At this time, Duo provides absolutely no introductory information about the present perfect tense. I'm providing some information on the conjugation of "haber" to help those of you who are totally lost in this skill. Knowing how to conjugate "haber" is the first step to understanding the present prefect because EVERY verb in that tense will use some form of it.
"Haber" means "to have," but not in the same sense as "tener." It is almost exclusively used as an auxiliary verb: I have been, he has seen, they have decided, etc.
The Present Perfect is formed by:
(a present tense conjugated form of "haber") + (the past participle of the required verb)
SINGULAR - Present Tense
- he I have eaten... (He comido...)
- has You (informal) have written... (Has escrito...)
- ha He/She/It has been.../You (formal) have been... (Ha sido...)
PLURAL - Present Tense
- hemos We have gone... (Hemos salido...)
- habéis You (informal "vosotros" form) have entered... (Habéis entrado...)
- han They/You (formal/informal) have arrived.... (Han llegado...)
Of course, the next step is to learn the past participles. Hope this helps!
Quick way to memorize present tense conjugations of haber: think of conjugating a regular -ar verb, like hablar. The conjugations for tu to ellos/ellas/ustedes all look like regular ar conjugations, just with an "h" root and minus the "ab". As for memorizing haber's yo conjugations, think of an ar verb conjugated in the preterite, just remove the accent on the e!
WARNING: Memorizing the yo form requires one to have good knowledge of the preterite conjugations.
Your logic fails with hemos as well. That would be like an er verb conjugation. I think rather than memorizing all the ways that it varies from a regular conjugation, it is easier to just learn it. Since every perfect tense uses the appropriate form of haber as an auxiliary, practice builds quickly. It's easier to learn this one very mutant verb than the irregular past participles that go with it.
Yo he visto Tú has sido Él ha ido Nosotros hemos puesto Ellas han vuelto.
Oh, yeah I figured just basic repetition with haber would be easier, lol. Gracias!
Thank you so much amble2lingo...a helpful ,clear precise explanation.
Thank you for explaining the present perfect tense - even after 2 years they still have no introductory information for this lesson. That's ridiculous.
"ha He/She/It has been.../You (formal) have been... (Ha sido...)"
Olvidaste de la opción de "Ha estado" cuando quieres decir "Ha estado al lugar"
thanks, I was confused too. Is there any meaning change depending on position?
As a general rule putting the adjective in front of the nouns makes it more an intrinsic characteristic. It is somewhat poetic perhaps. La oscura noche is recognizing the nature of the night while la noche oscura is simply saying it is dark, perhaps darker than usual. But you do have to be careful of the adjectives that actually change their meaning when they are in front of the noun.
Spanishdict.com has a good list of the most common meaning-changing adjectives.
"Why is it ha sido instead of ha estado?" I would like to know this too please, I still get confused with ser and estar in sentences like this.
Ser is for more permanent states. such as where you are from or what your occupation is or what color that shirt is or how tall a mountain is. Estar is for less permanent things that change, like how you feel or where you are
Yes Robert you are absolutely right, but I took it to mean that one particular night felt long, possibly because they had not been able to sleep for some reason. It wasn't saying that nights in general are long. So I still feel it should be estado.
That one particular night is long. It's not going to change because it will never happen again. That night will have been long forever.
Can we hear from a native speaker on this? Seems like it should be ' estado' but several sentences in this section have stymied me.
I'm a native speaker and I think Robert is right In Spanish you will never say la noche esta larga it has no sense
Ser is the verb to be, what you are. Estar is the verb to be in a state of something. soy grande=I am big......estoy bien=I am in a state of well being. I might not be fine tomorrow, but I will still be big.
Sido = been; it doesn't change form here. What gets conjugated is the verb haber, to have (as an auxiliary verb, not "to possess", which would be tener).
To see how it's conjugated, follow the link below, and scroll down to the Perfect tense for the Present (has been), Preterite (had [already] been) and Past (had been).
And for more on haber itself, here's a decent reference/reminder:
Hope this helps.
"Sido" is the past participle of "ser." See this article for the uses of the past participle:
Ha sido larga noche Ha sido una noche larga Ha sido una larga noche Ha sido larga la noche
The four options are correct.
It seems quite correct also to translate as You have had a long night, using Usted as the subject for ha sido, in empathy.
Not really. You are mixing up the two roles of haber. There has been would be combining them both. The ha for the present perfect and the past participle of haber habido. Ha habido una larga noche. But there has been a long night doesn't make a lot of sense and I can't really think of why one would say that.
Is Spanish present perfect the same as the English one? Does this example mean that there's still night, it's just been long so far?
Yes the present perfect is the same in Spanish as in English. But that doesn't necessarily mean that it is still night when this sentence is spoken, in either English or Spanish -- although that is possible. Present perfect tense is used to describe something in the past which has significance in the present. In a sentence such as this that significance may be that it may still be going on or simply that you are still feeling the effects of it. For example if I were a nurse working a difficult night shift at a hospital. At 7:00 am when I am making my report to the next shift, I might well say, "It has been a long night" even though the night is over and I am about to go home.
You have a long night sounds more like a wish than a statement. If it were a wish, you would phrase it like have a good day in the subjunctive/imperative Que tenga un larga noche. But if you wanted to match the present perfect tense we have here, it would be Ha tenido una larga noche. The difference is the verb. He sido is the present perfect of the verb ser. So that is used to describe what the night was. But we are not nights, but we have them. Of course, you could also just add an a Él or a mi to the original phrase to indicate that was your experience. That is the equivalent of saying to him or to me. But that would be less definite, and of course not a translation here.
I mixed up the yo and el/ella conjugations of haber and translated this to "i have been a large night", lol "it has been a long night" makes more sense.
There is no distinction in Spanish between one long night and a long night, so una is generally translated as a. It might be argued that there is one with the masculine definite article because you drop the o when it proceeds the noun, but it must always drop that o which again means there is no distinction. It always interests me that there are many distinctions that will not translate. For example if someone has all daughters they can never make a statement about their children without conveying that they are all girls. Different languages can convey different ideas better.
It might not be different in Spanish, which may be the reason why they use the same word - una. But it's different in English, it can mean something like 'one hell of a long night'. What I want to know is, in terms of translation between English and Spanish, would 'una' serve in both situations? If it does, I will have to report my reply as correct.
No. Because there is no way to distinguish between the two in Spanish, you are not getting an accurate translation. As you said, there is a difference in English but since you cannot reflect that difference in Spanish it would be not a good translation as it would leave the English speaker with an impression that the Spanish speaker could not have intended. There are other ways that the Spanish speaker can make his statement more emphatic, but they are not present here.
Thank you very much for that clear explanation of the perfect tense. I shall study this before progressing further.
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Sido is the past participle of the irregular verb Ser. You will really only see it in the perfect tenses. The perfect tenses are formed by using the correct tense and conjugation of the auxiliary verb Haber and the past participle of the active verb. Past participles are also used in the formal passive voice with Ser, but ser itself cannot be in passive voice.
It is interesting that Ser is so irregular that sido looks irregular as well. But it is actually perfectly regularly formed. Take the infinitive, drop the er ending and add ido. The same can be said about ido itself which is the past participle of the verb Ir.
It both could and couldn't be based on your perspective. The issue here is we have two sentences with slightly different meanings, or at least emphasis, in English. But you only have one possibility in Spanish. I have said both of these English sentences. If I were translating dialog in a story then I might find some justification in the context for saying that if the person spoke English they would make that distinction even though it does not exist in Spanish. But without context it is hard to say.
Of course one of my issues has more to do with Duo than translation. In several exercises Duo has replaced the article a with 1 (instead of one) which confuses people more. But remember any accepted answer can be shown as the corrected answer, and accepting one is just going to have users trying to figure out when un/una is a and when it is one. And the only answer there lies in your English brain, not your Spanish one. Remember the goal is to think in Spanish.