The Complexity of Auxiliary Verbs in Spanish.


Auxiliary Verbs in Spanish:

Although the auxiliary verbs are used in a similar way in both languages, in order to understand better the auxiliary verbs in Spanish Let’s refresh some definitions.

Definition of Auxiliary Verb:

Auxiliary Verbs are those who, in some verbal expressions, lose their original meaning to join another verb that keep it, and which is called Main Verb.

 

These auxiliary verbs have several uses, and the most important are the verb “ser“, which is part of the passive forms. The verb “haber“, widely used in composed forms, and the verb “estar” widely used in continuous forms.

“To be”.

    • Ser → It works as auxiliary verb in passive forms, and in that usage, is always accompanied by the past participle of the main verb:




Spanish English
Es manejado Is driven
Era manejado Was driven
Fue manejado Was driven
Será manejado Will be driven
Sería manejado Would be driven

 

Is driven

“To have”.

  • Haber →It functions as a verb auxiliary in composed tenses. At this point we want to remember the following: the Spanish language has a number of tenses that are kept “alive” due to excessive use of “figurative” tenses. The best proof of this is that many of these verbal variants can be, and in fact it are, replaced by many native Spanish-speaking by other less complex expressions. These expressions have the same idea expressed. Once again English imposes its practicality as it uses the context interpretation to say “the same”, using simpler grammatical resources.

We illustrate this with a few examples in which we will post the names of the tenses in Spanish only to indicate them. But, we want to ask the reader that don’t dive in this learning by now. This is because our TIP more important today, is to try help you to ‘simplify’ the complexities of the Spanish. And this, without that this means that you may not be fluent in your dialogue. I.e., we will try to help you to use the practical sense and context of the English to avoid “complexities” from the Spanish. And all this while expressing the same idea.




The verb “haber” is used in Spanish as an Auxiliary Verb, in the same way that in English is used the verb “to have“:

Nombre del Tiempo Español Name of the Tense English
Presente Perfecto Indicativo He comido una manzana Perfect Present I have eaten an apple
Pasado Perfecto Indicativo Habia comido una manzana Perfect Past I had eaten an apple
Futuro Perfecto Indicativo Habre comido una manzana Perfect Future I will have eaten an apple
Condicional Perfecto Habria comido una manzana Perfect Conditional I would have eaten an apple

eating apple auxiliary verbs

“To be” again.

  • Estar → Before explaining the use of the verb “estar” as auxiliary, we want to remind you something very important. Remember, in Spanish the verb “to be” correspond two verbs, which are “ser” and “estar“. If you have not read our Post on the subject, we suggest you do it so you will understand better this one.

The verb “estar” is used as auxiliary, in Spanish, in continuous forms of all tenses. Is always used to accompanying the main verbs in present participle tense (verbs with completion “ando” and “iendo“), like ending  “ing” in English:

Nombre del Tiempo Español Name of the Tense English
Presente Continuo Yo estoy comiendo una manzana Present Continuous I am eating an apple
Pasado Continuo Yo estaba comiendo una manzana Past Continuous I was eating an apple
Futuro Continuo Yo estaré comiendo una manzana Future Continuous I will be eating an apple
Condicional Continuo Yo estaría comiendo una manzana Conditional Continuous I would be eating an apple

 

And combining them.

And in the case of continuous perfect tenses, where it is used, as in English, combined with the verb “to have “:

Nombre del Tiempo Español Name of the Tense English
Presente Perfecto Continuo Yo he estado comiendo una manzana Present Perfect Continuous I have been eating an apple
Pasado Perfecto Continuo Yo había estado comiendo una manzana Past Perfect Continuous I had been eating an apple
Futuro Perfecto Continuo Yo habré estado comiendo una manzana Future Perfect Continuous I will have been eating an apple
Condicional Perfecto Continuo Yo habría estado comiendo una manzana Conditional Perfect Continuous I would have been eating an apple

 

In addition to verbs already indicated, there are some other verbs which sometimes have functions of auxiliary verbs and that we will see in another Post.

And remember, we want to improve our website: leave us your comments!

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Written By Alberto Otano

9 Comments on “The Complexity of Auxiliary Verbs in Spanish.

  1. Vicky Debroux Reply

    August 4, 2016 at 4:40

    Thank you a lot for your time in writing this post.

    • Alberto Otano Diaz Reply

      December 8, 2016 at 3:10

      Thank you very much. It is my pleasure. Please excuse me for the delay in my answer but I had the option for to reply, technically blocked by a mistake.

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    • Alberto Otano Diaz Reply

      December 8, 2016 at 3:11

      Thank you very much. It is my pleasure. Please excuse me for the delay in my answer but I had the option for to reply, technically blocked by a mistake.

  3. Laraine Waiki Reply

    August 5, 2016 at 7:55

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    • Alberto Otano Diaz Reply

      December 8, 2016 at 3:12

      Thank you very much. It is my pleasure. Please excuse me for the delay in my answer but I had the option for to reply, technically blocked by a mistake.

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  5. Alberto Otano Diaz Reply

    December 8, 2016 at 3:11

    Thank you very much. It is my pleasure. Please excuse me for the delay in my answer but I had the option for to reply, technically blocked by a mistake.

  6. jasmin st. claire Reply

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