Spanish Present Perfect Subjunctive – Conjugation and Uses

Spanish Present Perfect Subjunctive, Title of the Grammar Lesson

Welcome to our lesson about the conjugation of verbs in Present Perfect Subjunctive in Spanish (“Pretérito Perfecto de Subjuntivo”).

The Present Perfect Subjunctive is usually taught in Spanish courses after the Present Subjunctive, when the student already has a pretty advanced level.

The good news is, if the student already has a good grasp of the Present Subjunctive, then the Present Perfect Subjunctive should be a piece of cake! Its conjugation is super easy, and the cases where we use it follow a very similar logic to the Present Subjunctive.

In this post we will start by explaining the conjugation of verbs in Present Perfect Subjunctive, and the see the most typical cases where we use it, providing example sentences.

1. Conjugation of verbs in Spanish Present Perfect Subjunctive

The formula to construct the Present Perfect Subjunctive consists of 2 words:

  • The first word is the verb “haber” conjugated in Present Subjunctive for the specific person: “haya, hayas, haya, hayamos, hayáis, hayan”.
  • The second word is the Past Participle of the main verb. It’s the same for all persons.

Remember… The Past Participle of a verb is usually formed with the ending “-ADO” for verbs whose infinitive ends in “-AR”, and “-IDO” for verbs ending in “-ER, -IR”). But there are also some Irregular Past Participles. Click here to learn more about the Past Participle and its Irregularities.

Examples of verbs conjugated in Present Perfect Subjunctive

With our formula in mind, here are some examples of verbs fully conjugated in Present Perfect Subjunctive. These particular verbs have a regular Past Participle:

yohaya jugadohaya bebidohaya sentido
hayas jugadohayas bebidohayas sentido
élhaya jugadohaya bebidohaya sentido
nosotroshayamos jugadohayamos bebidohayamos sentido
vosotroshayáis jugadohayáis bebidohayáis sentido
elloshayan jugadohayan bebidohayan sentido

And here a couple more verbs conjugated in Present Perfect Subjunctive. In this case, they have an irregular Past Participle:

yohaya hechohaya visto
hayas hechohayas visto
élhaya hechohaya visto
nosotroshayamos hechohayamos visto
vosotroshayáis hechohayáis visto
elloshayan hechohayan visto

2. Uses of the Spanish Present Perfect Subjunctive

In general, the Subjunctive mode is used in sentences that express some kind of subjectivity. The problem is, it is only in certain types of sentences that we use it, and because of that it is better to learn each individual case.

Luckily, the if the student already knows the Present Subjunctive, the cases are mostly the same ones for the Present Perfect Subjunctive. The difference is that in Present Perfect Subjunctive, the verb, in most cases, expresses an action in the recent past.

Most frequent cases

1) After verbs that express a wish or preference (“querer, esperar, necesitar, desear, preferir, tener ganas de…”), when they are in Present Tense and followed by the word “que”…, then the NEXT verb, if it expresses an action in the recent past, is in Present Perfect Subjunctive:

Espero que Ana haya llegado.
I hope Ana has arrived.

Deseo que lo hayáis pasado bien.
I wish that you guys have had a good time.

2) After “ojalá” or “ojalá que”, when they express a realistic wish about a recent action:

Ojalá el equipo haya ganado el partido.
Let’s hope the team has won the match.

3) After verbs that express a feeling or personal taste (“gustar, interesar, sorprender, preocupar, molestar, dar miedo…”) followed by the word “que”…, then the NEXT verb is in Present Subjunctive if it expresses an action in the recent past.

No me gusta que hayas hablado así.
I don’t like that you have spoken that way.

Nos da miedo que nos hayan atacado.
We are scared that they might have attacked us.

4) After these phrases that express a degree of probability: “posiblemente, probablemente, tal vez, quizás, puede que, es posible que, es probable que”, the next verb is in Present Subjunctive if it expresses an action in the recent past:

Quizás haya ido a la playa.
Maybe he has gone to the beach.

Es posible que Juan y Pablo nos hayan llamado.
It’s possible that Juan and Pablo have called us.

5) After these expressions that express disbelief or doubt: “No creer que, no pensar que, dudar que”, the next verb is in Present Subjunctive if it expresses an action in the recent past:

El director no cree que eso haya ocurrido.
The director doesn’t think that that has happened.

Dudo que hayan comprado el coche.
I doubt they have bought the car.

6) After expressions that assess something, using this structure: “es” + adjective + “que”…, the next verb is in Present Subjunctive if it expresses an action in the recent past:

Es bueno que vosotros hayáis dicho la verdad.
It’s good that you guys have told the truth.

Es importante que hayamos descubierto la verdad.
It’s important that we have discovered the truth.

7) After “cuando…” (English “when”) meaning when an action has been completed in the future:

Llámame cuando hayas llegado al hotel.
Call me when you have arrived at the hotel.

Cuando hayas terminado el libro, lo comentaremos.
When you have finished the book, we’ll talk about it.

8) After “hasta que…”, meaning until an action has been completed in the future:

No pagaré el ordenador hasta que lo haya probado.
I won’t pay for the computer until I have tested it.

9) After these expressions that point to a condition which needs to have happened in order for something else to happen: “siempre que, a condición de que, siempre y cuando…”.

Puedes ir a la fiesta siempre que hayas comprado ropa elegante para llevar.
You can go to the party as long as you have bought elegant clothes to wear.

Siempre y cuando hayas sido amable, la gente te tratará bien.
As long as you are have been nice, people will treat you well.

10) After these expressions that point to an impediment (in the recent past) that would make something that in principle is going to happen, not happen: “salvo que, a no ser que”.

Cocinaré carne, a no ser que hayas traído pescado.
I will cook meat, unless you have brought fish.

11) After these expressions that point to an obstacle (in the recent past) to an action that ends up or will end up happening anyway: “aunque, a pesar de que”.

Aunque no hayas estudiado para el examen, tienes que hacerlo.
Even if you haven’t studied for the exam, you have to do it.

12) After the relative pronouns “que, donde, quien…” when indicating the possible qualities (in he recent past) of something that someone is looking for:

Busco un piso que haya sido reformado.
I’m looking for a flat that has been renovated.

Queremos una compañera de piso que nunca haya fumado.
We want a flatmate that has never smoked.

3. Practice: An Exercise

In the next sentences, fill the gaps in your mind or on a piece of paper using the Present Perfect Subjunctive, and check the solutions at the end of this post.

Aunque no me ______ 1.(acompañar, tú), he encontrado la farmacia.
Dudo que el político ______ 2.(decir) la verdad en su discurso.
Tal vez ellos ______3.(abrir) la ventana.
Espero que María ______ 4.(encontrar) una solución.
¿No te gusta que ______ 5.(venir, nosotros)?
Buscamos un arquitecto que ______ 6.(construir) edificios grandes.
Siempre y cuando ______ 7.(pagar, vosotros), recibiréis el producto hoy mismo.

Solutions to the Exercise: 1 = hayas acompañado, 2 = haya dicho, 3 = hayan abierto, 4 = haya encontrado, 5 = hayamos venido, 6 = haya construido, 7 = hayáis pagado