Thread: Compound Tenses
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Old August 02, 2010, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
One thing I noted here, and thought I would bring to your attention, is that the book said the compound tenses are formed with the (past) participle. This can't be said for the (progressive), which uses a (present participle). <---YES! That's why I included that part of the quote...
The compound tenses use a conjugated form of haber, while the (progressive) uses a conjugated form of estar.

In the paragraph above, I deliberately placed certain terms in parentheses. This is because a native speaker of Spanish isn't taught these terms. These are English terms that we try to fit on Spanish parts of speech. The Spanish equivalents for these terms are participio and gerundio, respectively.

The "compound" tenses are formed using haber + participio (Spanish terms used the formula). The 'progressive' isn't ever listed in a conjugation chart. This is because it is neither a "simple" nor a "compound" tense. It is simply known as the gerundio.

The gerundio has nothing to do with the English gerund. (Don't get me started.)

You'll find all kinds of sites (and books) teaching these things wrong.
Okay - that is exactly what I was looking for. So "compound" isn't only about having two verb elements. It is specifically about the use of *haber* as the first of those verb elements and the past participle. Thus, the term "compound" is a tad bit misleading.

It's interesting to me that the progressive isn't considered a "conjugation". It seems to me to be quite parallel to the perfect tenses: estar/haber conjugated in present or past or future tense + gerundio/participle


Well, I definitely won't get you started on the gerundio vs. gerund. I DO understand that they're different ... and am starting to get a feel for when to use the gerundio vs. when to use the infinitive.

Thanks, Rusty!!
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