Trouble with HABER? Learn it with CHUNKS, never forget it again (Conjugation)

Trouble with HABER? Learn it with CHUNKS, never forget it again (Conjugation)

¿Cómo que no has visto Harry Potter? ¡Yo la he visto mil veces!
(What do you mean you haven’t seen Harry Potter? I’ve seen it a thousand times!)

No la he visto porque quería leer los libros primero, pero ya los terminé.
(I haven’t seen it because I wanted to read the books first, but I’ve already finished them.)

Si has visto o no Harry Potter no es tan importante por el momento. (Whether or not you have seen Harry Potter is not so important at this time.) The important thing here is learning how to use the verb haber (to have) like a native!

Yo soy Maura, de Spring Spanish and in this video we’ll cover the most common chunks we use with haber (to have) in the present tense! ¡Empecemos!

1. Yo he (I have)

Entiendo. Yo he leído los libros un par de veces al menos.
(I understand. I have read the books a couple of times at least.)

¡Qué fanática! Yo creo que no he leído ningún libro más de una vez en mi vida.
(What a fanatic! I don’t think I’ve read any book more than once in my life.)

¿En serio? Yo lo he hecho con varios, no solo los de Harry Potter. Por ejemplo, Demian, de Hermann Hesse. Lo he leído como cuatro veces.
(Really? I’ve done it with several, not just the Harry Potter ones. For example, Demian by Hermann Hesse. I’ve read it about 4 times.)

¡Te pasas! Yo nunca lo he leído. Quizás debería.
(You overdo it! I’ve never read it. Maybe I should.)

Just as in English, it is very common to use haber (to have) to talk about how many times or if you’ve ever done something in your life. So we say:

  • Yo no he visto esa película. (I have not seen that movie.)
  • He leído ese libro muchas veces. (I have read that book many times.)
  • La he visto tres veces. (I have seen it 3 times.): this could be talking about anything feminine. So, anything from a película (movie) to a mujer (woman)

Chunk Alert!

I always want to use this chunk with you guys in the comments, but I’m always afraid it won’t get across. Te pasas (You overdo it) is neither positive nor negative. ¡Cien porciento depende del contexto! (It 100% depends on the context!)

If somebody does something very nice for you, you can say te pasas to mean something like: Te pasas de amable (You overdo it with kindness.) But you don’t have to say de amable (of kindness), it’s implied.

Or if somebody says something stupid you can use te pasas to mean: Te pasas de estúpido. (You overdo it with stupidity.) Realmente se adapta a la situación (It really does adapt to the situation.) Do use it with people you’re somewhat close to, though.

Also, do check that link in the description. En caso de que no lo hayas hecho aún. (In case you haven’t done so yet.) So you can get more chunks and resources to continue improving your Spanish with us.

Por cierto, voy a sonar súper profesora en salón de clases, pero (By the way, I’m going to sound super classroom teacher-y, but) can you guys tell me the difference between these two: haber y a ver. Considering they sound exactly the same, we should maybe talk about it the comments!

2. Tú has (You have)

Si, definitivamente deberías. Cambiando el tema, ¿has hablado con Alejandra últimamente? Porque yo la llamo y no me contests.
(Yes, you definitely should. Changing the subject, have you talked to Alejandra lately? Because I call her and she doesn’t answer.)

Esta semana no he hablado con ella. No has debido insistir suficiente. ¿Cuántas veces la has llamado? Porque ella revisa su teléfono muy poco.
(This week I haven’t spoken to her. You must not have insisted enough. How many times have you called her? Because she checks her phone very little.)

Hoy no la he llamado, pero ayer la llamé un par de veces al menos. Más bien he debido dejarle un mensaje.
(I didn’t call her today, but yesterday I called her a couple of times at least. Rather, I should have left her a message.)

Before I forget, we’re using sections to go over the conjugation for each person or pronoun. But, know that at the end we’ll put them all together in a little table. ¡No para que la memorices! (Not so you memorize it!) But so you can see them all together and notice how much or how little they change.

De vuelta a nuestro diálogo (Back to our dialogue) another very typical thing to do with haber, is talking about things you’ve done in a time period that is still going on, like this week or today. Other examples could be:

  • Este año has trabajado durísimo. (You have worked very hard this year.)
  • Hoy no has comido casi nada. (Today you have eaten almost nothing.)
  • Últimamente has estado de muy buen humor. (Lately you have been in a very good mood.)

We also use the chunk has debido (you should have) to talk about things you, or anyone for that matter, should’ve done or must have not done properly. For instance:

  • Has debido avisarme que venías a cenar, hubiese preparado un postre. (You should have told me you were coming to dinner, I would have prepared a dessert.)
  • Si se molestó tanto es porque no has debido comunicarle la noticia de la mejor manera. (If he was so upset, it is because you must not have communicated the news in the best way.)

3. Ella / Él /Eso/ Usted ha (She / He / It/ Formal You has)

Probablemente. Lo que yo sé, es que ella ha estado sintiéndose un poco rara en el trabajo. Yo creo que quiere renunciar.
(Probably. As far as I know, she’s been feeling a little weird at work. I think she wants to quit.)

Sí, me acuerdo que la última vez que hablamos me dijo que el jefe ha estado presionándola muchísimo sin motivo aparente.
(Yes, I remember the last time we spoke she told me that the boss has been pressuring her a lot for no apparent reason.)

Exacto. Y eso, más que el clima ha estado súper frío de repente y ella siempre se enferma cuando eso pasa… es más que suficiente para que se pierda.
(Exactly. And that, plus the weather has been super cold all of a sudden and she always gets sick when that happens… it’s more than enough for her to be missing.)

Es verdad, este ha sido un otoño particularmente frío.
(It’s true, this has been a particularly cold fall.)

Sí, ha sido el más frío que yo he vivido en Madrid.
(Yes, it has been the coldest I have ever lived in Madrid.)

Por si acaso (Just in case), none of this is true. Madrid is not a cold city at all. This ha estado (has been) can help you talk about things that have been going on continuously. For example, in my life, lately:

  • Se me ha estado cayendo el cabello un montón. (My hair has been falling out a lot.)
  • Mi alimentación ha estado mejorando continuamente. (My diet has been improving continuously.)
  • Mis vecino ha estado súper silencioso. (My neighbor has been super quiet.)

Now, why don’t you try telling me in the comments what has been happening to you lately!

Also, you can use haber to talk about things that are the most anything ever. Like in the dialogue when Victoria says:

  • Ha sido el (otoño) más frío que yo he vivido en Madrid. (It has been the coldest (fall) that I have lived in Madrid.)

More examples could be:

  • Este verano ha sido el más divertido desde que me mudé a Europa. (This summer has been the most fun since I moved to Europe.)
  • ¡Este ha sido el día más loco de mi vida! (This has been the craziest day of my life!): not really.

4. Nosotros/ Nosotras hemos (We have)

Por cierto, ¡no hemos hablado de tu cita de ayer!
(By the way, we haven’t talked about your date from yesterday!)

No, porque no hemos parado de hablar de Ale.
(No, because we haven’t stopped talking about Ale.)

Bueno, pero también hemos hablado de libros un ratico. ¡Cuéntame cómo te fue, entonces!
(Well, but we’ve also talked about books for a while. Tell me how it went, then!)

Another typical thing to happen, is using haber (to have) to talk about things we, or anyone, haven’t done just yet but still have the intention to do so. Or reaffirm things we’ve recently done. Por ejemplo (for example):

  • No hemos repasado esa tabla que les comenté, pero lo haremos en un momento. (We have not reviewed the table I mentioned, but we will do so in a moment.)
  • Es que no hemos parado de revisar ejemplos con “haber”. (It’s just that we haven’t stopped reviewing examples with “haber”.)
  • Lo hemos hecho todo muy bien y muy rápido. (We have done everything very well and very fast.)

5. Ustedes / Ellas / Ellos han (Plural you / They have)

Bueno, hasta ahora no nos han tocado citas malas. Siempre nos va bien y todo fluye.
(Well, so far we haven’t gotten any bad dates. We always do well and everything flows.)

O sea que han tenido suerte. ¡Me alegro!
(So you’ve been lucky. I’m glad!)

Sí, nos han impresionado constantemente cuántas cosas tenemos en común.
(Yes, we have been constantly impressed by how many things we have in common.)

¡Qué ilusión! Y¿han comentado algo sobre ser pareja o siguen manteniéndolo casual?
(What a thrill! And have you commented anything on being a couple or are you still keeping it casual?)

For ustedes (plural you) and ellas y ellos (they), the conjugation is the same: han (have). Remember ellas y ellos (they) can also refer to things. So we can say:

  • Las hornillas de la cocina han estado haciendo ruido, hay que mandarlas a revisar. (The stove burners have been making noise, they need to be checked.)
  • Los cambures se han madurado muy rápido. (The bananas have matured very quickly.): I say cambur (banana), because I’m Venezuelan. Other people say banana, plátano, among others.
  • Mis amigos no me han llamado todavía. (My friends have not called me yet.): is very common, as well, to use haber with todavía (yet) because it means the period of time you’re referring to is still going on.

6. La tabla (The table)

Let’s review of all of this so far by putting all the conjugations together in a little table.

Concéntrate en los chunks, repítelos en voz alta, escríbelos, úsalos tan pronto como sea posible (Focus on the chunks, repeat them out loud, write them down, use them as soon as possible.) That way you’ll give your brain more to hold onto so you can retrieve this information when needed.

PronounConjugationChunk
Yo
(I)
He
(Have)
Yo no he visto esa película.
(I have not seen that movie.)

(You)
Has
(Have)
No has debido insistir suficiente.
(You must have not insisted enough.)
Él, Ella, Usted, Eso (He, She, Formal You, It)Ha
(Has)
El jefe ha estado presionándola.
(The boss has been pressuring her.)
Nosotros, Nosotras (We)Hemos
(Have)
No hemos parado de hablar.
(We have not stopped talking.)
Ustedes, Ellas/Ellos (You, They)Han
(Have)
Han tenido suerte.
(You have been lucky.)

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