Change of time in EuropeNext Sunday the 31st, the time will change, clocks in many European countries will move forward one hour. It’s true that we’ve been dealing with these changes for more than a century. However, our bodies and minds aren’t used to them yet. It’s a nonstop dance, similar to María, that song by Ricky Martin that said: un, dos, tres, un pasito pa’lante, María, un, dos, tres, un pasito pa’tras (a step forward and a step back).

The Spanish language, and many others, has a verbal system that allows to move the actions through time. Today, we’re going to learn how the perfect aspect works in Spanish.

A perfect tense indicates that the action of the verb happened before another one or before the time we take as a reference in our sentece. Let’s see some examples.

1. He hablado, había aprendido, habré estudiado…

We call those forms that need to be conjugated in Spanish, “personal forms”, like present, preterites, future, conditional… All of these tenses have simple versions and perfect ones.

  • Preterito vs pluscuamperfecto: Ayer reservé una clase de conversación en Spanishviaskype. Nunca antes había reservado The perfect action happens before the simple one.
  • Futuro imperfecto vs perfecto: Este año viajaré a España. Estoy estudiando la gramática en Spanishviaskype y para cuando viaje a España ya habré aprendido lo necesario. You will have learn the necessary before your travel.
  • Condicional imperfecto vs perfecto: yo volvería a España si pudiera; nunca habría pensado que me gustaría. The action of returning is a probability in the future but you thoughts were in the past.

2. Hablar vs haber hablado

The non-personal verbal forms are those who don’t need to be conjugated because they don’t express a person or number, although they can indicate a previous or subsequent action. Let’s see how the infinitive can express this:

  • De + infinitivo perfecto vs de + infinitivo imperfecto: de haber estudiado más, habría aprobado el examen DELE; de repetirse el examen, aprobaría. The action of studing is in the past but the repetition of the exam would happen in the future.
  • Debería infinitivo perfecto vs debería + infinitivo imperfecto: debería haber reservado clases de español de supervivencia para mi viaje a España; debería recomendárselo a mis amigos. You did not reserved those lessons, that’s why you should recommend that to your friends in the future.
  • Poder + infinitivo perfecto vs poder + infinitivo imperfecto: Podría haber reservado una clase de prueba antes, pero siempre puedo reservarla cuando tenga tiempo libre (you could have made the reservation but in the future you can allways do it).

From Spanishviaskype, we’d like to remind our students that they should take in mind this change of time for their further reservations. Remember that our calendar application is set in Madrid times (CET). However, if you’ve never taken a lesson with us, don’t waste your time and reserve a free trial lesson here. Hurry up! Time is gold.