Conditional perfect in Spanish

Conditional perfect in Spanish

Just like the present perfect and the past perfect, the conditional perfect tense is conjugated by using the conditional tense of haber as the auxiliary verb, followed by the past participle of the main verb.

  • Habríamos comprado una casa.
    • We would have bought a house.

Use the following conjugations of haber for the conditional perfect tense.

yo habría… I would have
tú habrías… you would have
él/ella/usted habría… he/she/you would have
nosotros habríamos…  we would have
vosotros habríais… you all would have
ellos/ellas/ustedes habrían…  they/you all would have

**Click here for a review of the past participle

The conditional perfect is primarily used to talk about hypothetical or untrue things in the past.

  • A mi hija le habría gustado no hacer su tarea.
    • My daughter would have liked to not do her homework.
  • Yo habría ido con ellos pero no me invitaron.
    • I would have gone with them but they didn’t invite me.

The conditional perfect is also used to talk about unreal conditions in the past.  In such instances, a si clause is used in the past perfect subjunctive in the subordinate clause and the conditional perfect in the main clause.

  • Ellos habrían escuchado si no les hubieras gritado.
    • They would have listened if you had not yelled at them.
  • Si hubiera tenido un coche nuevo, habría conducido por todas partes.
    • If I had had a new car I would have driven it all over.

Unlike in English when the auxiliary “have” and the main verb cannot be separated in the conditional perfect, in Spanish, haber and the past participle must stay together.

  • A ustedes no les habrían gustado la película.
    • You guys would not have liked the movie.
  • No habrías podido llegar a tiempo.
    • You wouldn’t have been able to arrive on time.

Since the auxiliary and main verb cannot be separated, object pronouns, as well as reflexive pronouns, must be placed before haber.

  • Me habría quedado en casa.

    • I would have stayed home.
  • Marcos lo habría dicho.
    • Marcos would have said it.

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