Saturday, December 14, 2013

Introduction to the Verb Haber
The verb haber is used very commonly to denote a definite “there is”, or “there are”, or “there will be”, etc.  When used this way, it is used without a past participle and is always conjugated in the third person singular. 
In the present tense indicative, we use the verb hay (pronounced like the English subject pronoun “I”). This conjugation is actually the only irregular tense of haber, but it is easily distinguishable in speech.  This is most likely due to the verb’s linguistic evolution as it is very commonly used in the lexicon.  You will probably use hay frequently. 
When using any form of haber this way, it is common to omit the article:
Hay ladrones en la casa.  There are thieves in the house.
Hay nubes.  There are clouds.
Hay huracán en el Caribe.  There is a hurricane in the Caribbean.
Hay problemas en mi clase de matemáticas.  There are problems in my mathematics class. 

Here are a couple of examples of haber used this way in other tenses:
Preterit:
Hubo un terremoto ayer.  There was an earthquake yesterday.
Hubo unos relámpagos anoche.  There was lightning last night.

Imperfect:
Había unos peatones en la esquina.  There were some pedestrians on the corner.
Había mucho tráfico.  There was a lot of traffic.

Future:
Habrá una tormenta esta tarde.  There will be a storm this afternoon.
Habrá una fiesta en la casa de Carla.  There will be a party at Carla’s house.

Present Subjunctive Mood:
Yo espero que haya verduras frescas en el mercado.  I hope that there are fresh vegetables in the market.

Conditional (not frequently used):
¡Habría una fiesta!  There would be a party!

Conditional with Past Subjunctive Mood in a Si- Clause (not frequently used):
Habría una recompensa si el ladrón fuera arrestado.    There would be a reward if the thief was arrested.

Keep in mind that the above examples are also the third person singular conjugation of haber in the appropriate tense, with the exception of hay.  This is important as they will also be the building blocks of the perfect tenses we are going to construct in the next few Chapters. 


Beginning in this Chapter we’re going to delve into what is known in the grammar world as the perfect tense.  The perfect tense is used when referring to a past action that is perceived to the speaker of being carried in to the present.  .  It is a a type of statement used by the speaker in order to state with more certainty a completed action. 
The perfect tense is different from the simple tense in that it relies on an auxiliary verb haber, which can be conjugated in myriad ways, including the present, future, past, and conditional tenses.  It can also be conjugated in the subjunctive mood, both past and present. 
The formula for creating the perfect tense is simple:
Subject pronoun (optional.) + pronoun +  conjugation of haber + past participle

Note the following sentences in English.  Each employs a different perfect tense verb phrase, which has been underlined for your convenience:
I have gone to bed.
He has stepped outside.
By 1982, Dave and Cassie had been married for 10 years.
By next Thursday, I will have finished writing this lesson.
You and Victor would have left if I told you not to stay.

The verb haber is used very commonly to denote a definite “there is”, or “there are”, or “there will be”, etc.  When used this way, it is used without a past participle and is always conjugated in the third person singular. 
In the present tense indicative, we use the verb hay (pronounced like the English subject pronoun “I”). This conjugation is actually the only irregular tense of haber, but it is easily distinguishable in speech.  This is most likely due to the verb’s linguistic evolution as it is very commonly used in the lexicon.  You will probably use hay frequently. 
When using any form of haber this way, it is common to omit the indefinite article:
Hay ladrones en la casa.  There are thieves in the house.
Hay nubes.  There are clouds.
Hay huracán en el Caribe.  There is a hurricane in the Caribbean.
Hay problemas en mi clase de matemáticas.  There are problems in my mathematics class. 

Here are a couple of examples of haber used this way in other tenses:
Preterit:
Hubo un terremoto ayer.  There was an earthquake yesterday.
Hubo unos relámpagos anoche.  There was lightning last night.

Imperfect:
Había unos peatones en la esquina.  There were some pedestrians on the corner.
Había mucho tráfico.  There was a lot of traffic.

Future:
Habrá una tormenta esta tarde.  There will be a storm this afternoon.
Habrá una fiesta en la casa de Carla.  There will be a party at Carla’s house.

Present Subjunctive Mood:
Yo espero que haya verduras frescas en el mercado.  I hope that there are fresh vegetables in the market.

Conditional (not frequently used):
¡Habría una fiesta!  There would be a party!

Conditional with Past Subjunctive Mood in a Si- Clause (not frequently used):
Habría una recompensa si el ladrón fuera arrestado.    There would be a reward if the thief was arrested.

Keep in mind that the above examples are also the third person singular conjugation of haber in the appropriate tense, with the exception of hay.  This is important as they will also be the building blocks of the perfect tenses we are going to construct in the next few Chapters. 

The Perfect Tense – Present Indicative
The perfect tense of the present indicative is formed with the auxiliary verb haber (conjugated in the present tense), juxtaposed to the past participle.  When used in the perfect tenses, participles are always formed in the singular masculine.  This is different than when participles are used as adjectives, as they must agree with the noun’s number (singular or plural) and gender (whether it is masculine or feminine).  This topic was covered in Unit 9, so be sure to go and revisit that material if you aren’t certain about this grammar aspect. 
Since haber is auxiliary, it is highly specialized.  As you learned in the last section, we can use haber to mean “there is”, “there are”, “there will be”, etc.  But when used in a perfect tense verb phrase, it must be conjugated to match the subject pronoun like any other verb. 
Recall the formula you were introduced to in the last Chapter, as it will be the basis for forming every perfect tense verb phrase in the future:
Subject Pronoun (opt.) + haber + past participle

All that’s left is to fill in the correct verb conjugation for haber and the desired past participle and you have it made.  Let’s first look at the easiest conjugation of haber, the present tense indicative:
yo he
nosotros hemos
has
vosotors habéis
él, ella, Ud. ha
ellos, ellas, Uds. han

Since haber serves as the auxiliary parts of these verb phrases, we then pair them with the participle of a verb.  Remember, the participle used must retain the singular masculine form:
Yo he terminado.  I have finished.
¿Tú has ido a Barcelona, verdad?  You have gone to Barcelona, right?
El mariachi ha tocado la guitarra bien.  The mariachi has played the guitar well.
Nosotros hemos peleado duro.  We have fought hard.
Vosotros habéis ganado.  You all have won.
Los árbitros han tocado el silbato.  The referees have blown the whistle.

Don’t forget to review the irregular past participles!  We can also use them as parts of perfect tense verb phrases:
Hemos visto esa película.  We’ve seen that movie.
He puesto la mesa.  I have set the table.
¿Ya has vuelto?  Have you returned yet?
Mis padres han abierto la tienda.  My parents have opened the store.
Los niños han dicho muchos chistes.  The kids have told a lot of jokes.
La muchacha ha hecho un castillo de arena.  The girl has made a sand castle.
Los cocineros han frito el pollo.  The cooks have fried the chicken.
Las plantas han muerto.  The plants have died.
Yo he escrito una novela.  I have written a novel.
Has roto tu juguete.  You have broken your toy.
Vosotros habéis cubierto la botella.  You all have covered the bottle.
Ellos han impreso el documento.  They have printed the document.

El abogado ha satisfecho al jurado.  The lawyer has satisfied the jury.

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