How to use Present Perfect verbs in medical Spanish contexts

How to use Present Perfect verbs in medical Spanish contexts

The present perfect verb tense is quite possibly one of the most helpful tenses when speaking Spanish to patients in a clinical / medical context. It allows you to ask useful questions like: Have you…? , Have you ever…? , What have you …? , etc.

It’s a compound verb tense just like it is in English (ex. What have you eaten today?), so we need to identify the equivalent for “have, has” and then how to form the participle of each main verb (ex. eaten).

Here is the medical Spanish present perfect verb tense lesson I taught for video viernes this week:

How to conjugate the present perfect tense:

The present perfect verb tense in Spanish includes the conjugation of the verb “haber” and then you add the participle of the actual verb you want to use. Here are the two steps:

Paso 1: el verbo Haber

Yo: he

Tú: has

Él, Ella, Usted: ha

Nosotros: hemos

Ellos, Ellas, Ustedes: han

Paso 2: el participio del verbo

-AR verbs drop the “ar” and add “ado”

  • Trabajar > Trabaj__ > Trabajado
  • Tomar > Tom__ > Tomado

-ER/IR verbs drop the “er” / “ir” and add “ido”

  • Comer > Com__ > Comido
  • Sufrir > Sufr__ > Sufrido

Some examples of the present perfect verb tense in medical Spanish phrases:

¿Ha intentado dejar de fumar en el pasado?  (Have you tried to stop smoking in the past?)

  • Sí, yo he tratado muchas veces.  (Yes I have tried to stop smoking many times)

¿Qué han comido ustedes hoy? (What have you all eaten today?)

  • Nosotros no hemos comido nada hoy. (We haven’t eaten anything today)

¿Cuántas veces ha estado embarazada? (How many times have you been pregnant?)

  • Tengo 3 hijos pero he tenido 4 embarazos. (I have 3 children, but I’ve been pregnant 4 times)

¿Alguien le ha diagnosticado con preeclampsia en el pasado? (Has anyone diagnosed you with preeclampsia in the past?)

¿Ha tenido estos síntomas antes? (Have you had these symptoms before?)

¿Por cuántos años ha padecido de diabetes? (For how many years have you had diabetes?)

Practice #1: (answers below)

  1. Nosotros todavía no _____________ los resultados. (Recibir)
  2. ¿Cuántos partos naturales y cuántas cesáreas _______________? (Tener) 
  3. Ella _______________ la raquea. (Negar)
  4. El esposo no _______________ (Llegar), hay mucho tráfico. 
  5. ¿Alguna vez _______________ una reacción negativa a la morfina? (Experimentar)
  6. El bebé _______________ de posición, ahora está de nalgas. (Cambiar)

Irregular present perfect verbs

Paso 1: The verb Haber doesn’t have any irregularities… so this is the same for regular and irregular verbs

Yo: he

Tú: has

Él, Ella, Usted: ha

Nosotros: hemos

Ellos, Ellas, Ustedes: han

Paso 2: Here is where the irregularities start to show up.

  • Abrir > abierto
  • Cubrir > cubierto
  • Decir > dicho
  • Escribir > escrito
  • Hacer > hecho
  • Morir > muerto 
  • Poner > puesto
  • Romper > roto
  • Resolver > resuelto
  • Satisfacer > satisfecho 
  • Ver > visto
  • Volver > vuelto

Practice #2: (answers below):

  1. I have covered. Yo _______________. 
  2. The bag of water hasn’t broken La bolsa de agua no se _______________.
  3. She has seen. Ella _______________
  4. We have put. Nosotros _______________

Use Quizlet to help you learn present perfect verb conjugations!

Answers to practice activities:

Practice 1:

  1. hemos recibido
  2. ha tenido
  3. ha negado
  4. ha llegado
  5. ha experimentado
  6. ha cambiado

Practice 2:

  1. he cubierto
  2. ha roto
  3. ha visto
  4. hemos puesto

Rory Foster
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Rory is passionate about the Spanish language, an expert instructor, and specifically energized by the practical use of language in industry & community settings.
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