The past perfect in Spanish

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The past perfect

The past perfect follows the structure: imperfect of haber (to have) + past participle of the main verb (e.g. acabado/finished, tenido/had, salido/left).

Trabajar en
Yo habĂ­a trabajado
TĂș habĂ­as trabajado
Él/ella/usted había trabajado
Nosotros/as habĂ­amos trabajado
Vosotros/as habĂ­ais trabajado
Ellos/ellas/ustedes habĂ­an trabajado

HabĂ­amos salido mucho esa semana. salir, pret. pluscuamperfecto

We had gone out a lot that week.

HabĂ­a bebido antes de conducir. beber, pret. pluscuamperfecto

He had drunk before driving.

It is mainly used to:

  • Talk about a past action prior to another past action or time.

Cuando llegĂł al restaurante, su cita ya se habĂ­a marchado. marcharse, pret. pluscuamperfecto

When he got to the restaurant, his date had already left.

HabĂ­a dormido 10 horas aquella noche. dormir, pret. pluscuamperfecto

She had slept for 10 hours that night.

  • Express something happening for the first time, usually with a negative.

Nunca habĂ­a visto un hotel tan bonito como este. ver, pret. pluscuamperfecto

I had never seen a hotel as lovely as this one.

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