Conditional Perfect in Spanish Grammar

Introduction

The conditional perfect (condicional compuesto), is a Spanish compound tense. It is used to express possibility in the past i.e. actions the could or would have taken place. We can also express wishes or suppositions about the past.

Learn when to use the conditional perfect in Spanish grammar and master the conjugation of regular and irregular verbs in this tense. Then test your knowledge in the exercises. In tense comparison, you will find an overview of all the tenses in Spanish grammar.

Example

Rosa: Si ayer no hubiera llovido, Juanjo y yo habríamos ido a la playa.

Aytana: ¡Ya te vale! Habrías podido avisarnos, ¿no crees?

Rosa: Perdona. Creí que no habríais querido venir.

Aytana: Si nos hubiérais llamado, lo habríais comprobado. Además nosotros vamos siempre a la playa. ¿Crees que habríamos dicho que no?

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Usage

We use the conditional perfect to express:

  • completed actions including invitations, requests, wishes, suggestions
    Example:
    Habrías podido avisarnos.You could have let us know.
  • suppositions about the past i.e. What might have happened?
    Example:
    Creí que no habríais querido venir.I thought you wouldn’t have wanted to come.
    ¿Crees que habríamos dicho que no?Do you think we would have said no?
  • actions that would have taken place in the past under other circumstances
    Example:
    Si ayer no hubiera llovido, Juanjo y yo habríamos ido a la playa.If it hadn’t rained yesterday, Juanjo and I would have gone to the beach.

Verb Conjugation in Spanish Conditional Perfect

To conjugate verbs in the conditional perfect, we use the condicional simple of verb haber + the past participle.

person haber past participle
yo habría

hablado

aprendido

vivido

habrías
él/ella/usted habría
nosotros/-as habríamos
vosotros/-as habríais
ellos/ellas/ustedes habrían

Past Participle

We construct the past participle by removing the infinitive ending and adding the corresponding ending: -ado for -ar verbs or -ido or -er/-ir verbs.

Example:
hablar - hablado
aprender - aprendido
vivir - vivido

Irregular past participles

  • If there is a vowel before the -ido ending, we have to add an accent on the i of the ending. This shows us that each vowel needs to be pronounced separately and not as a diphthong.

    Example:
    leer – ldo
    traer - trdo
  • Some verbs have an irregular and/or regular participle form. These can be found in the following list:
verb past participle translation
irregular regular
abrir abierto open
decir dicho say
escribir escrito write
hacer hecho do/make
freír frito freído fry
imprimir impreso imprimido print
morir muerto die
poner puesto place/set
proveer provisto proveído provide
suscribir suscrito/suscripto sign/subscribe
ver visto see
volver vuelto return