• Spanish grammar
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  • 1 Spanish alphabet [0/1]
  • 2 Spanish articles [0/6]
  • 3 Spanish nouns [0/8]
  • 4 Spanish adjectives [0/17]
  • 5 Spanish numbers [0/6]
  • 6 Spanish pronouns [0/32]
  • Spanish pronoun quiz - Flashcards (Score -/-)Free
  • Spanish pronoun quiz - Type identification (Score -/-)Free
  • Spanish practice quiz - Drag and drop the pronoun (Score -/-)Free
  • Spanish pronouns in Spanish practice quiz (Score -/-)Free
  • Spanish pronoun quiz - Fill in the blanks (Score -/-)Free
  • 6.1 Spanish personal pronouns [0/15]
  • 6.2 Spanish reflexive pronouns [0/2]
  • 6.3 Spanish possessive pronouns [0/2]
  • 6.4 Spanish demonstrative pronouns [0/2]
  • 6.5 Spanish interrogative pronouns [0/3]
  • 6.6 Spanish relative pronouns [0/3]
  • 7 Adverbs in Spanish [0/18]
  • 8 Sentence structure and word order in Spanish [0/4]
  • 9 Spanish prepositions [0/2]
  • 10 Spanish tenses and verb conjugation [0/27]
  • 10.1 Present tense in Spanish (el presente) [0/3]
  • 10.2 Past tenses in Spanish (el pasado) [0/18]
  • 10.2.1 Pretérito perfecto simple (indefinido) in Spanish [0/3]
  • 10.2.2 Pretérito perfecto compuesto in Spanish [0/3]
  • 10.2.3 Difference between Pretérito Perfecto and Indefinido [0/3]
  • 10.2.4 Pretérito Imperfecto in Spanish [0/3]
  • 10.2.5 Difference between imperfecto and indefinido [0/3]
  • 10.2.6 Pretérito pluscuamperfecto in Spanish [0/3]
  • 10.3 Future tense in Spanish (el futuro) [0/6]
  • 11 Difference between "ser" and "estar" in Spanish [0/3]
  • 12 Spanish verbs [0/7]
  • 13 Gerund in Spanish (el gerundio) [0/3]
  • 14 Imperative in Spanish (imperativo) [0/6]
  • 15 Passive in Spanish (voz pasiva) [0/3]
  • 16 Negation in Spanish [0/2]
  • Difference between Pretérito Perfecto and Indefinido

    One of the common mistakes made by Spanish students is the difference between the Pretérito Perfecto and the Indefinido. This lesson will show you how to use both tenses.

    Use of Pretérito perfecto and Indefinido

    Pretérito perfecto Indefinido

    For actions completed at a recent moment in time.

    El correo ha llegado. (The mail has arrived.)

    For an action completed at a specific moment in the past.

    El avión aterrizó a las doce en punto. (The plane landed at four o’clock.)

    For actions or events occurring in the past that do not refer to a concrete time.

    Ana nos ha esperado en recepción. (Ana has waited for us in the reception area.)

    For an action or event that lasted for a specific period of time when you can determine how long the action took place.

    Esperó dos horas en la estación. (He waited for two hours at the station.)

    For an action or event initiated in the past that is continuing into the present.

    Hemos vivido aquí por más de 7 años. (We have lived here for over 7 years.)

    For series of actions or events completed in the past even if you cannot determine when these actions took place or for how long.

    Me levanté, desayuné, me duché y me fui a trabajar. (I woke up, had breakfast, took a shower and went to work.)

    /

    For actions that are not usually repeated using the following expressions:

    Mi hija cumplió 4 años. (My daughter turned 4.)

     

    enlightenedThe actions in “Pretérito Perfecto” are related to the present whereas the actions in Indefinido are not.

    Comparison of time markers

    Pretérito Perfecto Indefinido
    hoy (today) ayer (yesterday)
    hace dos horas (two hours ago) anteayer (the day before yesterday)
    esta semana (this week) anoche (Last night)
    estos días (these days) la semana pasada (last week)
    este martes/ mes/ año (this Tuesday/month/ year) el mes/ año pasado (last month/year)
    nunca (never) hace tres semanas (3 weeks ago)
    todavía no/ ya (not yet/ already) en 2001 (in 2001)
    alguna vez (sometime) de repente (suddenly)
    últimamente/ en los últimos tiempos (lately) el día de su cumpleaños (the day of his birthday)
    hace poco (recently) al comenzar mi trabajo (when I started  working)


    If you would like to know more about the uses and the conjugation of Pretérito Perfecto and the Pretérito Indefinido, then have a look at our pages!

    Exercises

    Do you know the difference between the Preterito perfecto and the Indefinido?

    ¿Preterito perfecto or Indefinido?

    Conjugate the verbs in both texts