Haber conjugation in Spanish

The Spanish verb “haber” has several meanings and uses

  1. Auxiliary Verb for Perfect Tenses:
    • In its most common usage, “haber” is an auxiliary verb used to form compound tenses, such as the present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect. For example:
      • He comido (I have eaten).
      • Había estudiado (I had studied).
      • Habré terminado (I will have finished).
  2. Existence or Presence:
    • “Haber” is also used to express the existence or presence of something. In this case, it functions similarly to the English phrase “there is” or “there are.” For example:
      • Hay un libro en la mesa (There is a book on the table).
      • ¿Hay problemas? (Are there problems?)
  3. Impersonal Expressions:
    • “Haber” is often used in impersonal expressions, where it doesn’t refer to a specific subject. For example:
      • Debe de haber una explicación (There must be an explanation).
      • Hubo un accidente en la carretera (There was an accident on the road).
  4. Indicating Quantity:
    • In some contexts, “haber” is used to indicate quantity or the presence of a certain number of items. For example:
      • Había muchas personas en la fiesta (There were many people at the party).

It’s important to note that when used as an auxiliary verb, “haber” doesn’t change its form based on the subject of the sentence. It remains invariable, and the past participle of the main verb carries the information about the action or state.

The verb “haber” as an auxiliary verb, primarily to form perfect tenses

Present Indicative

  • He (I have)
  • Has (You have)
  • Ha (He/She/You have)
  • Hemos (We have)
  • Habéis (You all have – informal, used in Spain)
  • Han (They/You all have)

Preterite (Past Simple) Indicative

  • Hube (I had)
  • Hubiste (You had)
  • Hubo (He/She/You had)
  • Hubimos (We had)
  • Hubisteis (You all had – informal, used in Spain)
  • Hubieron (They/You all had)

Imperfect Indicative

  • Había (I had / I used to have)
  • Habías (You had / You used to have)
  • Había (He/She/You had / He/She/You used to have)
  • Habíamos (We had / We used to have)
  • Habíais (You all had / You all used to have – informal, used in Spain)
  • Habían (They/You all had / They/You all used to have)

Future Indicative

  • Habré (I will have)
  • Habrás (You will have)
  • Habrá (He/She/You will have)
  • Habremos (We will have)
  • Habréis (You all will have – informal, used in Spain)
  • Habrán (They/You all will have)

Conditional

  • Habría (I would have)
  • Habrías (You would have)
  • Habría (He/She/You would have)
  • Habríamos (We would have)
  • Habríais (You all would have – informal, used in Spain)
  • Habrían (They/You all would have)

Present Subjunctive

  • Haya (That I have)
  • Hayas (That you have)
  • Haya (That he/she/you have)
  • Hayamos (That we have)
  • Hayáis (That you all have – informal, used in Spain)
  • Hayan (That they/you all have)

Imperfect Subjunctive

  • Hubiera (If I had)
  • Hubieras (If you had)
  • Hubiera (If he/she/you had)
  • Hubiéramos (If we had)
  • Hubierais (If you all had – informal, used in Spain)
  • Hubieran (If they/you all had)

Imperative (Exceptional uncommon use)

  • (Tú) Habe, he (Have – singular, informal)
  • (Él/Ella/Usted) Haya (Have – singular, formal)
  • (Nosotros/Nosotras) Hayamos (Let’s have)
  • (Vosotros/Vosotras) Habed (Have – plural, informal, used in Spain)
  • (Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes) Hayan (Have – plural, formal)

It’s important to note that “haber” is often used as an auxiliary verb to form compound tenses, such as the present perfect (“he comido” – I have eaten) or the past perfect (“había comido” – I had eaten).