Acabar de + [infinitive] = to have just done / just did something

In Spanish we use this verbal structure to express "To have just done [something]".

Acabar (conjugated) de + Infinitivo

Have a look and listen to the following examples in different tenses:

Acabo de romper la mesa.
I have just broken the table.

Nosotros acabábamos de comer cuando Sara llegó.
We had just eaten when Sara arrived.

Usted acaba de comprar el viaje de sus sueños.
You have just bought your dream trip.

Los jubilados acababan de llegar a Benidorm cuando empezó la tormenta.
The retirees had just arrived to Benidorm when the storm started.

Notice how the preposition de always follows acabar. In Spanish, unlike in English, we do not use a participle (-ed form) but rather an infinitive after de.

Acabo de llegar.
Acabo de llegado.
I have just arrived.

See also La perífrasis verbal.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Acabo de romper la mesa.
I have just broken the table.


Nosotros acabábamos de comer cuando Sara llegó.
We had just eaten when Sara arrived.


Los jubilados acababan de llegar a Benidorm cuando empezó la tormenta.
The retirees had just arrived to Benidorm when the storm started.


Usted acaba de comprar el viaje de sus sueños.
You have just bought your dream trip.


Q&A

Jessica

Kwiziq community member

24 January 2019

1 reply

If you want to say'I have just finished.." would you say Acabo de terminar...?And do you have to use a 'de' after terminar?

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

24 January 2019

24/01/19

Hola Jessica

Yes, to express "to have just done something" we use the whole structure "acabar de +infinitive", so you need to conjugate acabar in the present and then add "de" plus infinitive.

For example:

"Acabo de hablar con Juan" (I've just spoken with Juan)

"Ella acaba de llegar a casa" (She's just arrived home)

I hope this helps,

Gracias y un saludo

Inma

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