wanted to buy a house. Siempre he querido comprar una casa.
I have been here all day. He estado aquí todo el día
Have you watched this movie? ¿Has mirado esta película?
She has studied a lot. Ella ha estudiado mucho.
Peter had already eaten. Peter ya había comido.
We had already studied that. Ya habíamos estudiado eso.

We do have, however, a few irregular participles. Here are the most important ones:

Infinitivo Participio Traducción
Abrir Abierto Opened/open
Decir Dicho Said/told
Escribir Escrito Written
Hacer Hecho Done/made
Morir Muerto Died/dead
Poner Puesto Put
Romper Roto Broken
Ver Visto Seen
Volver Vuelto Returned/gone back

Practice

Write 5 sentences using haber in the present tense (I have done something) and five sentences using haber in the past tense (I had done something).

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